The ACS University of Minnesota Student Chapter kicked off the fall semester with a discussion led by faculty advisor Professor Heidi Kitrosser regarding progressive perspectives on the Constitution. The chapter hosted a Legal Observer Training with Rachel Lang from the National Lawyers Guild, who trained law students and community members on how to protect the rights of peaceful, legal demonstrators during large scale protests like OccupyMN. Patrick McLaughlin provided an overview of death penalty jurisprudence, including stories from his experience representing death row inmates in Texas. Showcasing the experiences of its own members, the chapter hosted an event focused on the role of lawyers in community organizing and political strategizing. The semester ended with Professor William McGeveran speaking about the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (EPCA), explaining how the government and corporations collect information from people.
The spring semester began with a debate on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, where Minnesota State Representatives Glenn Gruenhagen and Steve Simon, Professor Dale Carpenter and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse debated the merits of the proposed amendment and the ramifications if the amendment passes this upcoming fall. The event was attended by over 200 students. Professor Melissa Embser-Herbert, an expert witness in Log Cabin Republicans v. USA, provided an overview on how DADT began, the repeal, and where the military is now. The chapter also hosted the Honorable John R. Tunheim (D. Minn), for a discussion on how he became a federal judge and his insights on the legal system. The chapter is also thrilled and honored to host California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. In addition, the chapter will host Julie Jonas who will speak on the causes of wrongful convictions and what can and cannot be done through the court system for those who have been wrongfully convicted. The University of Minnesota Student Chapter has also been actively involved with the ACS Minneapolis-St. Paul Lawyer Chapter.