Throughout the academic year, the ACS Student Chapters Department honors a Student Chapter of the Week. The chapter is featured on the ACS website, in the ACS weekly bulletin, and in the ACS Student Chapters weekly announcement. The selected chapters are ones that have held exceptional programming, have aligned themselves with the priorities of the national office or have established themselves as a premier student group on campus.
University of Minnesota Law School
Under the leadership of Faculty Advisors Carol Chomsky and Heidi Kitrosser, the University of Minnesota Law School ACS Student Chapter has enjoyed a productive school year.
In the fall, the chapter hosted Attorney Jill Gaulding from Gender Justice and Attorney Terri Nelson from Minnesota ACLU for a discussion on how Hobby Lobby has complicated civil rights groups' support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The chapter also welcomed Professor Jane Kirtley and Attorney Catherine Sevcenko from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for a discussion on the power of hate speech.
In October, the chapter featured by Gray Plant Mooty’s Michael Cohen and Professor William McGeveran for an in-depth look at the latest privacy and data threats. Rounding out the semester, the chapter hosted University of Minnesota Law School Professor Fred Morrison and George Mason University School of Law Professor Neomi Rao for a debate on the scope and limits of executive power.
The spring semester kicked off with a series of exciting events. In February, the chapter hosted Minnesota ACLU attorney Terri Nelson and Cullin Smith, from the Neighborhood Justice Center, to discuss police practices, arrest statistics, and trial and sentencing disparities in Minnesota. In early March, the chapter hosted the keynote speaker of the law school’s Diversity Week, Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds of University of St. Thomas School of Law. Professor Levy-Pounds discussed issues of race, class and the criminal justice system in light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Later this spring, the chapter will host an event on judicial election reform among Minnesota’s federal and state judges. The chapter is also excited to host two professor-student dinners where discussions will focus on cybersecurity and race and the law, respectively.
University of Michigan School of Law
To kick off the fall semester, the chapter celebrated Constitution Day by hosting a talk by University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Kermit Roosevelt, who spoke on the importance of the Reconstruction Amendments for understanding our inherited constitutional tradition. Also in September, the chapter co-hosted Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, who presented on the issue of growing income inequality. In October, the chapter had the pleasure of hosting Judge James G. Carr (N.D. Ohio) and Michigan Law Professor Margo Schlanger for a conversation about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which Judge Carr sat on from 2002–2008. The chapter also co-sponsored an all-day policy conference on financial reform featuring a keynote address by Richard Cordray, Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Later in the fall, with more than 100 students in attendance, the chapter hosted a successful lunchtime presentation on the status of marriage equality in Michigan. The event featured attorney Ken Mogill, who argued DeBoer v. Snyder in the Eastern District Court of Michigan, and Michigan Law Professor Julian Mortenson, who represented the married same-sex couples in Caspar v. Snyder. In early February, Michigan announced that it would not appeal the federal district court order to recognize the 300 same-sex marriages that had occurred before the Sixth Circuit stay in DeBoer. Making the event more special, the audience heard how Michigan’s own Outlaws student chapter was able to contribute to the ongoing marriage equality litigation.
To begin the winter semester, the chapter co-sponsored the law school’s official Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, featuring a keynote address by Professor Martha Jones. In addition, the chapter co-sponsored an event with the Law Students for Reproductive Justice chapter, commemorating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and discussing the future of reproductive justice issues. More recently, the chapter worked with the Outlaws to co-host Supreme Court litigator and ACS Board Member Paul Smith, who discussed the Court’s likely approach to DeBoer v. Snyder and the case’s possible fallout in light of recent court decisions such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.
The University of Michigan Law School chapter looks forward to rounding out the year with a series of events on issues ranging from the ramifications of the Senate torture report to the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
The chapter launched a faculty lunch program in the fall for students to discuss current issues of interest with professors. Faculty Advisor Andrew Bradt hosted the inaugural talk on whether recent civil procedure decisions have resulted in a war on plaintiffs. In November, Professor Amanda Tyler spoke about habeas corpus challenges in the context of the War on Terror.
