Student Chapter of the Week

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.


2014-2015 ACADEMIC YEAR: STUDENT CHAPTERS OF THE WEEK
 
Student Chapter of the Week November 24:
 
Saint Louis University School of Law
 
 
Under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Joel Goldstein, Saint Louis University School of Law's ACS Chapter has had a successful fall semester. The chapter kicked off this year with a coalition meeting of progressive student organizations at the law school. ACS and six other student groups spoke to students about getting involved in our organizations; this meeting was followed up with a co-sponsored Progressive Student Assembly Happy Hour. In celebration of Constitution Day, the chapter hosted a debate between Professors Marcia McCormick and Douglas Williams on the constitutionality of Congress’ lawsuit against the President. In addition, Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Missouri, was invited to speak on the status of the death penalty in Missouri. The chapter also hosted a roundtable discussion and lunch with Professors Matthew Bodie, Chad Flanders, Mal Harkins, Marcia McCormick, Attorney Sarah Pitlyk and Professor Sidney Watson, who all weighed in on the various implications of the Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby.
 
The chapter held a Ferguson Policy Solutions Workshop event moderated by Professor Justin Hansford that featured a fantastic speaker line-up including John Chasnoff of Coalition of Police Crimes and Repression; Monique Dixon of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Professor Emeritus Roger Goldman; Thomas Harvey of ArchCity Defenders; David Leipholtz of Better Together St. Louis; Crestwood Municipal Court Judge John Newsham; and former Missouri Supreme Court Justice and SLU’s Dean Michael Wolff. The event was a great success and attracted media attention including from St. Louis Public Radio.
 
November has also been an eventful month for the SLU ACS Chapter. Mayor Francis Slay was invited to speak on the status of marriage equality in the city of St. Louis and in the state of Missouri. The Judicial Clerkship Career Panel event featured seven clerks representing federal courts in the states of Missouri and Illinois. The chapter also hosted small group Brown Bag Lunches throughout the semester with Professors Marcia McCormick, Karen Petroski and Brendan Roediger. Finally, the chapter is wrapping up our busy semester with the Sounds of Change event; a night of music, poetry and spoken word inspired by the recent events in Ferguson.
 
 

Student Chapter of the Week Novemer 17:
 
Harvard Law School
 
 
The ACS student chapter at Harvard Law School has focused much of its attention this semester on fostering dialogue among students about important issues facing our country, with the hopes of raising awareness and finding new ways to tackle these difficult problems. With the support of a dedicated board of 26 students, over 70 committee members and Faculty Advisor Michael Klarman, the chapter has hosted a broad range of speakers, panels, colloquia, town hall discussions and small-group coffee meetings.

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, we have been working with Breakthrough Greater Boston to provide one-on-one college access coaching to high school juniors in low-income areas. Our 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.

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Student Chapter of the Week November 10:
 
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
 
The ACS Chapter at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor and ACS Board Member Dawn Johnsen, has had an eventful fall semester with numerous social events, lecture series and co-sponsorship opportunities. Maurer ACS kicked off the year with an exciting debate between James Bopp and David Cobb on the topic of campaign finance, entitled "Citizens Divided: Corporate Money, Speech and Politics." For Constitution Day, the chapter featured Professor Geoffrey Stone as a commentator at the ACLU-IN/ACS Constitution Day Trivia Night.

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.
Student Chapter of the Week November 3:

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

The ACS Chapter at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law has successfully hosted several events on topics ranging from election law to the recent tragedy in Ferguson, MO, to the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Guided by Faculty Advisor Daniel Tokaji, the chapter has been successful in recruiting many new members to ACS.  Additionally, the chapter has been working with the Columbus Lawyer Chapter to plan events, including an upcoming networking event which will be held later in the year.
 
The chapter kicked off the year with a celebration of the Civil Rights Act at 50, partnering with the law school and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss what the Act meant in 1964 and what it means today.  In addition, the chapter partnered with the Moritz Election Law Program, the Democratic Debate Society and the Federalist Society to host a conversation between former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith and FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub. It was an exciting and spirited debate over the future of campaign finance.
 
