Joan Schaffner

Expert Joan Schaffner

Associate Professor of Law at the George Washington University

Professor Joan E. Schaffner, J.D. is an Associate Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering (magna cum laude) and J.D. (Order of the Coif) from the University of Southern California and her M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an inactive member of the California Bar and an active member of the D.C. Bar. Professor Schaffner worked at the law firm of Irell & Manella in Los Angeles California and clerked for the Honorable Marianna Pfaelzer in the Central District of California before coming to GW Law.

Professor Schaffner teaches Civil Procedure, Remedies, and Sexuality and the Law. She is the faculty advisor to Lambda Law, the LGBT student organization at GW, and is faculty advisor and editor-in-chief of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal.

Professor Schaffner directs the GW Animal Law Program and has presented on animal law panels and conferences world-wide. Professor Schaffner's most recent book entitled Introduction to Animals and the Law was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2011 as part of their Animal Ethics Series. She is a co-author and editor of two books published by the American Bar Association (ABA): A Lawyer's Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues (2009) and Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers (2009) and is author of several book chapters including "Blackfish and Public Outcry: A Unique Political and Legal Opportunity for Fundamental Change to the Legal Protection of Marine Mammals in the United States" in Animal Law and Welfare: International Perspectives (Springer 2016); "Animal Cruelty and the Law: Permitted Conduct" in Animal Cruelty: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Carolina Academic Press 2d ed. 2016); "Valuing Nature in Environmental Law: Lessons for Animal Law and the Valuation of Animals" in What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law? (Environmental Law Institute 2015); "Americans Working on behalf of the UnderDOGS" in Searching for the American Dream: How a Sense of Place Shapes the Study of History (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2013), "Canine profiling" in Global Guide to Animal Protection (Univ. Illinois Press 2013), and "Laws and Policy to Address the Link of Family Violence" in The Link Between Animal Abuse and Humane Violence (Sussex Academic Press 2009).

Professor Schaffner is active in various organizations including: Past Chair and Newsletter Vice-Chair, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Animal Law Committee; Founding Chair and Immediate Past Chair of the AALS Section on Animal Law; and Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. In August 2013 Professor Schaffner received the ABA TIPS Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award and currently serves on the ABA TIPS Council. On a personal note, Professor Schaffner shares her life and home with a magnificent group of felines.


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