To start the spring semester the chapter co-hosted Judge Jon S. Tigar (N.D. Cal.) to discuss his pathway to the bench. In February, Berkeley ACS sponsored an event featuring Alec Karakatsanis, co-founder of Equal Justice Under Law. Alec Karakatsanis spoke about the growing practice of municipalities assessing fines for low-level offenses and jailing people who are unable to pay, as well as his work in Ferguson, Missouri. Professor Kathleen Morris of Golden Gate University joined the chapter in February to discuss her experience in affirmative local government litigation in San Francisco. The chapter continued its faculty lunch program and invited Professor Andrea Roth to lead a conversation on race and criminal justice.
The Berkeley ACS chapter looks forward to continuing these and other conversations throughout the spring. The chapter plans to host events on teacher employment after Vergara v. California, the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, immigration, and much more.
Student Chapter of the Week March 9:
Georgetown University Law Center
Along with the Black Law Students Association and the National Lawyers Guild, the chapter co-sponsored a panel discussion on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, featuring Matthew Armstead, community organizer with Training for Change; Thomas Harvey, Executive Director of Arch City Defenders; Marquis Jenkins of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; and Elizabeth Jordan, Georgetown student and native Missourian. All four panelists shared their first-hand experiences participating in this year’s summer protests. Professor Anthony Cook moderated their discussion on racial policing, police brutality and mass incarceration.
In addition, the chapter paired up with the Federalist Society to co-sponsor a debate the District of Columbia’s new Concealed Carry Law. The event featured Alan Gura, counsel for Dick Heller in District of Columbia v. Heller; Judge Gregory Mize, former General Counsel for the District and co-author of the law struck down in Heller; and David Zvenyach, General Counsel for the District. The panelists’ opposing viewpoints made for one of the chapter’s most exciting events this year.
The chapter kicked off the spring semester with an unforgettable interview with Judge Sri Srinivasan (D.C. Cir.), moderated by Faculty Advisor David Cole. The interview provided insight into Judge Srinivasan’s path to the federal bench. The rest of the semester promises to be busy; the chapter plans to host a progressive careers panel, a speaker event on reproductive technologies and brown bag lunches with some of our most beloved professors. A dedicated group of rising 2Ls plans to take the helm and continue to grow the chapter next year.
Student Chapter of the Week March 2:
The fall semester began with a Constitution Day event, featuring former New Jersey Attorney General and former Dean of Rutgers-Newark School of Law, John J. Farmer, Jr., who spoke about the current and future state of the Constitution. The chapter began October by welcoming Jenn Borchetta from Demos to discuss voter suppression in the wake of the Shelby County decision. In addition, the chapter hosted a Supreme Court preview, featuring Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice from Above the Law. The chapter also hosted a panel on environmental justice that included Dr. Nickey Sheets, Director of Urban Environmental Policy at Thomas Edison State College and Olga Palmer of South Jersey Legal Services.
Later in the fall semester, the chapter co-sponsored an event with the National Lawyers Guild on the right to protest with Samuel B. Cohen, chair of the New York County Lawyers Association's Civil Rights and Liberties Committee. To finish the fall semester, the chapter celebrated the one year anniversary of marriage equality in New Jersey by co-hosting a panel discussion featuring Executive Director of Garden State Equality Andrea Brown, New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak, Partner of Gibbons Law Firm Larry Lustberg and New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.
To start the spring semester the chapter welcomed Vincent Southerland from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to discuss the racial justice issues surrounding mass incarceration. In February, Ryan Haygood of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund spoke to the chapter about the disenfranchisement of felons, and how litigation is being used to reinstate the voting rights for felons. Additionally, the chapter hosted an event with Professor Bruce Afran on the constitutionality of political corruption laws, which incorporated his experiences in litigating political corruption. Later in February, the chapter hosted a welcoming and networking event for the first year class to join the organization.
The Rutgers-Newark ACS chapter looks forward to a fruitful spring semester with debates on President Obama's Executive Action on immigration and the gender wage gap. The chapter also plans to host events around the 50th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, police militarization, UPS v. Young, the Second Amendment, the Affordable Care Act, campaign finance, and much more.
