Students Named Fellows by the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy
Two Yale Law School students, Emma Findlen LeBlanc ’24 and Thomas Poston ’24, are among the 2022-2023 Emerging Scholars Fellows with the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy. The Brooks Institute’s Emerging Scholars fellowship program supports students who intend to become law professors and make animal law a significant component of their teaching and research. The program provides fellows with mentorship and support in their second or third years of law school.
LeBlanc is a current 2L who studies evolving legal formulations of personhood, especially their relationship to rights, standing, and property. She is interested in how strategies of restricting the legal personhood of historically excluded groups, such as non-white racial minorities and women, are deployed against nonhuman animals in ways that obscure the complex interdependence of structures of oppression. LeBlanc is a Student Fellow with the Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School, where she is also a Research Assistant with LEAP’s Climate Change & Animal Agriculture Litigation Initiative (CCAALI).
“Animal law is a field that cultivates some of the most creative, exciting, potentially transformative legal thinking, and I am so grateful to the Brooks Institute for this opportunity to develop my own contributions to those scholarly conversations,” LeBlanc said.
“Building on her impressive and diverse academic and professional background, Emma will bring a multidisciplinary and insightful perspective to her Brooks fellowship and future work,” said Daina Bray, project manager of CCAALI. “Emma quickly learns new areas of law and then effortlessly draws connections to other issues and disciplines.”
Poston, also a current 2L, is on the board of the Yale Environmental Law Association (YELA). He is interested in exploring contemporary international legal approaches to combating climate change and securing animal, environmental, and human rights, with a particular interest in the legal frameworks governing international development, environmental degradation, and human and non-human animal exploitation. Poston is a Student Fellow with LEAP and is also a Research Assistant with LEAP’s Climate Change & Animal Agriculture Litigation Initiative.
“I envision a system of international law and commerce capable of mitigating, rather than enabling, animal and ecological harm,” Poston said. “I’m so grateful for the Brooks Institute’s support for my efforts to pursue this aspiration via interdisciplinary and impactful legal scholarship.”
Bray said that Thomas “will be an invaluable addition to the Brooks fellows community. His sustained and strong commitment to using the law to protect animals and the natural world, along with his international perspective, quick mind, and outstanding ability to communicate complex ideas clearly, will no doubt generate significant scholarship that will further the field,” she added.
Founded in 2019, the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School is a multidisciplinary program dedicated to developing strategies to address industrialized animal cruelty and its impacts on the living world, and to drawing attention to the deep questions of conscience and law raised by humanity’s treatment of animals.