Final Black 2022 Logo ADP large

Our Mission

Animal Defense Partnership protects animals by providing free legal services to nonprofits that advocate for animals and plant-based diet change. We believe that all animal organizations should have access to strong legal support and representation. By making legal services accessible, ADP sets our clients up for long term growth and success.

What Our Clients Are Saying:

"David, Joel, Mary and the rest of the team at Animal Defense Partnership have been an invaluable resource to ProVeg International in its efforts to replace meat, eggs, and dairy with plant-based alternatives. ADP lawyers provide first rate service on a pro bono basis, are a pleasure to work with, and, most important, have freed up ProVeg to devote its energies to the cause of tackling urgent world problems through animal-free diet choices. We are grateful for our partnership with ADP and look forward to continued collaboration." 

Sebastian Joy, MA; Founder and President, ProVeg International

"Offering pro bono legal counsel to animal advocates is a generous and ingenious way of advancing the cause of animal rights. David, Joel, Mary and Allan, and the whole team at Animal Defense Partnership are providing an invaluable and unique service. Additionally, this is quite simply a team of warm, energetic, and kind people who are a pleasure to work with. We Animals Media feels indebted to ADP for their support and friendship."

Jo-Anne McArthur; Photographer and Founder, We Animals Media

"ADP was instrumental in helping Encompass launch. When we were navigating fiscal sponsorship and how to stand as our own 501(c)3, ADP was there with advice and resources. They helped connect us to local pro bono lawyers who made filing for our nonprofit status a breeze and at no cost (other than the filing paperwork itself). I would highly recommend ADP to any animal protection entity, they were a life-saver!"

Aryenish Birdie, M.A.; Founder and Executive Director, Encompass

"It's been incredibly helpful for Brighter Green to work with ADP. David, Joel, Judith, Allan, and their colleagues are skilled, thoughtful, and responsive. They're also extremely easy to work with: they're great listeners and excellent problem-solvers, and they really care about animals and the organizations working to protect them. Plus, the speed with which they provide answers, advice, text, and resources is astonishing. We're very grateful to have ADP as part of our community, and their counsel has become invaluable."

Mia MacDonald; Executive Director, Brighter Green

“The Animal Defense Partnership is an excellent resource for pro bono legal assistance for animal charities. We are very grateful for their assistance.”

Emily von Klemperer; General Counsel, Farm Sanctuary

"Wow. When singing the praises of Animal Defense Partnership, It's hard to know where to begin. I’m deeply grateful to Joel and the team for their speedy, thoughtful, thorough, and patient legal advice. As fellow animals lovers, they know exactly what nonprofits in this field need and face. Joel has been a phenomenal thought partner and ally to Farmed Animal Funders. It's hard to imagine where the animal advocacy movement would be without Animal Defense Partnership. They have my heartfelt thanks."

Mikaela Saccoccio; Executive Director, Farmed Animal Funders

"Mercy For Animals is very grateful to The Animal Defense Partnership.  David and the rest of the team at ADP are able to draw on decades of experience and resources that are not available to most charities.  The animal protection movement is fortunate to have this enthusiastic and collaborative partner!"

John Seber; Deputy Counsel, Vice President of Legal Affairs, Mercy for Animals

"David, Joel, and the whole team at The Animal Defense Partnership are inspiring in their commitment to helping others. The depth and breadth of their legal experience is invaluable to those of us working with them to end suffering, and their generosity in offering pro bono services is deeply appreciated. Our mission to advance rights, health, and wellbeing benefits profoundly from their dedication."

Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH; President & CEO, Phoenix Zones Initiative

“The Animal Defense Partnership is an absolute gift to animals. David and his team provide insightful, straightforward, and reassuring legal advice that has helped Veganuary cut through red tape and move forward quickly on major, high-impact projects. Our campaign, and the movement, are stronger because of their guidance.”

Wendy Matthews; Director, US, Veganuary

"The Animal Defense Partnership has been instrumental in further professionalizing and protecting Woodstock Farm Sanctuary over the last few years. Their legal counsel provides guidance that we would never be able to retain with our budget which has allowed us to focus our time and resources on our mission of saving farmed animals. I've always dreamt of a resource like ADP for the animal rights movement and we are so grateful to them!"

Rachel McCrystal; Executive Director. Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

"We love ADP and the fact that they provide such a unique and necessary service to our nonprofit community! As a brand new organization, ADP was essential to the process of incorporating SEED and applying for our federal tax exemption. David and his experienced team are highly knowledgeable, supportive, and easy to reach - we are beyond grateful and would recommend ADP to any animal protection charity looking for trustworthy legal advice."

Cailen LaBarge; Co-founder, Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development (SEED)

"We are extremely grateful for The Animal Defense Partnership. They provide us with incredibly helpful legal support and great legal advice that is down-to-earth, supportive, and timely. It means the world to know they are here for us and for the animals."

Indra Lahiri, PhD; Founder and President, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

Through partnership and pro bono legal representation through ADP, we were able to sustain funding for chimpanzee programs AND pursue important legal matters. ADP's mission and good work have played a valuable role in supporting Friends of Chimps this year. On behalf of the board, I extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation. We look forward to continued partnership."

Debra Durham, Ph.D; Director of Behavior and Research, Friends of Chimps

"David has been an incredible support to me and Beyond Carnism. He has come to our aid on very short notice, and has been tremendously informative and reassuring. The team and I feel so much more secure knowing The Animal Defense Partnership exists; we're better able to focus on our work for the animals knowing we can access reliable legal guidance when we need to."

Melanie Joy; Founding President, Beyond Carnism

You can read more of our client testimonials here.

The Elevator Pitch

Animal Defense Partnership is a single purpose organization - akin to a law firm - that provides free legal services to animal protection and plant-based diet change nonprofits exclusively.

In broad strokes, our clients: (1) reduce farmed animal suffering; (2) maintain sanctuaries and rescues for wild animals, companion animals and farmed animals; and (3) bring about plant-based diet-change. By ADP doing what we do best - lawyering - our clients have a fuller opportunity to do what they do best - protecting animals. Our clients no longer must choose between paying lawyers and going it alone. We meet their legal needs, and we do it pro bono.

To draw a critical distinction, we are not animal welfare or rights lawyers. We function as "outside corporate general counsel" for our clients with our role being to meet their organizational day-to-day and long-term legal needs as they arise. And we define "legal needs" quite expansively. They include, as just a few examples, 501c3 formation; governance and compliance; intellectual property; privacy protection; employment; HR; fiscal sponsorship; fundraising; tax matters; drafting and reviewing contracts, and on and on.

We get "it sounds too good to be true" on a pretty regular basis. There is no catch or small print. We are grateful to our clients for pouring their time, energy and effort into protecting animals and, in return, we are fully committed to doing our part by contributing our skills, efforts and experience to support them.

And, as all services are provided pro bono, it's tough to beat the price.

And, no, you're not "bothering" us.

Konrad Lozinski / HIDDEN / We Animals Media
Peering through the gloom of a barn, one of 500 pigs finds a chink of light on a bright summer morning.


Don't miss our news, upcoming events, and client spotlights. Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter here