Student Honored for Animal Rights Advocacy

Alicia Prygoski with her dog Patches
Alicia Prygoski with her dog Patches

Alicia Prygoski, who will be graduating in May from WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus, is the recipient of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Animal Law Section’s  10th Annual Wanda Nash Award. The award is presented to Michigan law students who exhibit outstanding dedication to learning and promoting animal law issues.

Prygoski founded the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALD) chapter at WMU-Cooley’s Lansing campus and serves as its president. The organization has held several fundraisers and works with the Capital Area Humane Society to raise awareness about pet adoptions.  WMU-Cooley’s Student Bar Association recently honored SALD as the Lansing campus’ Best New Organization. Additionally, Prygoski has volunteered at Michigan’s Political Action Committee for Animals and served as the volunteer district leader for the Humane Society of The United States.

“Alicia’s heart is completely committed to this work,” said Christine Church, WMU-Cooley associate dean. “She currently is completing an externship with the national offices of the Humane Society in Washington D.C. and has testified on state legislation related to the treatment of animals. We truly cannot think of a better candidate for this award.”

While attending law school, Prygoski has focused her academics on improving animal rights. Her elective credits were concentrated on the legal treatment of animals. In 2015, Prygoski was one of four students in the nation to receive the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Advancement in Animal Law Scholarship. She also competed in the National Animal Law Competition at Harvard Law School and had the Best Bill and Fact Sheet.

The SBM Wanda Nash award is named for the founder of the Animal Law Section. Michigan was the first bar association to approve an animal law section. 


About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



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