October featured a two-part series on the events in Ferguson, MO, partnering with the student ACLU chapter and the Black Law Students Association. Professors Sharon Davies, Joshua Dressler, David Goldberger, Vincene Verdun and FOP General Counsel Gwen Callender reflected on race relations in law enforcement and systematic injustice in the wake of this summer’s events. Students at the Moritz College of Law discussed their experiences with law enforcement and their thoughts on possible solutions for the future.
 
Rounding up the month, the chapter co-hosted the school’s annual Supreme Court Preview event with the Federalist Society, featuring professors Martha Chamallas, Ruth Colker, Ellen Deason, Steven Huefner, Daniel Tokaji and Ric Simmons. Finally, the chapter has been very successful with its student recruitment and membership drive efforts, with 20 chapter leaders and 40 new student members signing up to become ACS National Members.
 

Student Chapter of the Week October 27:
 
University of Texas School of Law

The ACS Student Chapter at the University of Texas School of Law has hosted a number of engaging events under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Lynn Blais, Joseph Fishkin and William Forbath. The chapter kicked off the year by welcoming 1Ls and transfer students interested in social change at “Change It Up!” a co-sponsored event with the William Wayne Justice Center. On September 9th, Attorney Jason Steed, President of the ACS Dallas-Ft.Worth Lawyer Chapter, gave an informative presentation on the most notable Supreme Court cases of the last term.  In celebration of Constitution Day, Professor William Forbath led a discussion on the challenges progressives face in asserting a constitutional vision to promote general welfare.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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2013-2014 ACADEMIC YEAR: STUDENT CHAPTERS OF THE WEEK

Student Chapter of the Week May 19:

Stanford Law School

Under the guidance of ACS Board Member Prof. Tino Cuellar, and with the incredible support of former ACS Board Member Prof. Pam Karlan, Stanford’s ACS chapter has continued to drive the intellectual climate on the law school campus. In the fall, the chapter put together a “Racial Justice Series,” which featured events with Eva Patterson of the Equal Justice Society, Mark Rosenbaum of the ACLU, and voting rights expert Prof. Nathaniel Persily. Later in the fall, ACS organized a panel on poverty law and economic inequality for the law school’s “Shaking the Foundations” conference. More recently, the chapter helped coordinate a screening of the award-winning documentary Gideon’s Army and hosted a Q&A with Dawn Porter, the film’s director and producer.

In addition to traditional speaker and panel events, Stanford’s ACS chapter has explored new formats and topic areas. Under the guidance of Prof. Lucas Guttentag, the chapter expanded its reading group, which meets regularly to discuss topics such as progressive constitutional interpretation and critical legal studies. The group has also launched a new Judicial Mentoring Program that connected ACS members with eight federal and state judges in the Bay Area; students have, for example, met with Judge Jon Tigar and Judge Edward Chen of the Northern District of California and travelled to the chambers of Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court. Stanford’s ACS members have also had smaller group discussions with Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security, John Relman, a housing discrimination expert, and Bob King, the president of the United Auto Workers.

In partnership with roughly a dozen other student organizations, the chapter has also co-sponsored events on education policy, whistleblowers, prison reform litigation, political appointments, affirmative action, and reproductive rights. In addition to the above programming, the Stanford chapter has remained committed to social events, membership development, and job and clerkship support.

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Student Chapter of the Week May 12:

The University of Chicago Law School

The University of Chicago ACS Student Chapter has had an eventful and exciting year under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Profs. Geoffrey Stone and Jennifer Nou. After kicking off fall quarter with an inspirational introduction from Prof. Geoffrey Stone, the chapter hosted events that included Prof. Kermit Roosevelt speaking about “The Aftermath of Shelby County,” a panel debate on NSA surveillance, and a discussion with Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal on the status of marriage equality in the Illinois courts and legislature.

During winter quarter, the chapter collaborated with the University of Chicago Institute of Politics to host a presentation by David Axelrod about “Politics, Diversity, and Reinvigorating Democracy.” Other winter events included a second debate on NSA surveillance featuring Prof. Geoffrey Stone; a presentation from Jadine Chou, the Chief Safety and Security Officer of Chicago Public Schools, discussing the school-to-prison pipeline; Congressman Luis Gutierrez speaking about immigration reform; and Prof. Eduardo Peñalver commenting on the religious challenges to the Affordable Care Act.

