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Welcome to AVMLA

Veterinary medical law covers a wide array of legal practice areas including employment law, pharmacy law, corporate law, agriculture law, land use and zoning, licensure defense, malpractice defense, and tort law.  AVMLA puts information at the fingertips of veterinarians, attorneys and other veterinary medical health care professionals about animal research, veterinary education, the performance of veterinary procedures, animal welfare, and animal shelters, hospital management, and ownership.

The American Veterinary Medical Law Association (AVMLA) is a national association of attorneys, veterinarians, and other individuals and organizations with an interest in veterinary medical law and how it pertains to the veterinary profession and allied fields. AVMLA was incorporated in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the following objectives:

  • Provide information to members regarding pertinent issues in the field of veterinary medical law.

  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the impact of the law on all aspects of veterinary medicine.

  • Facilitate interactions among organizations, regulatory agencies and the courts for the benefit of society.


AVMLA News Brief

The AVMLA publishes the bi-monthly AVMLA News Brief to keep members informed on legal issues in veterinary medicine and AVMLA activities. Only AVMLA members have access to the current Newsletter issue and archives. Click here for a sample issue.

AVMLA Webinars

The AVMLA hosts webinars on a myriad of topics relating to veterinary medical law. Most are eligible for approved CE and CLE credit.  Check with your state regarding the acceptance of online CE credit.

Annual Conference

AVMLA hosts an annual meeting and continuing education seminar where members network and receive valuable information about new legal developments. This annual meeting meets in conjunction with AVMA’s annual meeting and is eligible for CLE credit.

Member List-Serv

Access to the AVMLA listserv which allows members to have peer dialogue with their colleagues on topics in the industry.  Members are welcome to post questions, weigh in on discussions and receive feedback and assistance from members offering a national perspective and in-state, regional proximity.

The American Veterinary Medical Law Association's Member Directory is currently being compiled. This comprehensive listing of the AVMLA Members is a valuable tool for anyone seeking attorneys, veterinarians, and other individuals and organizations with an interest in veterinary medical law and allied fields. AVMLA Members in good standing receive a complimentary listing annually.

Advertising Opportunities 

Promote your firm, clinic, event, industry related products or job opportunities in the AVMLA bi-monthly e-Newsletter!

Corporate sponsorship not only provides critical, sustaining financial support for the AVMLA Continuing Education programs, but it also gives your company a unique opportunity for widespread visibility to a market audience. The AVMLA works with corporations in a variety of sponsorship formats, including charitable special events and targeted campaign initiatives. Contact us about further possibilities.


All prospective AVMLA members must complete a membership application and remit the required fee. The AVMLA offers the following categories of membership:


Active members:

Licensed veterinarians and/or attorneys.

Associate members:

Individuals, not otherwise qualified to join as active members or students, whose interests are compatible with the AVMLA as determined by the Board, or organizations (e.g., association, institutions, corporations, governmental agencies, etc.) whose activities are substantially related to veterinary medicine or veterinary medical law as determined by the Board.

The Board of Directors may bestow an Honorary Membership on an individual, not otherwise eligible as a member, who has rendered noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the practice of veterinary medical law. They may also confer a Distinguished Life Membership on Association members who have rendered noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the practice of veterinary medical law.

Organizational members: Corporate, Non-ProfitsShelters

Shall be an entity that provides products or services to the veterinary medical profession or that owns or manages a veterinary practice(s) and has at least one (1) graduate veterinarian or graduate lawyer. The purpose of membership is to support AVMLA, but not to promote their business interests. This member shall be an entity whose interests are compatible with AVMLA as determined by the Board of Directors (“Board”), or organizations including but not limited to associations, institutions, corporations, non-profits, shelters, and governmental agencies, whose activities are substantially related to veterinary medicine or veterinary medical law as determined by the Board. This entity should encourage their employees to participate in AVMLA board activities and educational opportunities. Each entity may have only one (1) employee at a time serving in an AVMLA leadership role and only one (1) vote. All affiliates of each entity may attend association events at the individual member rate. Each entity shall designate an individual as a voting representative.

Student members:

  • Veterinary students who are enrolled in an accredited School or College of Veterinary Medicine recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association or,

  • Law students who are enrolled in an accredited School or College of Law recognized by the American Bar Association or any other state or provincial bar association.

Individuals who already possess a JD or DVM, but are working toward an advanced degree do not qualify as student members. Such individuals are considered eligible for active membership.


AVMLA President 2023-2024

Debra Hamilton, JD

AVMLA President-Elect 2023-2024

Kenyon Conklin, VDM, JD

Veterinarian Education

Robson Forensics

AVMLA Treasurer

Mike Murphy DVM, JD, PhD

Director, Div of Animal & Public Health 

American Vet Medical Assoc.


Upcoming Events

AVMLA Monthly Member Meeting, held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 8PM, ET. Guests are welcome.


Register for the AVMLA Monthly Member Meeting - May 28, 2024
Guest Speaker:  Kenyon Conklin, VDM, JD
Topic: AVMLA 2024 Program Review

Facilitator: Debra Hamilton, JD, AVMLA President


Members Register for this event by clicking here.


Registration for the 2024 AVMLA Continuing Education Program June 22 -23, 2024 - Austin, TX (Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center, to be held in conjunction with the AVMA Conference.)  Register here:

Schedule of Events:

Saturday 22 June 2024

1:00-2:00: Robyn Katz, J.D. Successful institution of animal cruelty response and prosecution in Austin, TX**


2:00-3:00: Donna Kline, J.D. Update on HISA/HIWU Implementation


3:45-5:00: Kenyon Conklin, V.M.D., Litigation Case Update


5:00-5:30: Annual Meeting

5:30-6:00: Reception

6:30-9:00: AVMLA Networking


Sunday 23 June 2024


9:15-10:00: Madeline Brezin, J.D., AVMA State Advocacy Update**


10:15-11:15: Vanessa Fitzanakis, Ph.D. Toxicology in Suspected Animal Cruelty Cases


11:15-12:15: Jodi Lovejoy, D.V.M. Animal Cruelty Response Guidelines**


1:15-2:00: Lance Rosa, J.D., D.V.M. Non-Competes in Veterinary Medicine


2:00-3:00: McGee Leonard, D.V.M., ACVECC Suspected Animal Neglect and Abuse in the Emergency Setting


3:00-4:00: Roundtable: Veterinary Medical Malpractice: Best Practices for Ethical Outcomes

(Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton, Kenyon Conklin, Dr. Linda Ellis (or other AVMA-PLIT rep—TBD), Dr. McGee Leonard)

If you have any questions or if you are interested in contributing to the AVMLA News Brief,

please contact: .


Thank you for your continued support of the AVMLA.


Stay informed regarding issues of relevance and concern pertaining to:

  • Practice Ownership

  • State & Federal Regulatory Information

  • Malpractice Issues

  • Veterinary State Board Violations

  • Personnel Concerns

Contact Us

Tel: 202.449.9551 ext. 207
1750 K Street, NW, Ste. 700
Washington, DC  20006


Notice: The AVMLA does not provide legal or veterinary advice.  Individuals with legal questions regarding their specific circumstances should contact an attorney in their state for assistance.  Please, refer to the AVMLA member directory listed by state.

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