Jackman Law Building
Room J458
78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5   

Tel.: 416-946-8208

Angela Fernandez is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto with a cross-appointment in the Department of History. Her research focuses on a particular style of legal history called "legal archaeology," including a book-length study on an (in)famous first possession property case involving a fox: Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Professor Fernandez is very interested in animals and the law and is a member of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights, Law & Policy collaborative research network BASAN (Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network). She sits on the Board of Advisors and is a Director of Animal Justice Canada.

In addition to her legal history seminar ("Legal Archaeology: Studies of Cases in Context") and Animals and the Law, Professor Fernandez teaches Contracts and Legal Process. She is also the Chair of the Directed Research Program. 

Professor Fernandez is the inaugural scholar in the "Brooks U" series, "Fundamentals of Animal Law," where you can find a copy of her paper "Animals as Property, Quasi-Property or Quasi-Person" and an accompanying video. She can also be seen speaking about this topic at a public lecture at New York University and at Yale Law School's Law, Ethics and Animals Program (LEAP). Both videos are available on the Faculty of Law Youtube Animal Law Playlist.

J.S.D. - Yale Law School (2007)
LL.M. - Yale Law School (2002)
LL.B. & B.C.L. - National Program, McGill University (2000)
M.A. - Philosophy, Queen’s University (1996)
B.A. - Philosophy, McGill University (1995)
Academic appointments
Professor, Faculty of Law University of Toronto (2020 -- Present)
Cross-Appointment (Non-Budgetary) to the Graduate Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Toronto (2015 -- Present)
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law University of Toronto (2009 -- 2020)
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2004-2009)
Clerk to Justice Michel Bastarache, Supreme Court of Canada (2000-2001).
Awards and distinctions
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Truth & Reconciliation Teaching Award 2021
International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) Seeds Award 2020
Other info

Under Professor Fernandez's leadership, the University of Toronto is partnering with the Brooks Institute of Animal Rights Law and Policy to publish the Canadian Animal Law Digest, a free twice-a-month update on developments in Canadian animal law written by University of Toronto Animal Law Research Associate Samantha Skinner. If you have an update on Canadian animal law, please send it to To subscribe to the Digest and get each issue delivered to your inbox, enter your information and scroll down to the Canadian flag at the bottom of this page.

Professor Fernandez and Sam Skinner have also been working with an amazing team at the Bora Laskin Law Library to produce an Animal Law Research Guide, consisting of lists of sources (books, chapters, book reviews, theses, journal articles, legislation, and leading cases) in Canadian animal law, perfect for students looking for a research paper topic and getting started in their literature review or for more senior scholars looking for orientation in terms of sources available in Canadian animal law. This research resource is now available for use to members both inside and outside the University of Toronto community through the Law Library’s website.

Selected publications

Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Pierson v. Post, Justice Angela Fernandez, Dissenting” in Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson eds., Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 98-118

"Fish Farms in Canada: Where is the Law?" in in James Gacek & Richard Jochelson eds., Green Criminology and the Law (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), 113-45

“Not Quite Property, Not Quite Persons: A ‘Quasi’ Approach for Nonhuman Animals,” 5 Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law (2019): 155-232

Brooks U – Animal Law Fundamentals – “Animals as Property, Quasi-Property or Quasi-Person” (documentary and working paper posted December 2021)

"What Happy the Elephant's Legal Case Tells Us About the Future of Animal Rights" (co-authored with Justin Marceau) Slate (magazine) (17 June 2022)

Research areas
Critical Legal Theory
Feminist Analysis of Law
Law and Literature
Legal History
Legal Process
Legal Theory
Property Law