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May 03, 2024

Barbara J. Gislason awarded ABA Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award

CHICAGO, May 3, 2024 — Barbara J. Gislason, a solo practitioner in Minnesota, received the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s (TIPS) Animal Law Committee’s Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award during the TIPS Section Conference at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

The award recognizes exceptional work by an Animal Law Committee member who, through commitment and leadership, has advanced the humane treatment of animals through the law. 

“Barbara J. Gislason is a visionary leader, dedicated to advancing and professionalizing animal law and the TIPS Animal Law Committee for the betterment of Animal Law Committee members and animals,” said TIPS Chair Loren Podwill. “TIPS takes great pride in recognizing our esteemed friend and colleague with the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award.”

A trailblazer and visionary in the field of animal law, Gislason pioneered efforts to establish animal law committees in national and state lawyer bar associations and draft and advocate for laws, model legislation and guidelines related to animal welfare. She served as the inaugural chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Animal Law Committee and the subsequent MSBA Animal Law Section. Minnesota was the sixth state in the nation to attain section status in the field of animal law.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Gislason established and led the ABA Animal Disaster Relief Network, which engaged participants from over 70 nonprofits, law schools and businesses. She also initiated and chaired the ABA TIPS Select Legal Panel on Emergency Management Regarding Animals and is the author of “Pet Law and Custody: Establishing a Worthy and Equitable Jurisprudence for the Evolving Family,” published by the ABA Section of Family Law, which delves into the societal significance of animals, raises pertinent ethical questions concerning their treatment and advocates for a legal framework that serves the best interests of both humans and animals.

Gislason received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law and bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, both in Minnesota.

The ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has over 10,000 members and more than 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS website,

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.