Student Chapter of the Week February 16:
Pepperdine University School of Law
The ACS student chapter at Pepperdine University School of Law has had an active 2014-15 academic year, covering a broad range of issues. Under the guidance of our Faculty Advisor, retired Ambassador Douglas Kmiec, the two-year-old chapter recruited many new members and was one of the winners of ACS’s student membership drive in October.
The chapter kicked off the fall semester with a conversation with Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who was arrested in the Ferguson, MO protests this past summer. The chapter held a Supreme Court Preview in October with former Ambassador Douglas Kmiec and Professor Barry McDonald. Pepperdine Dean and Federal Circuit Judge Deanell Tacha (10th Cir.) spoke about the importance of judicial elections and her involvement with the Informed Voter Project. In addition, the chapter hosted a screening of the documentary film Mississippi Innocence and also hosted a lunch meeting with Lara Bazelon of the Innocence Project, who spoke about wrongful convictions and the idea of Civil Gideon.
In November, the chapter hosted the Executive Director of the Social Justice Fund of Ventura County, who spoke about the work done at the organization as well as opportunities for students to get involved. Rounding out the fall, the chapter held a debrief meeting and discussion on the Presidential Address on Immigration and the implications of the DREAM Act with Judge Bruce Einhorn.
In early February, the chapter invited Stephen Rohde, Chair Emeritus of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, for a discussion of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture. On February 17th the chapter will host Vanessa Adriance, Board Member at the Women’s Legal Association of Los Angeles and Associate at Gibson Dunn, and DuVergne Gaines, Legal Coordinator for the Feminist Majority Foundation & National Clinic Access Project, for a discussion on current women’s rights and privacy issues with a focus on the criminalization of miscarriages and the recent Alabama law appointing legal counsel to fetuses.
The remainder of the semester promises to be action packed. In March, the chapter will host an event on net neutrality, featuring Marvin Ammori, Affiliate Scholar with the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society and the Yale Law School's Information Society Project; Babette Boliek, Pepperdine Associate Professor of Law; and Jessica Gonzales, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at the National Hispanic Media Coalition. In addition, the chapter will host a discussion on the legacy of Griswold and LGBT concerns, featuring Melissa Goodman, Director of the LGBT, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project and Douglas NeJaime, Professor of Law at the University of California at Irvine. Finally, the chapter will end the semester with a three day event on cyber exploitation, which will address issues such as internet privacy and revenge porn.
Student Chapter of the Week February 9:
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
The ACS student chapter at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law enjoyed a very productive fall semester. Under the guidance of Faculty Advisor William A. Birdthistle, the chapter engaged the student body by hosting an array of diverse events and activities, as well as assisted in shaping debate, building networks, and making a difference on campus and in the community.
The semester began with a talk by Chicago-Kent alum, Michael Loterstein, who spoke about career opportunities at the U.S. Department of Justice. In September, Illinois Solicitor General and former Faculty Advisor Carolyn Shapiro moderated a panel discussion on the press and the Supreme Court featuring BYU Professor RonNell Anderson Jones, Slate columnist Dahlia Litwick and University of Georgia Professor Sonja West. In celebration of Constitution Day, Professor Steven Heyman presented his work on Conservative Libertarianism and the First Amendment. To conclude September, Professor Sheldon Nahmod gave a presentation on the Religion Clauses of the Constitution.
October began with a Supreme Court preview featuring ISCOTUS Director and Professor Christopher Schmidt, former Illinois Solicitor General Michael Scodro and current Illinois Solicitor General Carolyn Shapiro. In addition, the chapter co-sponsored a speed networking event that featured attorneys from all levels of government. Later in October, Northwestern Professor Sheila Bedi discussed the trend of police militarization and the events in Ferguson. The chapter also hosted an event with Jeff Clements, the founder of Free Speech for People, who talked about the proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and his book, “Corporations Are Not People.” The semester concluded with a round table event on the legal and public policy implications surrounding reproductive justice.
The Chicago-Kent ACS chapter looks forward to a fruitful spring semester with events on the upcoming Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act. The chapter also plans to host events around the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Griswold v. Connecticut, Internet Privacy, Korematsu Day, money and politics in state courts, and much more.
