Wildlife Law Program Staff

Wildlife Law Program Staff

The Director of the Wildlife Law Program is Michael Harris.  For 18 years he has worked as an environmental law attorney, much of the time working directly on litigation to protect wildlife and natural ecosystems.  Michael received a B.A. in Environmental and Political Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California, a M.S.L. from Vermont Law School, and a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California-Berkeley, where he was an Executive Editor for the Ecology Law Quarterly. Before coming to Friends of Animals, Michael was an Associate Professor at the University of Denver, where he directed the school’s Environmental Law Clinic. 


Jennifer Best is the Assistant Legal Director of the Wildlife Law Program.  She graduated from University of Denver Sturm College of Law in May 2013 with Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law.  Jennifer has lived in Michigan, Utah, Oregon, and Colorado. She loves spending times outdoors and went to law school because she believes all people and species deserve the right to be heard in our legal system. She is thrilled to be working with Friends of Animal and to promote the respectful view of non-human animals.




Stephen Hernick is Senior Attorney in the Wildlife Law Program. He received a B.A. in History from Cornell University and earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 2009. He joined Friends of Animals in May 2019, after beginning his legal career as a commercial litigator at large law firms in Boston and Cincinnati. Stephen has been an animal lover his whole life and is ecstatic to now be using his legal skills towards helping animals of all species. He spends most of his weekends outdoors pursuing his passions of mountaineering and skiing in Colorado’s majestic mountains.

Courtney McVean is Associate Attorney in the Wildlife Law Program. Courtney graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in May 2014 with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. During law school, Courtney co-authored Environmental Settlements and Administrative Law, published in Harvard Environmental Law Review in 2015. She also served as an intern for WildEarth Guardians and as Student Attorney in the DU Environmental Law Clinic. Following law school, Courtney clerked for the Honorable Judge Todd Taylor in the 19th Judicial District.

Rachel Nussbaum Wichert earned her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law in 2015. With a special interest in marine mammals, she is currently the Wildlife Law Program’s Government Affairs Associate.


Current Legal Interns:

Past Legal Interns:
Marielle Grenade-Willis

Chloe-Lynn Mykytyn, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Samantha Sandfort, University of Texas School of Law

Chelsey Oden, University of Colorado Law School

Kat Fiedler, Pace University School of Law

Lyndley Schlepp, Lewis & Clark Law School

Edward Huggins, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Katelyn Gannon, University of Washington St. Louis

Jessica Gick, Georgetown University

Kate Sanford, University of Denver

Rachel N. Wichert, University of Washington Law

Anna Burica, University of Denver

Jane Michalakes, University of Denver

Liz Rasheed, New York University of Law

Aejung Yoon, University of Washington Law

Joann Kinsey, University of Denver College of Law

Aubyn Royall, University of Denver College of Law

Erica Zeiler, University of Denver College of Law

Kelly Shaw, University of Colorado School of Law

Kristen Pariser, University of Denver College of Law