Jessica Rubin is the Director of UConn Law School's Legal Practice Program, a rigorous and required program that teaches fundamental lawyering skills of Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation, Legal Research and Writing, and Contract Drafting. Professor Rubin hosts negotiation competitions, and trains students to compete in national and international competitions. She created and, in collaboration with UConn’s Business School, runs the annual UConn Business Law Negotiation Competition in which law students work with business students to negotiate deals.
Professor Rubin also teaches Animal Law – a field in which she is a widely recognized expert. Professor Rubin was instrumental in creating Desmond’s Law, which allows Connecticut courts to appoint advocates – law students under supervision - in animal cruelty cases. She supervises students and appears in court to advocate for justice in cases of animal cruelty.
Professor Rubin teaches a course in U.S. common law analysis and writing for international students pursuing their LL.M. degrees. During the summers of 2013 and 2014, Rubin traveled to Bilgi University in Istanbul, where she taught United States law and legal writing for the Open Society Foundation, and in 2016, she taught in Seoul, South Korea. In both locations, she supplemented her teaching activities with local stray animal rescue and relocation efforts.
A member of the Connecticut and New York Bars and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Professor Rubin’s main areas of legal and scholarly interest include: practical skills instruction, with a focus on business transactional lawyering; writing and research instruction; and animal law, a subject about which she organized in partnership with the Connecticut Bar Association a recent on-campus symposium entitled, “Animal Cruelty: Legal Challenges and Potential Solutions.” She is a graduate of Cornell University and Cornell Law School.
Areas of Expertise
Cornell Law School
How dogs and cats can get their day in court
In 2016, the FBI started to track animal cruelty, including neglect, torture and sexual abuse, because of disturbing connections. “If somebody is harming an animal, there is a good chance they also are hurting a human,” said John Thompson, the deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association. “If we see patterns of animal abuse, the odds are that something else is going on.”...
Abused Dogs and Cats Now Have a (Human) Voice in Connecticut Courts
New York Times print
Last year, Connecticut enacted a law that, according to legal experts, made it the first state to allow judges to appoint lawyers and law students as advocates for dogs and cats in cases of cruelty, abuse and neglect.
State experiments with legal advocates for abused animals in court
Many states have victim's advocates or child advocates, people in the judicial system who represent those affected by crime or abuse. Now, one state has created legal advocates for abused animals, an experiment being watched across the nation for signs of success. There are eight approved volunteer advocates across Connecticut — seven lawyers and a UConn law professor, working with her students. It's up to a judge to decide whether to appoint one, but they can be requested by prosecutors or defense attorneys. In the first six months of the law, advocates have been appointed in five cases. "Every state has the problem of overburdened courts that understandably prioritize human cases over animal cases in allocating resources," said University of Connecticut professor Jessica Rubin, a specialist in animal law. "Here's a way to help."