Student Chapter of the Week February 2:
University of Pennsylvania Law School
In early October, Penn ACS hosted a panel event on the ongoing civil forfeiture lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, moderated by Professors Cathy Carr and Louis Rulli. Later that month, Deuel Ross of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund led a discussion on voting rights after the oral arguments of Alabama Black Caucus v. Alabama. In November, Emily Collins of Fair Shake Legal Services discussed direct legal aid for environmental services.
To start off the spring semester, the chapter hosted a gun control event with CeaseFirePA's Executive Director Shira Goodman. In February, the chapter will host a discussion on UPS v. Young and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. On February 18th, Professor Sophia Lee will discuss worker’s economic rights and her new book, The Workplace Constitution. In addition, the chapter will again be responsible for administering the ACS National Constance Baker Motley Writing Competition.
In March, the chapter will host an event on net neutrality and internet regulation, as well as the 12th Annual ACS Federal Judges’ Panel. This year’s Federal Judges’ Panel will focus on criminal justice reform and it will feature Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (D.D.C.), Chief Judge Theodore McKee (3d Cir.) and Judge Jed Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.).
Student Chapter of the Week January 26:
The George Washington University Law School
The chapter kicked off the fall semester with a Supreme Court preview event and later in the semester hosted a trip to the Supreme Court. Over 30 students braved the cold weather to attend the oral argument of Zivotofsky v. Kerry. Prior to the court visit, GWU Dean Alan Morrison and Professor Edward Swaine led an in-depth discussion of the case.Early in the fall semester the chapter was joined by famed civil rights attorney John Burris, who previously served as counsel to Rodney King and the late Oscar Grant, whose story was featured in the award-winning film “Fruitvale Station.” Mr. Burris discussed the current state of police brutality in America and the potential avenues for change. The chapter also co-sponsored an event with the GW Pro Bono Department featuring Michael Morton and his Innocence Project attorneys Nina Morrison and Parisa Tafti, who discussed Morton’s wrongful conviction and ultimate exoneration. Rounding out the fall semester, the chapter hosted a happy hour and an exam prep session for first year law students.
The chapter has started the spring semester strong, hosting an in-depth discussion on the Affordable Care Act with five outstanding scholars and practitioners. The chapter plans to continue to engage students with discussions and panels on compelling topics such as solitary confinement and the Eighth Amendment, constitutional interpretation, and affirmative action. In addition, the chapter plans to organize additional career and networking events for its members.
Sadly, the year was also marked by tragedy for the chapter as its Historian, Gregory Levine, passed away. The chapter is planning an event to honor his memory this spring.
Student Chapter of the Week January 19:
Duke University School of Law
In October, the chapter, along with Duke Law Professors Katharine Bartlet and Jedediah Purdy, hosted a panel of reproductive rights experts to discuss the implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The panel featured Suzanne Buckley (NARAL Pro Choice America), Kristine Kippins (Center for Reproductive Rights), Jessica Waters (American University) and Judy Waxman (National Women's Law Center).
In November, ACLU attorney Elizabeth Gill and Duke Law Professors Darrell Miller and Neil Siegel discussed the recent wave of marriage equality legal victories. The chapter capped the semester with a lively debate on the constitutionality of North Carolina's school voucher program, featuring Darrell Allison (Educational Freedom in NC), Christine Bischoff (NC Justice Center), Jessica Holmes (NC Association of Educators), Dick Komer (Institute for Justice) and Duke Law Professor Jane Wettach. In addition, the chapter hosted several events to build a progressive community within the law school and in the Triangle area, including a barbecue, a Dear White People movie discussion and a happy hour event with the North Carolina Lawyer Chapter.
Duke ACS’s spring semester will begin with an event on wrongful convictions and dangers of cross-racial eyewitness identification. The event will feature Duke Law Professor Neil Vidmar, Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson, the co-authors of the award-winning book, “Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption.” We look forward to an exciting and informative semester!