This spring, the chapter maintained an active schedule of events, including collaborating with OutLaw to host Congressman Mike Quigley speaking about the FDA’s MSM blood donor ban and a debate between Prof. Nick Stephanopoulos and Josh Kleinfeld about partisanship in the American political system. The chapter also participated in a special service day in collaboration with the Federalist Society, working at Cabrini Green Legal Aid Center to counsel clients regarding criminal record expungement. The service day provided students the opportunity to give back to the community while experiencing law in action.

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Student Chapter of the Week: May 5

University of New Mexico School of Law

The University of New Mexico School of Law ACS Chapter was started in January of 2013 by several 1L students under the guidance of Prof. Dave Sidhu, and later Prof. Anthony Renzo. Today, the chapter is considered one of the most influential and active organizations on campus.

The chapter started the fall semester with an event featuring death-row survivor Juan Melendez, which was attended by almost a third of the student body. This event was followed by several others attended not just by law students, but also undergraduates, high school students and community members. These included an Evening with Public Defenders, a panel discussion on the Albuquerque’s abortion ban initiative featuring speakers from the Southwest Women’s Law Center, a student presentation on the Inspection of Public Records Act, and a screening of America’s Longest War. The chapter also co-sponsored two events with the Federalist Society: a talk by Tim Lynch on the drug war, and a debate on the Affordable Care Act between Fox News commentator Deroy Murdock and Pat Davis of ProgressNow NM.

The spring semester began with a co-sponsored event with the Mexican American Law School Association, which informed students about the ACA and helped them enroll. Dozens of students had started their enrollment process by the end of the event. Other events included a presentation on immigration law in New Mexico by Christina Rosado; a panel discussion on marriage equality; a lecture titled “Savage Anxieties: The Tribal VAWA Amendments” by the University of Arizona law professor Robert Williams; a talk by Jeff Haas, co-founder of the famous People’s Law Office in Chicago and author of “Assassination of Fred Hampton;” and finally a presentation on horse slaughter in New Mexico by state Attorney General Gary King.

Considering the chapter is fairly new, it has created an impact in both the law school and the community. The University of New Mexico ACS Chapter hopes to keep this going.

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Student Chapter of the Week April 28:

Lewis and Clark Law School

Under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Profs. William Funk and Joel Oleske, Lewis & Clark’s ACS Chapter has continued its upward momentum this year. The chapter has established itself as one of the most active groups on campus and students not only know ACS and its mission, but are also active participants in its ongoing constitutional discourse.

The chapter started its year with a bang, hosting a packed SCOTUS Review/Preview with Prof. William Funk. Even after all the seats were filled, students continued to pour in to hear a synopsis of last year’s monumental term and discover what was next on the docket. That first event set the tone for the year, as the chapter consistently struggled to find enough seats to accommodate the level of student interest.

A semester-long series provided a forum for constitutional law professors to discuss hot-topic issues. This year’s series covered corporate religious exemptions with Prof. Jim Oleske, humor in revolution with Prof. Ozan Varol, and anti-Roe state legislation with Prof. Paula Abrams. The series was successful in connecting students with their professors.

The chapter also brought big names to campus this year. In November, federal District Judge Michael Simon spoke on hate speech regulation. In March, Mary Beth Tinker, the plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines and Mike Hiestand, a lawyer from the Student Press Law Center, spoke on student speech rights. Both events highlighted the importance of maintaining a progressive approach to constitutional interpretation.  

Off campus, L&C’s ACS chapter made a point to connect with the Oregon Lawyer Chapter. The two chapters participated in a mentor program, where law students were paired with progressive lawyers. Co-sponsored socials, including the November social hosting Oregon Supreme Court Justice Jack Landau, offered a great opportunity for students to mingle with some of Oregon’s most prestigious legal professionals.

As the year ends and finals approach, L&C’s ACS chapter excitedly looks forward to next year!

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Student Chapter of the Week April 21:

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of former Faculty Advisor Prof. Carolyn Shapiro and current Faculty Advisor Prof. William Birdthistle, has gone from a small, inactive chapter, to one of the most active student organizations at Chicago-Kent, holding over 20 events this year.

