Matthew Liebman

Matthew Liebman

Associate Professor and Chair of the Justice for Animals Program

Full-Time Faculty


Professor Matthew Liebman joined the USF faculty in 2020 as the endowed Justice for Animals chair and as an associate professor of law. Before coming to USF, Professor Liebman was the director of litigation for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, where he litigated animal protection cases, including groundbreaking cases to defend the First Amendment rights of activists and to establish fundamental legal rights for nonhuman animals, for 12 years.

Professor Liebman is a frequent media commentator on animal law issues. With Bruce Wagman, Professor Liebman co-authored the book A Worldview of Animal Law, which examines how the legal systems of different countries govern our interactions with animals. Professor Liebman’s writing has also appeared in the Animal Law Review, the Journal of Animal Law, the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and the Animal Legal & Historical Web Center. Professor Liebman clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


  • Animal Law

Research Areas

  • Animal Law


  • Stanford University, JD, 2006
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA in Plan II and Philosophy, 2001

Prior Experience

  • Director of Litigation, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Clerk, Honorable Warren J. Ferguson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Law Review and Journal Articles

  • “I Fought the Law: A Review of Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, Edited by Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella II,” 1 Journal of Animal Law 151-169 (2005).
  • “Who the Judge Ate for Breakfast: On the Limits of Creativity in Animal Law and the Redeeming Power of Powerlessness,” 18 Animal L. 133 (2011).
  • “A WORLDVIEW OF ANIMAL LAW,” Carolina Academic Press (with Bruce Wagman) (2011).