September also featured a discussion about the recent Scottish Independence Referendum, led by J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law, Lori A. Ringhand. October featured additional events including a panel discussion on careers in Civil Rights law and a successful month-long book drive to benefit local children. In November, the chapter was joined by Bill Sapp, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, who came to discuss the EPA’s proposed rule seeking to clarify the meaning of “waters of the U.S.” The chapter also hosted a movie screening with clips from the award winning film Darius Goes West, along with a discussion with the film's star, Darius Weems. Finally, the chapter is excited to kick off the spring semester with an event featuring Robin Steinberg, founder and executive director of the Bronx Defenders.
The SLS chapter co-hosted two intimate conversations, one with Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center and winner of Stanford’s 2014 National Public Interest Award, and another with plaintiff’s attorney, Shanin Specter. The chapter hosted a panel on Hobby Lobby that featured Maggie Crosby from the ACLU and Professors Richard Ford and Deborah Rhode. The discussion was moderated by former Moot Court winner Alec Schierenbeck. In addition, Bryan Stevenson delivered an inspiring talk on his new book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, and Professor Deborah Rhode shared insight on her most recent book, What Women Want: An Agenda for the Women’s Movement. Faculty Advisor Jeff Fisher introduced Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, the two plaintiffs in a path-breaking lawsuit against Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage ban. Wrapping up November, the chapter hosted an informational panel on summer opportunities for students interested in criminal justice.
The SLS chapter has been working to implement and expand Constitution in the Classroom. Additionally, the chapter has been working to create an alternative spring break trip to provide volunteers for the immigration crisis. Finally, the chapter has been honored to work closely with Judges Gonzalez Rogers (N.D. Cal.) and Jeffery White (N.D. Cal.) in the judicial mentorship program and was thrilled to host Judge Raymond Lohier (2d. Cir.) this past quarter.
Faulkner University Jones School of Law
November featured additional programming including a discussion on the constitutionality of civil asset forfeiture and an event on consumer protection. Shay Farley, the Legal Director of Alabama Appleseed, came to the law school to give a presentation on student consumer/debtor rights in Alabama. In Ms. Farley’s presentation, she expressed the hurdles that many families in Alabama face due to practices such as pay-day lending and Alabama’s regressive tax policies that continue to perpetuate the cycle of income inequality in the state.
The chapter kicked off the semester with a panel discussion of Floyd v. New York and New York's practice of “Stop and Frisk.” The event featured the lead attorney in the case and a community organizer from Communities United for Police Reform. The chapter also welcomed Major Jason Wright, former counsel to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Major Wright spoke about the procedural inequities and difficulties facing defense counsel at Guantanamo. Continuing the national security conversation, the chapter co-sponsored two events on surveillance post-Snowden. The events featured Jim Dempsey, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and John Napier Tye, a former State Department official and whistleblower on the Government's use of Executive Order 12333.
Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer and Benjamin Ginsburg, former counsel to the Bush and Romney campaigns, discussed presidential lawyering on a panel moderated by Professor Heather Gerken. Professors Jonathan Adler and Abbe Gluck participated in a lively debate on the statutory interpretation issues in King v. Burwell. In addition, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky visited campus to discuss his new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court. Throughout the semester, the Yale ACS chapter hosted discussions with several judges, including Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court and Judge Myron Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. In November, Howard Dean gave a talk entitled, “The First Global Revolution Has Started and it Won’t Be Stopped.”
Fall 2014 marked the second year for Yale ACS chapter’s "Plaintiffs' Bar" series. As part of the series the chapter was joined by Jonathan Feinberg who shared his experiences bringing §1983 claims in Philadelphia, and Michael Anderson who spoke about his work as both a labor lawyer and as a founding partner of his own employment law firm.In addition to this extensive programming, the chapter has also increased its mentoring and community building events. The chapter pairs 1Ls with upperclassmen who mentor and advise the 1Ls regarding clerkships and progressive careers. The chapter has developed an alumni database to help connect both current and former chapter members across the country. The chapter also hosts a reading group for its members, featuring papers by progressive scholars such as Professor Harold Koh and Dean Robert Post. The reading group will expand next semester to include both new and old chapter members and will focus on a new topic: economic inequality. Finally, inspired by the work of our fellow chapters, the Yale ACS chapter has recently begun a community service initiative. For its first service project, the chapter will work with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center to compile a history of discriminatory housing policy cases in Hartford.
