Amanda Schemkes

Visiting Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills


Seattle University School of Law
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
Room 415
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Phone: (206) 398-4099


JD, Seattle University School of Law, 2015
MS, Writing & Publishing, Portland State University, 2009
BA, English, Creative Writing Emphasis, Cum Laude with Honors, 2007


Amanda Schemkes is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills in the Legal Writing Program at Seattle University School of Law. She currently teaches Legal Writing I: Legal Writing, Skills, and Values.

Amanda was motivated to attend law school because of her experiences as a longtime organizer in the grassroots animal liberation movement, in which she saw a need for more legal support that is grounded in solidarity with social justice movements facing State repression. As a lawyer, Amanda has represented activists in both civil and criminal cases, as well as provided a mixture of legal support to political prisoners including multiple people indicted under the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. She has also traveled to locations throughout the United States to provide on-the-ground legal support to communities engaged in sustained protest actions to protect land and water from being destroyed for corporate interests.

Over the last few years, Amanda has taught over a hundred legal trainings and workshops to grassroots activists and frontline communities, and she has given presentations about the relationship between the legal system and social justice movements in cities throughout the United States as well as in over a dozen cities in Europe. She has written about topics that include how "terrorism" legislation is used against social justice movements, the use of the necessity defense by climate activists, how corporations use Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) to chill dissent, the importance of supporting political prisoners as part of the framework of social justice movements, and about using open government laws at both the state and federal levels.

Amanda received her JD from Seattle University School of Law, her MS in Writing & Publishing from Portland State University, and her BA in English, Creative Writing Emphasis, with Honors from the University of Washington.


Article by Amanda Schemkes -- "Resisting the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act," Earth First! Newswire:

Interview with Amanda Schemkes -- "Animal Rights: ‘A Very Noble Cause' or Terrorism? The State Just Can't Decide," Truthout: