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Jacobs ‘19 Wins National Writing Contest



Third-year student Jennifer Jacobs has been awarded first place in the American Kennel Club’s 2018 Companion Animal Law Writing Contest. Jacobs was selected from a large and competitive pool of applicants for her paper on changing existing law to compensate owners whose pets have been harmed.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest purebred dog registry in the world, and serves as an important advocate for the wellbeing and protection of dogs and dog ownership. This year’s Companion Animal Law Writing Contest was held for all students enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school, with first and second place prizes for selected submissions. Applicants had the opportunity to submit a paper on one of two available topics, companion animal law and pet custody law.

Jacobs’ paper, “Curtailing Companion Compensation: Why Barring Non-Economic Damages Awards for Companion Animals Is Ultimately Best for Pet Welfare,” examined the negative impact of compensating pet owners for emotional distress if their pets are harmed. Jacobs concludes that “expanding liability to permit compensation for that distress in negligent harm cases would harm pets by increasing both the economic and social costs of pet care.”

The entry was chosen to receive a $2,500 first place prize by a set of judges experienced in companion animal law.