The first event last fall was an all-day conference on conservative and progressive federalism, with a keynote address by Joel Rogers, founder of the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE). Other fall events included a Government Transparency panel; a Constitution Day event; a Supreme Court term preview; a panel on civil rights and national security featuring Assia Boundaoui, Producer of the Emmy Award-Winning HBO Documentary “Manhunt” and journalist for Al-Jazeera; an event on national security with William Ridgway, Assistant United States Attorney in the Counterterrorism Unit, and Prof. Henry Perritt; a discussion of DOMA’s impact on immigration law; and a public interest careers panel. Our final event of the fall semester was a viewing of Gideon’s Army.

This semester began with a panel on student interns’ and recent graduates’ employment rights, followed by events on Human Trafficking Awareness, Money In Judicial Elections, and pathways to legalization for undocumented immigrants, featuring Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Dave Gorak of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration, among others. The most attended event of the year was an oral argument before student judges on Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius between Dean Harold Krent and Prof. Kent Streseman, Director of the school’s Appellate Advocacy Program. The chapter plans to round out the semester with a talk by Chicago-Kent alumnus and State Senator Kwame Raoul on his Illinois Concealed Carry legislation and a networking event cosponsored with the Chicago Lawyer Chapter.

In just a year, the chapter has taken incredible steps toward “Shaping Debate, Building Networks, and Making a Difference” on its campus.

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Student Chapter of the Week April 14:

Texas A&M University School of Law

Over the past year, the ACS Student Chapter at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth has shown that everything is truly bigger in Texas! Under the guidance of faculty advisor Prof. Sahar Aziz, ACS is one of the most active organizations on campus, hosting more events this year than any other student group.

Being a progressive law student in the Lone Star State has felt anything but lonely. Ambitious student leaders have organized over a dozen events attracting hundreds of students, faculty and community leaders. The chapter hosts monthly film screenings in partnership with like-minded student organizations like OUTlaw, Black Law Students Association, International Law Society, Hispanic Law Students Association and Immigration Law Initiative.

National and international experts furthered the dialogue on campus. From election law professor Franita Tolson on voting rights, to civil rights leader Shahid Buttar on national security, to professor and former member of the National Assembly of Kuwait Dr. Aseel al-Awadhi on democracy in the Middle East, these speakers energized and inspired students. Clearing the Air on Marijuana Reform–a panel discussion with legal experts and advocates–was a definite highlight.

Service is also a core value of the chapter. Last fall ACS led a text-to-donate campaign to support relief efforts after the deadly tsunami in the Philippines. This spring, students held a clothing drive for Dress for Success. Plans are in the works for more pro bono activities in the fall. ACS at A&M Law looks to build on its success inside the law school and use its person-power to educate, empower and assist the community at large.

And while chapter members proudly wear their Aggie maroon and white, A&M Law continues to get a little bluer because of the ACS Student Chapter.

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Student Chapter of the Week April 7:

Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center 

The ACS Chapter at LSU, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Darlene Goring, has held many successful events this year about DNA exoneration, drone warfare, marriage equality and constitutional reform.

During the fall, in collaboration with the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers student chapter, the chapter hosted an event on the West Memphis Three. In February, in collaboration with the International Law Society, the chapter hosted a screening of “Unmanned: American’s Drone Wars” and a talk on the international implications of drone warfare with Prof. Scott Sullivan. In March, the chapter hosted an event in collaboration with OUTLaw on marriage equality in Louisiana with a panel that included New Orleans Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who introduced the first-ever resolution recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month in the City of New Orleans, as well as Prof. Robert Lancaster and Prof. Herb Brown.

The chapter’s major event for the spring was a collaborative screening with the International Law Society of “Blueberry Soup,” a documentary about Iceland’s financial collapse and its attempt to create a new constitution. The organizations brought in renowned constitutional law scholar Sanford Levinson and the documentary’s director Eileen Jerrett, who led a riveting discussion on the possibility of creating a new constitution in the United States and what we can take away from the Icelandic experience.

The ACS Chapter at LSU also provides outlines, academic support and rent free text books to students at the law center.

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Student Chapter of the Week March 31:

University of Texas School of Law

The University of Texas School of Law Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Profs. Lynn Blais, Joseph Fishkin, and William Forbath, continues to build a robust space for discussion about progressive legal issues on UT's campus.

