For Prospective Students

If you are interested in pursuing animal law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and training in a wide range of animal law fields. Our Animal Law Program is the only animal law program in the United States Rocky Mountain Region. We seek to educate the next generation of attorneys who are focused on animal policy creation, animal studies, and animal law.

Interview with Will Potter

Tell us about yourself and your background. 

Hi there! I’m an investigative journalist, author, and scholar who focuses on attacks on civil rights post-9/11, particularly how protest movements have been criminalized in the name of fighting “terrorism.” I started my career as a newspaper reporter, and ended up on this particular “beat” after my own run-ins with the FBI. For more than 20 years I have documented political repression against social justice movements, and have been an advocate internationally against anti-activist and anti-whistleblower legislation and the rise of authoritarianism globally. 

What is your new role with the university? 

I’m really excited to be joining the University of Denver as the first Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Civil Rights Fellow. In this capacity I look forward to working with colleagues in the animal law program and throughout the university on the intersection of animal rights and other civil rights movements, and sharing my scholarship on political repression so that it might assist social movements globally who are under attack. 

Why the University of Denver and the Animal Law Program? 

My work as a journalist and advocate has focused on using my scholarship to make a real-world impact and positive social change. The University of Denver, as an academic community, has forefronted public engagement and student-centered pedagogy. And the Animal Law Program in particular, under Justin Marceau’s leadership, has demonstrated groundbreaking work, from the legal fight against “ag-gag” anti-whistleblower laws to innovative working groups that are bringing together scholars from the animal protection movement alongside leading thinkers on prisons and policing. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate more with people like Justin, Alan Chen, Laura Rovner, and other law school faculty at the intersection of these civil rights issues. 

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a new book project called Little Red Barns. It grew out of my drone investigations of factory farm pollution. It digs deep into the myth and symbol of the red barn, and how it has been used to mask systems of control that are toxic to both animals and humans. I’m also working with a major TV network on a new series that involves my work on Communications Management Units — secretive, discriminatory prison units on U.S. soil for “terrorists.” And as much as possible, I aid in activist defense by collaborating and consulting on legal and policy efforts.

Anything you’d like to add? 

If you’re a potential student and you’re on the fence about law school or whether the University of Denver is right for you, come talk to me! Really. Email me at or message me on Twitter @will_potter and I’d be happy to chat! 



Animal Law Program

Banner photo credit: We Animals Media