Cheryl L. Leahy teaches a seminar on Animals in Agriculture and the Law.
Leahy is a leading animal rights lawyer. She is general counsel for Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization based out of Washington, D.C., and leads their legal advocacy program. Compassion Over Killing works to end animal abuse, focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture, and promotes vegetarian eating. As general counsel, Leahy’s work targets large-scale abuse of farmed animals through investigation and litigation. This litigation includes criminal animal cruelty prosecutions and their equivalent, challenges to federal administrative agencies, false advertising claims against companies misleading consumers about the way their animals are treated, and unfair business practices cases, among others. In 2011, Leahy conducted the initial case research and development for an antitrust class action alleging a price fixing scheme by the American dairy industry. Leahy also currently serves as counsel for the Humane Party, where her duties include legal tasks related to the establishment and popularization of a new and emergent national political party.
Leahy is the author of “Large-Scale Farmed Animal Abuse and Neglect, Law and its Enforcement,” Journal of Animal Law and Ethics, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Fall 2011, and she is a co-author of “Farm-Animal Welfare, Legislation and Trade,” Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, Duke University School of Law, Spring, 2007.
Leahy earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies with honors from the University of Chicago in 2003. She then received her J.D. from UCLA in 2006, where she served as president of the Animal Law Society as well as its director of development and outreach. Also during law school, Leahy was a semi-finalist and earned honorable mention in the National Center for Animal Law’s animal advocacy moot court competitions held at Harvard Law School in February 2005.