During the fall semester, the chapter was the host of the first annual Texas Regional Convening.  The event featured keynote remarks from Craig McDonald, Director of Texans for Public Justice, about money in judicial politics. The lunch was bookended with substantive discussion about Swimming Upstream, featuring panelists Maggie Jo Buchanan of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Prof. Joseph Fishkin of UT Law, Deborah Fowler of Texas Appleseed, Jemila Lea of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Zinelle October of the American Constitution Society, Prof. Jordan Steiker of UT Law, and Wayne Krause Yang of the Texas Civil Rights Project. The fall also included events on constitutional war powers and Syria, featuring Prof. Robert Chesney of UT Law; the judicial vacancy crisis, featuring Chris Elliot of Graves Dougherty and Phillip Martin of Progress Texas; creating a progressive pipeline, featuring Sarah Knight of American Constitution Society; voting rights, featuring Nina Perales of MALDEF, Brian McGiverin of Texas Civil Rights Project, Sondra Haltom of Empower the Vote Texas, and Prof. Joseph Fishkin of UT Law; and indigent defense and the budget crisis, featuring Andrea Marsh of Texas Fair Defense Project, Ruben Castaneda of Travis County Juvenile Public Defender’s Office, David Peterson of the Federal Public Defenders Office for the Western District of Texas, Jim Bethke of Texas Indigent Defense Commission, and Pamela Sigman of UT Law Juvenile Justice Clinic.

The chapter looks forward to continuing a spring full of programming. The chapter kicked off the semester with an address by Prof. Ekow Yankah of Cardozo Law School on the Trayvon Martin case, and the inextricable link between race and the law. In February, ACS welcomed Ana Yanez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and Jennifer Erschabek of Texas Inmate Family Association to discuss the effects of mass incarceration on the community. Shortly after, Texas Federalist Society and UT Law ACS co-hosted Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the Central District of California to discuss his career and his transition to federal judgeship. The chapter also welcomed Matt Simpson of ACLU of Texas and Prof. George Dix of UT Law on a panel about Fourth Amendment and cell phones.

The chapter looks forward to additional discussions in the remainder of the spring about diversity in higher education; progressive constitutional interpretation, featuring UT Law Profs. Sanford Levinson and Lawrence Sager; access to abortion with Lenzie Sheible of Fund Texas Women; anti-immigrant policies and Vasquez v. City of Farmers Branch with Nina Perales of MALDEF; and money in judicial politics.

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Student Chapter of the Week March 24:

Arizona Summit Law School

Under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Profs. Mary Guerra and Keith Swisher, the ACS chapter at Arizona Summit Law School has held many successful events this year. In the fall, the chapter hosted a Latino and Latina Judges Panel and Reception and a meet and greet with representatives from a criminal defense firm. At the start of the spring semester, the chapter co-hosted a film screening of “Roe at Risk” with the ACS Phoenix Lawyer Chapter with speaker Rebecca Hamburg Cappy, Director of the Alliance for Justice’s West Coast Office. This month, the chapter held a debate over the constitutionality of Ag-Gag laws, which are designed to prevent undercover recording and reporting of abusive activities on animal agriculture facilities, with Professors Suzanna Dohrer and Daniel Dye.

In the coming semester the Arizona Summit Law School’s ACS chapter plans to host a panel on becoming a judge that will have numerous judges from the community in attendance. As a new organization, the chapter aspires to continue to exceed expectations.

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Student Chapter of the Week March 17:

University of Florida Levin College of law

The University of Florida Levin College of Law ACS Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Profs. Darren Hutchinson and Lyrissa Lidsky, started the fall 2013 semester with an event in October that examined the quality of Florida’s education system and the legal strategy behind forcing the state legislature to improve the state’s education standards. UF Law Dean Emeritus Jon Mills and the Southern Legal Counsel’s litigation director Neil Chonin have spearheaded the legal strategy and presented to the chapter a litigation update.

In February, UF ACS hosted UF Law Profs. Darren Hutchinson and Jason Nance for a presentation on the effects of the “school-to-prison pipeline” on low-income and minority student populations. The two professors previewed original research they have conducted on the matter and suggested possible litigation strategies for ending the pipeline. They also offered students career tips for breaking into public interest law.

