Want to Learn More?

Want to Learn More?

Important Dates

Spring Semester Begins

January 8th, 2025


Spring Application Deadline

October 7th, 2024

Faculty Spotlight with Dr. Paul Locke

Dr. Paul Locke is an environmental health scientist and attorney who holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Yale University School of Medicine and a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law and is licensed to practice before the bars of the states.  He is a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Last but not least, he is a distinguished visiting professor of animal law and science at Lewis & Clark Law School who has taught our course The Law & Ethics of Animal Testing since 2012 

Paul began his professional career as an attorney on Wall Street. He spent four years employed at a practice centered around complex financial transactions and financings but realized he was more interested in environmental law.

Faculty Spotlight with Dr. Paul Locke

Pivoting to Animal Law

Paul transitioned to practicing environmental law at different firms, and in the process, became interested in the science that underscores every effort within the field. Already holding a Master’s degree in public health, with that foundation established, an opportunity opened to attend Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Paul earned a doctorate degree, which he pursued while still working, at the time practicing law at a think tank. 

All throughout, he knew nothing of animal law. “In fact, I didn’t even know that animal law existed,” he says. After graduating with his doctorate, he became part of the Pew Environmental Health Commission at Johns Hopkins, which just so happened to be located in the same building, and on the same floor, as The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

He met the center’s director at the time, Alan Goldberg, who first introduced Paul to the science behind, and concept of, non-animal testing. They decided to work together, Paul bringing expertise in policy that benefitted the center. “One of the first things I had to do was teach myself animal law,” Paul says with a grin. To do so, he purchased the premiere animal law textbook: Animal Law Cases & Materials, now in its sixth edition. One of the co-authors was Pamela Frasch, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.

In 2012, Paul joined the Adjunct Faculty of Lewis & Clark Law School, where he annually teaches Law & Ethics of Animal Testing. The course explores the complex and oftentimes controversial regulatory and policy framework that governs the use of animals in scientific experiments in biomedical research and in toxicity testing. Students learn first-hand about the latest regulatory and policy developments from experts who are at the forefront of this quickly evolving field.

Paving the Way for a Safer and More Ethical Future

It is noteworthy that Paul does not approach his work from an animal law perspective, but from a public health and scientific perspective. “The question I ask myself is ‘how are we going to protect people from chemicals in the environment? How are we going to do better basic research? What I have learned increasingly is that animal models are giving us diminishing returns, and non-animal models are filling those gaps. That’s one of the main reasons I am so enthusiastic about working with animal lawyers; because I think they can pave the road for scientists to use new models.”

Because he comes from a practice orientation, he is very concentrated on what the world looks like now, and how it operates, rather than philosophical or theoretical idealizations. “I’m very grounded. One thing I bring to the classroom and try to teach the students is what the state of the law is, and also, the state of the science, and try to show them how they can make a difference. If students want to have deep discussions about ethics alone, they will be disappointed. If they want to learn how those ethics relate to the system we have now, and how they can use legal tools to change that system, then they are in the right place.” 

Becoming an Effective Advocate

Predicated by his background in both science and law, he thinks it is important that lawyers understand science so they can be effective advocates. It’s critical that professionals can have a productive conversation about alternatives to animal testing. One area in animal law that is making headway is the exciting, but also often neglected, laboratory law. Students should not stay away from this field because they fear the science, Paul says: “we absolutely need lawyers in this field. It’s a field where lawyers can make a massive difference, because we need to build a legal and policy system that transitions from using animal models to using non-animal models.”

One major hurdle, however, is that science does not advance in a linear fashion. An additional difficulty is the tendency for poor communication between the scientific and legal communities. “It’s a very contentious issue, but it’s an issue where if we don’t have communication, we are never going to make progress,” Paul asserts. “I try to give students a language with which they can actually engage with the scientific community.” 

The Benefits of an Animal Law Advanced Degree from Lewis & Clark 

Prospective students should know that, at Lewis & Clark, they will be “getting a suite of courses to choose from and build out their expertise. Paul also stresses that “It’s a place where you’re going to be building a cohort of colleagues. This is where you will meet people who you will likely one day work with in some capacity to advocate for animal rights. “Cohort building is especially important. If you’re going to have any sort of movement, you need people.” The field needs those people to both advance scholarship and practice, and Lewis & Clark helps prepare students for either trajectory.

The Law & Ethics of Animal Testing course became part of the online advanced degree program in 2021, expanding access to the course to students around the world. Paul believes that there are significant reasons to choose the online program if it best fits your needs. “A strength of the online system is that you can bring people together from completely different locations who would normally never have access to your course.” He uses as an example a class that included students from the Middle East, China, Ukraine, Latin America, both U.S. coasts, and more. “They all have a place to interact,” since the material is asynchronous, the time zones barely matter in keeping everyone in lockstep.

There is another barrier that gets removed through the online program. “I can only speak one language well – English,” Paul says. “My students are smarter than me. They speak several languages well, including English.” These students can go back and replay recorded lectures, digging more deeply in material than they would be able to during a live class. Last but not least, many Lewis & Clark students arrive at the program with field experience. The online program allows them to bring that experience into the virtual classroom, enriching discussions and broadening perspectives. Paul now co-teaches the courses with a Lewis & Clark Animal Law LLM alumni, Rebecca Critser, who also works with Paul as a post-doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins.

Prospective Lewis & Clark students should know they are entering “an area that’s vitally important to society. It’s an area where they can make a difference,” Even though there are no short-term fixes. “You’ve got to be in it for the long haul,” Paul states. He promises to push students to expand their horizons and open their minds. “The goal is to make them the best practitioners and advocates that they can be.”

Scroll to Top