The semester began with an inspiring speech by Professor Laurence Tribe about the overarching themes of the Roberts Court and its stance on various progressive issues. Professors Noah Feldman and Jack Goldsmith discussed ISIS and the domestic legal basis for the use of force against the terrorist group, and journalist Rami Khouri explained the legitimacy, efficacy and potential consequences of U.S. action against ISIS forces. In addition, the chapter has sponsored talks by Jonathan Soros in regard to his effort to reform campaign finance laws. Other invited speakers include Ed Aro of Arnold & Porter LLP, who spoke on prison reform; Allison Brown of Open Society Foundations, who spoke on educational equity; and Louise Melling of ACLU, who spoke about reproductive freedom and access to abortion. The HLS Chapter has also been fortunate to host Judge Robert E. Bacharach (10th Cir.) and Judge Gary Feinerman (N.D. lll.), and has hosted two moot court events with Tom Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell P.C.
In addition to bringing in speakers from across the country, the HLS chapter is dedicated to giving back to our community through a variety of community service projects. In addition to participating in the Constitution in the Classroom program, Harvard's ACS members have been working with Breakthrough Greater Boston to provide one-on-one college access coaching to high school juniors in low-income areas. The chapter plans to work with other groups on campus to organize a food drive for the upcoming holiday season and an MLK day of service next semester.
In addition to these exciting events, Maurer ACS co-sponsored an immigration panel with several other student groups, including a Sex-Ed Trivia Night, and a "Post-Hobby Lobby Panel and Q&A" with LSRJ. The chapter is also gearing up to co-sponsor an "After DOMA" panel with the school's Outlaw and LGBT Project groups. In celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the chapter is in the midst of featuring a semester-long lecture series called "Brown at 60," which involves collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Black Law Student Association. The series features speakers, interactive workshops and documentary screenings, with lectures by Julian Bond, Mark Tushnet and Guy Uriel-Charles, among others.
Focusing on 4th Amendment rights, the Maurer ACS chapter has screened the documentary State of Arizona, hosted a “Know Your Rights” training session on the undergraduate campus and collaborated on a multiple-day stop-and-frisk demonstration. The chapter looks forward to co-hosting the Fall Semester Progressive Group Mixer in November and will host events later this year for the anniversary of Griswold and on the topics of Prison Reform and Civil Legal Aid.
Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
The chapter co-hosted a panel of faculty on their work lawyering for social change featuring Professors Michele Deitch, Andrea Marsh and Lucy Wood. Congressman Marc Veasey, U.S. Representative for the 33rd Congressional District of Texas and lead plaintiff in the Texas voter ID case, joined the chapter for a happy hour discussion on voting rights and redistricting. In addition, the chapter co-hosted a stimulating panel with the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association and Human Rights Law Society about unaccompanied minors crossing the nation’s border. Panelists included Ed Gallagher from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas; Alfonso Gonzales, Assistant Professor at LLILAS, University of Texas at Austin; and Jonathan Ryan, Executive Director of RAICES. Texas Law Professor and Immigration Clinic Director Barbara Hines moderated the panel to a packed audience.
October events included a debate week with the Texas Law Federalist Society. Professor Neomi Rao of George Mason University School of Law and Attorney Pete Schenkkan of Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody debated agency independence, removal power and executive control. Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation and Jan Soifer of O’Connell & Soifer debated the outcome of Hobby Lobby. The chapter also co-hosted a panel on post-grad fellowships with law school alumni.
Finally, the chapter is excited to host the 2015 ACS Student Convention March 6-7, 2015!
Student Chapter of the Week October 20:
University of Missouri School of Law
The ACS Chapter at the University of Missouri School of Law kicked off this fall with events focused on promoting diversity and equality. In the aftermath of the recent tragedy in Ferguson, MO, the chapter sponsored a discussion featuring Professor David Mitchell, Dean Rigel Oliveri, Professor Rodney Uphoff and members of the Ferguson community. In addition, the chapter hosted a “Diversity in the Law” panel featuring Professor Chuck Henson, Dean Rigel Oliveri and Faculty Advisor Richard Reuben. In celebration of Constitution Day, the chapter live-streamed a panel called “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Its Current Implications.”