The UF ACS E-Board hosted a general board meeting in early March to seek input from first year law students for next academic year’s speaker series. On March 19, UF ACS will host Ben Pollara, partner at LSN Partners and the director of United We Care, the successful Florida constitutional amendment petition campaign to legalize medical marijuana. Pollara and UF Law Dean Emeritus Jon Mills (who argued successfully before the Florida Supreme Court for the amendment’s inclusion on the November 2014 ballot) will discuss Florida’s constitutional amendment citizen-petition process. On March 28, UF ACS will host a panel discussion on immigration reform in higher education with Florida International University Law professor Ediberto Román and students from the University of Florida undergraduate campus who meet the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival guidelines.

Chapter leaders look forward to an even more successful 2014-2015 year!

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Student Chapter of the Week March 10:

University of North Carolina School of Law

The UNC Law Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Prof. William Marshall (also an ACS Board Member), Prof. Gene Nichol and Prof. Michael Gerhardt, continue to be a major force for dialogue and engagement on legal and public policy issues important to UNC students.

During the fall semester, the chapter hosted a discussion on the judicial vacancy crisis with Prof. Michael Gerhardt, who has advised both the executive and legislative branches in previous judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings for Justices Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. The chapter also hosted Representative Rick Glazier from the North Carolina General Assembly, who provided a rousing defense of public education in North Carolina. In October, the chapter partnered with UNC Law’s First Amendment Law Review to sponsor the journal’s annual symposium, a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. The chapter also partnered with the UNC Chapter of the ACLU and the UNC Poverty Center to host a discussion on McCutcheon v. FEC, the campaign finance case pending before the Supreme Court. The chapter also welcomed Prof. Rob Smith, founder of the Carolina Criminal Justice Reform Project, for a discussion on the state of indigent defense 50 years after Gideon.

The UNC chapter also has an exciting spring semester planned. Last week, the chapter hosted Prof. Joe Kennedy and Daryl Atkinson, staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, for a discussion on race and mass incarceration. This month, the chapter will host Judge Sam Ervin from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and target of the second largest judicial campaign expenditure in the entire 2012 election cycle, for a discussion on money in judicial elections. Finally, in April, the chapter will partner with the Carolina Health Law Organization to host Prof. David Podoff, former Chief Economist for the United States Senate Committee on Finance, to discuss implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Student Chapter of the Week March 3:

William and Mary Law School

The William & Mary Law ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Allison Larsen, continues to grow exponentially, in no small part due to the chapter’s engaging events and promotion of progressive dialogue. Over the course of the fall semester, the chapter arranged speeches by some of the country’s foremost progressive thinkers and lawyers. Dr. Deenesh Sohoni appeared before a full crowd of students who listened to his speech on the importance of immigration in light of the DREAM Act and various other litigation. The semester ended with a riveting talk on the importance of public defenders, in order to honor the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright.

Following the fall semester’s success, ACS at W&M has scheduled spring semester events designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, tackling issues such as equality in marriage and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The chapter was ecstatic to have William & Mary Law School’s Dean, Davison Douglas, speak at the event for Brown. ACS at W&M also invited local federal judges, Judge Mark Davis and Judge Douglas Miller, for a personal and in-depth look at campaign finance reform and a thoughtful Q&A session. The W&M chapter is also looking forward to an upcoming event featuring Prof. Mark Osler, constitutional scholar and the winning litigator of Spears v. United States. Prof. Osler will focus on the intersection of religion and constitutional interpretation, and how the two subjects affect discussions of capital punishment.

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Student Chapter of the Week February 24:

UCLA School of Law

Under the leadership of Faculty Advisor Professor Adam Winkler, the UCLA School of Law ACS Student Chapter is excited to be hosting the ACS Student Convention February 28-March 1. Reflecting upon the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, student leaders from across the country will meet to discuss the impact of the ground-breaking decision, learn about current efforts to achieve educational equity, and explore innovative ways that students can help secure Brown’s future.

