On January 5, 2008, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) held an Open Program on Debating Animals as Legal Persons as part of the AALS annual conference. Defining personhood for purposes of allocating legal rights is a highly problematic endeavor. Nonhuman animals, although sentient beings, are treated as property under the law. They are legal things and thus excluded from legal personhood. This session explored the legal and normative basis for personhood and why nonhuman animals have been excluded from its ambit.