The chapter also sponsored an event called “The Merits and Flaws of Hobby Lobby,” which featured Professor Frank Bowman of the University of Missouri School of Law and Professor Joshua Hawley, who argued on behalf of Hobby Lobby in the Supreme Court. On October 14th, the chapter invited Anthony Williams, who spoke about his wrongful conviction of a first-degree murder at age 14 and his 20-year ordeal in prison before receiving justice.
The chapter hosted a panel discussion on civil legal aid on October 9th, featuring representatives from Legal Services offices across Missouri. A panel of students experienced in pro bono work spoke on October 10th, and gave tips to students on how to get involved with legal service and pro bono work while in law school.
The chapter is gearing up for its annual Supreme Court Series, which will include a discussion of pregnancy discrimination in Young v. UPS by Professor Chuck Henson and a discussion of religious freedom in Holt v. Hobbs & City of Greece v. Galloway by Professor Carl Esbeck. The chapter is proud to sponsor these series and is grateful to the National ACS office for making these events possible.
Student Chapter of the Week October 13:
William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law
The ACS Chapter at William & Mary Marshall-Wythe Law School, under the instrumental guidance of Faculty Advisor Allison Orr Larsen, has continued to diversify its efforts and increase its presence on campus. It has become a major force for progressive dialogue at William & Mary, hosting engaging events that foster important public policy debate.
The chapter began its semester with an interest meeting and a Constitution Day Celebration. It was fortunate to host Dahlia Lithwhick of Slate early in the semester, who spoke on the tension between the Press and the Supreme Court. The chapter has also emphasized civil rights issues that are important to William & Mary law students. On October 2nd, Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU and Director of its Center for Liberty, presented a talk entitled "What's Happening with Abortion Regulations: Reasons to Care." A week later, the chapter teamed up with the Election Law Program's Professor Rebecca Green and the Election Law Society for a discussion about voting rights and racial gerrymandering post-Shelby County with Jon Greenbaum of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Later in the semester, the chapter will co-sponsor a panel discussion about civil legal aid with the Immigration Law & Service Society, featuring Professors Angela Banks and Lauren Vogt. Finally, the chapter looks forward to planning a 50th Anniversary commemoration event of the Civil Rights Act with the Black Law Student Association and the Latino Law Student Association. In addition to its regular speaker programming, the chapter recently began a movie series and will show Mississippi Innocence in late October.
Student Chapter of the Week October 6:
Washington University School of Law
The ACS Washington University Law School Chapter has had an exciting fall thus far and looks forward to continuing that excitement throughout the school year. With the invaluable support of Faculty Advisor Professor Karen Tokarz, the chapter has held numerous events on timely topics. Professor Kenji Yoshino, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University, gave a stimulating talk on Covering and its impact in the workplace, highlighting important facets of employment law that are often overlooked. Ms. Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, gave an impactful and invigorating presentation on the legacy of Brown vis-à-vis the tragedy in Ferguson, MO. This event was a wonderful opportunity for students to understand the history of the Civil Rigths Movement and its impact on our community.
The chapter wrapped up September with its annual Constitution Day event, a SCOTUS Review. Professors Lee Epstein, Gregory Margarian, Elizabeth Sepper and Wash U Law alum and Southern Illinois University Dean Bill Freivogel broke down the decisions and received many laughs in discussing the Justices’ voting patterns.The chapter looks forward to wrapping up the fall with a Second Amendment presentation from UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler. Additionally, the chapter will host a bipartisan Election Law panel co-sponsored with the Federalist Society, and a panel on Hobby Lobby’s effect on employment discrimination of LGBTQ employees co-sponsored with OUTLaw. The chapter is also gearing up for its ongoing service project, Constitution in the Classroom. Finally, the chapter would like to congratulate the new members of the 1L committee, who will help with planning events for the spring and jump right into becoming chapter leaders.
