MSU Law student receives State Bar of Michigan 2019 Wanda Nash Award

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Michigan State University College of Law student Jessica Rundle (center), winner of the State Bar of Michigan Wanda A. Nash Award for exceptional scholarship in animal welfare with MSU Law Professor David Favre who nominated her, and Bee Friedlander, a founding member of both the SBM Animal Law Section and the nonprofit Attorneys for Animals organization.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MSU LAW

by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Michigan State University College of Law student Jessica Rundle was honored on April 23 with the State Bar of Michigan’s Wanda A. Nash Award for exceptional scholarship in animal welfare.

“This award is a huge honor. It represents involvement in a growing field that is changing rapidly,” Rundle says. “Animals have no way to advocate for themselves though they serve so many functions for us.”

Graduating from MSU Law this month, Rundle has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Animal and Natural Resource Law, growing membership from 11 returning members to a total of 30 members, with 12 editors completing notes on topics related to animal or natural resource law.

“Serving as editor-in-chief was a great experience,” she says. “It allowed me to collaborate with a talented editorial board, and interact with authors.”

The Journal hosted a very successful spring conference, “The Dilemma of Wild Horses and What To Do With Them,” focusing on the protection and management of wild horses and burros on public lands.

“Our conference was a great experience,” Rundle says. “We were able to bring in experts in the field from both the public and private sectors to bring attention to an issue that many people—especially on this side of the country—are unaware of.”

Her sterling work on the Journal was the reason MSU Law Professor David Favre nominated her for the Nash award, named for the founder of the SBM’s Animal Law Section. It’s the fifth consecutive year the award has been given to a Spartan law student.

In her 2L year, Rundle studied Wildlife Law that dealt in part with hunting regulations and wildlife management. She also worked to resurrect the MSU Law chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF), which had become inactive. She found a student to serve as the group’s president, and took on the role of treasurer.

Although Rundle is passionate about animals and wildlife, her main area of interest is public interest law, and her goal is to work for a nonprofit organization in Michigan.

During her years at MSU Law, she interned at Elder Law of Michigan, and at the Resolution Services Center in Lansing, was a charitable trust assistant at the Department of Attorney General in Lansing, was a student clinician at the law school’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, and in her final semester interned at Crenshaw Peterson & Associates in Okemos.

As she bids farewell to MSU Law, Rundle will carry away fond memories of her time in law school.

“I’ve enjoyed the environment—it feels like a tight-knit community within a huge university, and I’ve made long-lasting connections,” she says.

The Sterling Heights native makes her home in Lansing with her husband and two dogs—a Saint Bernard mix and a Shepherd mix. In her leisure time, Rundle enjoys gardening.

She also calls on her past education—an Associate of Arts from Macomb Community College, a B.A. in history from Oakland University, and an M.A. in history and political science from Texas A&M University - Central Texas - by serving as an adjunct instructor in political science at Schoolcraft College in Livonia and history at Jackson Community College.

“I enjoy teaching because it gives me a way to shape future scholars, and keeps me sharp in my disciplines,’ she says.

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