First Panel: Farm Factories: The Impact on Our Communities



Christine Ball-Blakely

Christine is a 2017 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she served as president of the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter. She, along with other SALDF members, organized and facilitated various educational and outreach programs to foster interest in animal law at the school, including an event addressing an issue of local concern: the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. She spent a year and a half as a law clerk in the Animal Legal Defense Fund Criminal Justice Program, where she performed research and writing to further the prosecution of animal cruelty across the nation.

During law school, Christine also authored an animal law research guide and provided pro bono services for local animal advocacy organizations and animal-related legal aid cases. She served as an Acquisitions Editor for the Tennessee Law Review and as a Student Attorney in the University of Tennessee College of Law Appellate Litigation Clinic. Before law school, she worked in nonprofit fund development and served as an AmeriCorps member in Seattle, Washington. Christine is now an attorney at a federal agency. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her partner Michael and their three best friends: a spunky troop of Dachshunds named Pretzel, Sugar, and Dunkel.


Cristina Stella

Cristina is a staff attorney at the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), where she focuses on protecting the lives and advancing the interests of farmed animals and wildlife through the legal system. Before ALDF she spent five years challenging industrial agricultural practices as an attorney with the Center for Food Safety. Cristina also clerked for the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Cristina promoted sustainable food systems as the manager of a nonprofit partnership between small-scale farmers and communities with low incomes in Portland, Oregon.



Stefanie Wilson

is a staff attorney for Mercy For Animals, focusing on policy and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining MFA, she was a litigation fellow for the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Harry Edwards, on the D.C. Circuit. She graduated summa cum laude from U.C. Irvine School of Law, where she founded the school's SALDF chapter. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Encompass, an organization working advance racial inclusivity in the farmed animal protection movement -- an issue Stefanie is passionate about. In her free time, Stefanie enjoys vegan cooking, hiking, and rock climbing.

Moderator: Tara Cooley

This is Tara’s first year acting as a SALDF Chair. In her 1L year she served as a SALDF 1L representative. Tara is a Dean’s Scholar and Public Interest Scholar. She will serve as the Executive Articles Editor for the 2018-19 GGU Law Review Board. This year Tara assisted in organizing SALDF events on GGU’s campus during ALDF’s Speak Out for Farmed Animals Week and ALDF’s National Justice for Animals Week including a student trip to the Animal Place, a farm animal sanctuary in CA. Tara is known among GGU students for her homemade, vegan chocolate chip cookies.