Student Chapter of the Week September 29:
Southwestern School of Law
In its fourth year as a chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Jonathan Miller and Gowri Ramachandran, Southwestern’s ACS chapter has increased the number and diversity of events it has planned and held. The chapter has also developed its relationship with the Los Angeles Lawyer Chapter and with other law school chapters in the Southern California region. Upcoming events include a general membership meeting; a Supreme Court Term Preview; a networking event with Southwestern’s new (and first female) Dean Susan Westerberg Prager; and a discussion about trials before an ad hoc human rights court for East Timor with Professor Mark Cammack. This year, for its Constitution in the Classroom event, the chapter supported and promoted the Los Angeles County Bar Association's “Dialogues of Freedom” Program, which was held on Constitution Day.
Additionally, the chapter will host the first Southern California Regional Conference on October 26, 2014. The conference panel topics are “Judicial Elections vs. Judicial Appointments vs. A Mixed System: Which is More Progressive?” and “Should the U.S. Supreme Court be Fundamentally Reformed? If So, How?” Conference panel speakers and moderators are: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine School of Law; Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause; Professor Warren Grimes, Southwestern Law School; Honorable Randolph M. Hammock, Los Angeles Superior Court; Jessica Levinson, Vice-President, Los Angeles Ethics Commission and Clinical Professor of Law, Loyola Law School; Professor Derek Muller, Pepperdine Law School; Gretchen Nelson, Immediate Past Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee and Partner, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP; Stephen Rohde, Constitutional Lawyer and Immediate Past Chair of the ACLU of Southern California; and Professor Adam Winkler, UCLA School of Law.
The Southwestern chapter looks forward to hosting the inaugural Southern California Regional Conference in October and continuing to build strong ties with the regional ACS community!
Student Chapter of the Week September 22:
University of North Carolina School of Law
Under the invaluable guidance of Faculty Advisors Professors Michael Gerhardt, William Marshall and Gene Nichol, the ACS chapter at UNC School of Law looks forward to another great year. They kicked off the semester with a live screening and discussion of the North Carolina Senatorial debate between Senator Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis. They also co-hosted an event with the UNC Law chapter of ACLU called “Policing the Bull City: Race, Class, and Police Accountability in Durham” featuring a panel of local experts including Attorneys Mark Dorosin of the UNC Center for Civil Rights and Ian Mance of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
In recognition of Constitution Day, the chapter hosted an event on constitutional interpretation and racial equality featuring Dean Jack Boger and the newly-appointed director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights and former ACS board member Professor Ted Shaw. In light of Brown’s sixtieth anniversary, the event largely focused on public primary school re-segregation.
In the coming weeks, the UNC School of Law chapter looks forward to co-hosting a Supreme Court Review with the Federalist Society featuring in-house faculty, and two rounds of Constitution in the Classroom. The chapter is especially excited to cross the “Tobacco Road” and partner with the ACS chapter at Duke University School of Law and the local North Carolina ACS Lawyer Chapter to host a Supreme Court Preview event in Chapel Hill in late October.
Student Chapter of the Week September 15:
Columbia Law School
With the invaluable support of Prof. Gillian Metzger, the Columbia Law School Chapter has focused on raising the level of debate at the law school and engaging students on many of the pressing questions of the day. This fall, on October 17th, the Columbia Law School Chapter will be hosting the Northeast Regional Convening for all the ACS student chapters in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The chapter is hosting other events to mark a number of occasions. First, to celebrate Constitution Day, the chapter has invited Prof. Michael Graetz for a discussion of the lasting influence of the Burger Court. Second, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Chapter will be hosting Judge Marsha Berzon (9th Cir.), for a discussion of Justice William Brennan’s contributions to civil rights and discrimination law.
The chapter has also been working with other student organizations at Columbia Law School to sponsor events on a wide range of issues. On September 10th, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers addressed his state’s experience with the legalization and regulation of marijuana. On September 25th, Prof. Adam Cox of New York Law School will be speaking on the topic of separation of powers in the context of immigration law. During the months of October and November the Chapter will be co-hosting a Supreme Court Roundup, a debate on the ACA tax subsidies cases, and an analysis on the recent Hobby Lobby case with the Federalist Society. Finally, the chapter will be hosting Judge Terrence G. Berg (E.D. Mich.) for a discussion of his path to the bench and Lt. Col. Dr. Eran Shamir-Borer of the Israeli Defense Forces for a presentation of the legal issues surrounding asymmetric warfare.