Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

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Medal-big-2011
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Animal-legal-defense-fund-aldf
Headquarters Location: Cotati, CA
Founded: 1979


Mission: ALDF's mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.


Tags: animal rights, animal cruelty, legislation, animal law, advocacy, animal abuse, education, laboratory animals, farm animals, 2011


Animal-legal-defense-fund-aldf
Story: For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Since its founding, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has done exceptional work in the area of animal law and has broadened its base both in attorney involvement and in reaching out to law schools and laws students. The organization also does top notch litigation and has very strong leaders- including the founder who still works for the organization but passed along the helm to another very capable and talented leader. This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. According to experts, they were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Animal-legal-defense-fund-aldf Steve Wells. Stephen Wells is the executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Prior to becoming its CEO in January 2006, Stephen served as the director of ALDF’s successful Animal Law Program, which he initiated in 2000. The Animal Law Program provides support and resources to ALDF’s law professional and law student members and pro bono opportunities for attorneys and firms… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 3stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$3,781,003


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
Website:
E-Mail:
info AT aldf.org
Phone:
707-795-2533
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
170 East Cotati Avenue
 
Cotati, CA 94931, USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Animal-legal-defense-fund-aldf Story: For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by hundreds of dedicated attorneys and more than 100,000 members. Every day, ALDF works to protect animals by: filing groundbreaking lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law; providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases; working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes; encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws; nurturing the future of animal law through Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters and our Animal Law Program; and providing public education through seminars, workshops and other outreach efforts. In addition to our national headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Animal Legal Defense Fund maintains an office in Portland, Oregon.

Expert Reviews of Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Since its founding, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has done exceptional work in the area of animal law and has broadened its base both in attorney involvement and in reaching out to law schools and laws students. The organization also does top notch litigation and has very strong leaders- including the founder who still works for the organization but passed along the helm to another very capable and talented leader. This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. According to experts, they were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has very talented staff with innovative ideas about managing cases and organizing information to share with lawyers, law students and lay people. They developed a focus on law schools and are largely responsible for the explosion of animal law courses. They support lawyers across the country doing great work and contribute to the scholarship in the field.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

According to experts, this group could do a better job marketing the work they have done and continue to do. Many people are unaware of their vast contributions.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Funding

N
Many local animal abuse cases would not be effective or made possible without the assistance of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Their funding and expertise assists many local prosecutors and animal organizations when funding is needed for that additional work that need put into a case to win a conviction.

Partnerships

O
Their assistance to prosecutors of animal cruelty cases is invaluable.

Sound Strategy

N
They take important cases through the courts that otherwise would not be addressed—precedent-setting cases.
O
The concept of being a law firm for animals gives them unique positioning.
R
Animal Legal Defense Fund has tremendous impact by working with attorneys, judges, prosecutors, legislators, faculty, and students on matters pertaining to animal law. They hold conferences of different types, engage in litigation by way of in-house and outside counsel, sponsor the Center for Animal Law Studies, which amplifies their ability to have an impact in educational settings. Everyone in the United States who is interested in animal law has, at one time or another, received a benefit derived from their conscientious programming.

Effective Legislation

R
This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. Their groundbreaking cases and innovative legislative efforts have helped people understand the issues at stake, as well as possible solutions. They were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues.
O
Animal Legal Defense Fund has in the past, and continues to have, a positive impact on the legal world that is animal law. They bring forward legal actions to protect and advance the interest of animals.
O
As an attorney I'm drawn to the fact that they are the only national animal protection organization that specifically uses the courts to improve the situation of animals.
R
Animal Legal Defense Fund selects issues carefully and initiates litigation that matters and, perhaps more importantly, is winnable. ALDF also plays a key roles with law students in nurturing interest in the field and encouraging students to stay involved after gradation on a pro bono basis.
R
This organization has maintained a singular focus on developing animal protection law. It has grown and seems to have filled one of the most important niches in the animal rights movement. The leadership clearly understands its role and the importance of maintaining its focus. They are excellent in delivering its vision and mission.
N
Great organization that actually uses the law to impact conditions for animals.
N
Important push for animals from legal perspective. They are an important group.
O
This organization's special contribution to the sector through legal advocacy is vital.

Great Programs

O
The program that engages law students through student Animal Legal Defense Fund's and promotion of animal law courses at all accredited law schools in US (and some places abroad).

Strong Education Programs

N
Animal Legal Defense Fund has been a leader in the field of animal law since the early 1980's. Not only have they facilitated positive change for animals at the national level both through litigation and legislative efforts, they have made more of a difference than any other organization when it comes to legal education.
R
They are very effective in inspiring and educating law students and lawyers about legal issues affecting animal welfare.

Strong Leadership

N
Since its founding, the non-profit organization has done exceptional work in the area of animal law and has broadened its base both in attorney involvement and in reaching out to law schools and laws students. The organization also does top notch litigation and has very strong leaders- including the founder who still works for the organization but passed along the helm to another very capable and talented leader.

Leader in their Field

O
This organization started animal law and the movement to protect animals through the legal system.

Effective Advocacy

F
The most fundamental way animals are protected in a society is through the laws at the federal, state and local level. The Animal Legal Defense Fund works in several areas including: filing lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law; providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases; working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes; and encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Effective Outreach Efforts

N
One of their strengths is that they reach out to other organizations. We received a letter from them offering their services and support when a big horse abuse case that we were dealing with hit the papers, and they let us know how they could help. Another strength is that they take the financial burden off the already overstretched budgets of the smaller organizations.

