First-year law student Natalie Zisa wins rigorous National Animal Law Competition

First-year law student Natalie Zisa has turned her passion for animal advocacy into national-level recognition for her legislative drafting and lobbying skills. Zisa pursued the National Animal Law Competition on her own and prevailed in the rigorous spring event.

From moot court to arbitration, law students learn practical skills through prestigious national competitions. Many are team-based and coached by law school professors. Most competitors are in the second or third year of law school. However, Zisa pursued the Legislative Drafting and Lobbying portion of the competition, hosted by The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy in partnership with Harvard Law School’s Animal Law and Policy Program neither as part of a team nor as an upper level law student.

The competition consisted of three separate competitions: Appellate Advocacy, Closing Argument, and Legislative Drafting & Lobbying. Zisa chose Legislative Drafting and Lobbying where she drafted a bill protecting animals raised for and used in animal experimentation. She was selected as a semi-finalist, then eventually a finalist, and won after lobbying the bill to the judges who acted as hypothetical state “legislators.”

While the competition may be hypothetical, it builds the skills Zisa needs after she graduates law school.