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Legislative Action Center

Dr. Tonya Harris of Univ. of DC Clarke School of Law Named Law Student Writing Contest Winner
May 12, 2022 by AKC Government Relations

The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to name Dr. Tonya Harris, a second-year student at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, as the winner of AKC’s 2021-2022 Companion Animal Law Writing Contest.  As this year’s first-place winner, Dr. Harris will receive a $2,500 cash prize.  

“We are so happy to recognize Dr. Harris’ submission as 2021-2022 winner of the American Kennel Club’s Animal Law Writing Contest,” said Phil Guidry, J.D., AKC’s Director of Policy Analysis and director of the contest.  “Her analysis of the constitutionality of a hypothetical mandatory spay/neuter ordinance was substantial, well-reasoned, and appropriately supported.  We are happy to recognize Tonya’s achievement, and look forward to all she will achieve in her legal career.” 

In addition to her law studies, Dr. Harris puts her belief in using her time to support our communities into action.  To that end, she volunteers her time serving as Board President of Be That G.I.R.L.which helps girls, especially girls of color, find their voice, and works to build female leadership and self-determination skills while cultivating resilience.  She also writes children’s books to help kids develop strong self-esteem.  Tonya intends to combine her Ph.D. in Leadership in Educational Administration and her law degree to support the education and employment sectors. 

Congratulations Dr. Harris! 

About the Contest: 
The Companion Animal Law Writing Contest provides students at ABA-accredited law schools the opportunity to research and write about cutting-edge legal and public policy topics impacting companion animals.  Entries were judged by members of the legal and public policy professions with experience in laws impacting companion animals. The following factors were considered: demonstrated knowledge of the topic, application of legal principles, effective use of proper authorities, strength of logic and reasoning, originality, and conclusions of future impact. Consideration was also given to technical aspects such as organization, citations, proper format, and overall clarity. Because all viewpoints were welcomed, submissions do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Kennel Club. For more information visit www.writeaboutanimallaw.org

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