Strong Staff

O
Their staff attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and accommodating.

Talented Staff

N
The team they have built, the resources they offer, and the campaigns they conduct are all strong.
R
They have very talented staff with innovative ideas about managing cases and organizing information to share with lawyers, law students and lay people. They developed a focus on law schools and are largely responsible for the explosion of animal law courses. They support lawyers across the country doing great work and contribute to the scholarship in the field.
F
The competence level and dedication of the attorneys working for Animal Legal Defense Fund is impressive. They could be making much more lucrative salaries in the private sector but instead work for the benefit of animals. I think they make good strategic decisions in what cases to get involved.

Excellent Marketing

O
Animal Legal Defense Fund has effective leadership and marketing. As it has focused efforts through the professional legal academic community the rate of success measured by percentage of schools that have animal law courses and/or SALDF's is remarkable- especially in a relatively short time frame.

Sound Strategy

O
They have excellent litigation strategy and results.
N
Animal Legal Defense Fund is top notch when it comes to marketing. They make wise strategic decisions. I've not met one person from the organization that I didn't like on a personal level, not to mention professionally. They are careful stewards of their finances but do wonders to support law students and lawyers.
R
Animal Legal Defense Fund does not waste resources over communicating with donors.

Dedicated Leadership

O
The leadership of this organization is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable in the area of animal law. In addition their staff, they provide an array of support and material to attorneys wishing to assist in animal law issues throughout the United States. They also have substantial programs in place for law students interested in animal law.

Effective Operations

N
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a small enough organization (20+ staff) where they are able to accomplish a lot and not get bogged down in bureaucracy. They also have very strong and effective team/department leaders. Their executive director is very accomplished in managing finances and raising money.

Focus

O
They have consistent leadership in Joyce Tischler. They have a single focus to their mission, which has never wavered.

Well Organized

O
They are well organized and with a strong history of significant success stories.

Professional Approach

R
The board seems to have unending energy and commitment to helping animals. Their leadership is conscientious and apparently honest. It's hard to imagine their ability to do so much without being careful about financial management. They are judicious about the types of legal matters they engage in, avoiding flamboyant techniques in favor of good solid legal work that emphasizes the use of existing laws and changing laws where necessary through legitimate methods. There is very little "showmanship."


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Access to Materials

N
It would be great if they were able to send a literature packets to county animal agencies so that everyone is aware of the services that are provided. The other marketing tool would be to let prosecutors know that these services are available for them, for in my experience many prosecutors have not had to handle animal abuse cases and would indeed appreciate the guidance of an organization such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
O
It would be helpful if they could provide some of their materials free of charge to prosecutors with limited budgets.

Better Communication

N
Sometimes it has seemed difficult to know how to reach them or who is in charge of decisions.

Better Marketing

R
This group could do a better job marketing the work they have done and continue to do. Many people are unaware of their vast contributions.
O
They could use better visibility in animal protection community generally. Expansion of attorney and litigation program has been a bit slower, presumably building on relationships with this army of law students as they enter the profession will be a huge opportunity.
O
They need to increase their profile.

Expansion

O
I look forward to this organization's continued growth in coming years/decades, so that they may help more animals. Unfortunately, there is such an overwhelming need in the legal arena for nonprofit assistance that there resources must be limited to only a small percentage of cases.

Funding

N
With more funding, they could do even more!

More Diverse Board

N
The organization is trying to broaden its board base to bring in board members who have other assets other than legal (most are attorneys) which I think will help the organization overall.

More Publicity for Staff

O
Joyce is synonymous with the organization. Maybe bring others more into public roles.

More Staff

O
Hiring more attorneys to actively bring actions in various jurisdictions would help them. I think they only have two in their litigation section.

Not Aware of Animal Welfare/Care

N
No strengths. This is an animal rights organization pushing for legal rights for animals. They have no practical knowledge of animal care, so have no gauge as to what is good or not.

Do More In Legislation

N
They do a good job, but could be doing more litigation.


Leadership

Animal-legal-defense-fund-aldf
Steve Wells
Executive Director
Stephen Wells is the executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Prior to becoming its CEO in January 2006, Stephen served as the director of ALDF’s successful Animal Law Program, which he initiated in 2000. The Animal Law Program provides support and resources to ALDF’s law professional and law student members and pro bono opportunities for attorneys and firms to assist ALDF with its mission. The program is credited to significantly advancing the field of animal law in law schools. Currently 135 law schools in the U.S. and Canada have offered a course in animal law. The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund has 162 U.S. chapters and 10 International chapters.

In 2005, Steve assisted hands-on with the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs in the landmark North Carolina hoarding case, ALDF v. Woodley—the largest civil action ever to stop animal cruelty. Stephen hired staff and orchestrated the shelter during the landmark case that seized over 300 neglected and sick dogs.

In early 2010, Stephen co-announced with California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez the launch of ALDF’s national ExposeAnimalAbusers.com campaign and California’s landmark animal abuser registry bill, SB 1277. Stephen continues to serve as an expert spokesperson for the campaign.

Stephen frequently speaks at animal law conferences and events and has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, and The National Law Journal. In addition to his full-time work, Stephen volunteers his time for local organizations and projects. He is also an avid outdoorsman and enjoys sailing with his rescue dog Eve, hiking, and skiing.

From the Nonprofit

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