CAFE Law & Policy Lab

Our Mission

The mission of the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environmental Law & Policy Lab (“CAFE Lab”) is to develop novel litigation and legislative strategies to compel industrial food producers to pay the currently uncounted, externalized costs of industrial agriculture for people, animals, and the environment. Students enrolled in the Lab gain firsthand experience working with faculty, outside experts, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop innovative law and policy initiatives that seek to address patterns of exploitations that affect multiple social causes, including animal welfare, worker and immigrant rights, environmental protection, consumer safety, rural communities, fair and competitive markets, and public health.

The CAFE Lab has two core workstreams:

  • The Animal Agriculture Accountability Project collaborates with a diverse set of NGOs in the climate, animal welfare, labor, food policy, and related social justice movements on the development and enactment of state and local legal policy interventions to hold industrial animal agriculture accountable for the systemic harms the industry inflicts on people, animals, and the environment. 
  • The Climate Change & Animal Agriculture Litigation Initiative, which works at the intersection of climate change and the food system, evaluates the likelihood and impact of litigation in U.S. courts relating to animal agriculture's climate impacts.


The CAFE Lab course has three core modules. First, the Lab provides hands-on skills training designed to teach students how to build durable litigation and legislative interventions. Second, the Lab hosts a small number of guest speakers who share case studies showing how they accomplished law and policy changes that most advocates in their field had declared to be impossible or infeasible. Third, the Lab holds workshopping sessions to facilitate collective evaluation, brainstorming, and feedback leading up to the submissions of final team projects. You can read prototype interventions to improve modern animal agriculture developed in previous CAFE Lab sessions on LEAP's Publications and Talks page.

Yale Law School students and other Yale graduate and professional students may enroll in the CAFE Lab for credit with the permission of instructors. More information can be found at the CAFE Lab's official course listing. Students interested in other opportunities to contribute to CAFE Lab’s work should email LEAP Faculty Co-Directors Jonathan Lovvorn (jonathan.lovvorn@yale.edu) and Doug Kysar (douglas.kysar@yale.edu).