The chapter began its spring semester with its annual Supreme Court Moot presentation. During the moot, Mark Perry, who represented the defendants in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an important remedies case dealing with a dispute over copyright infringement related to the 1980 movie “Raging Bull,” practiced his oral arguments in front of students and a panel of moot judge professors and firm partners. The UCLA ACS chapter also held an informational panel of 3Ls and 2Ls giving advice to 1Ls about how to apply to and be successful in progressive jobs across the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. 

Also planned for this semester is a panel event on the status of NYPD’s Stop and Frisk program in light of Floyd, et al. v. New York et al., with Professor Devon Carbado, Professor Amna Akbar, and Hamid Khan from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. The chapter will also host a panel event on the Supreme Court’s next affirmative action case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, with Mark Rosenbaum, the lead ACLU counsel in the case, and Professors Cheryl Harris, Jordan Woods, and Darnell Hunt.

The UCLA chapter will also continue to hold its Dinner with a Professor and Dinner with a Practitioner series to give students the opportunity to meet with influential progressive lawyers in the school and in the community. The chapter’s goal this spring is to build off the success from its many events last fall, which covered topics ranging from mass incarceration to NSA surveillance to the future of the Voting Rights Act.

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Student Chapter of the Week February 17:

University of Michigan Law School

The University of Michigan Law School ACS Chapter, under the guidance of faculty sponsor Prof. Ellen Katz, has put on a series of well-attended, thought-provoking events in the fall and spring.

In the fall, Michigan Law ACS held more events in our professor lunch series, with Prof. Monica Hakimi, a transnational law scholar, and Prof. Eve Brensike Primus, a nationally recognized criminal procedure authority. The chapter’s traditional Supreme Court Preview event in October featured commentary and analysis on arbitration, consumer, and class-action cases from Prof. Daniel Crane, and on labor cases and NRLR v. Noel Canning from Prof. Kate Andrias. Michigan Law ACS presented lunch talks on a variety of exciting and timely constitutional issues, welcoming Greg Lipper, Senior Litigation Counsel at Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C., who gave a talk about Town of Greece v. Galloway, which Americans United is litigating before the Court; Indian Child Welfare Act expert Judge Timothy P. Connors, who spoke on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the recently-decided Supreme Court case; and Jonathan Brater of the Brennan Center for Justice to talk about voting rights in the wake of Shelby County. Michigan Law ACS was also honored to present Prof. Valerie R. Newman of the Michigan State Appellate Defender's Office and Eric Restuccia, Deputy Michigan Solicitor General, who spoke about their experiences arguing on opposite sides of the recent Supreme Court habeas case Burt v. Titlow, and to hold a "donuts and coffee event" with Noel Saleh, chair of the Fair Housing Center of Metro Detroit, who chatted with students about the Mount Holly disparate-impact case. In addition to Michigan Law ACS-organized events, the chapter also partnered with other student organizations to cosponsor events, including a discussion of GLBT issues, a talk with bank robber-turned-D.C. Circuit clerk Shon Hopwood, and screenings of the documentary films "Inequality for All" and "Gideon's Army."

For the spring, Michigan Law ACS has already held a number of popular events, with several more planned for the future. A State of the Union watch party was held in January, and Prof. Ellen Katz spoke on the newly proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 just last week. The chapter also plans a reprise of its "Valentines to SCOTUS" event, its most popular last year, which features a Valentine's Day-themed panel in which three professors, Prof. Eve Brensike Primus, Prof. Nina Mendelson, and Prof. David Moran discuss the Supreme Court justice who they love most of all. For March, the chapter has scheduled an event on deferred prosecution, non-prosecution agreements, and the erosion of corporate criminal liability with Prof. David M. Uhlmann, who wrote a law review piece and op-ed published in the New York Times on the subject. The chapter also is planning a lunch talk with Ohio attorney Andrew R. Mayle, who has litigated many state constitutional claims in Ohio, including a pending case on red-light camera systems in Toledo and Cleveland, which will be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Student Chapter of the Week February 10:

University of Georgia School of Law

The University of Georgia ACS Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Professor Erica Hashimoto, started the fall 2013 semester with an event recapping the Supreme Court same-sex marriage decisions. Professor Sonja West and PhD Candidate Anthony Kreis talked about the Court’s rulings. In October, UGA ACS co-hosted a conference about Georgia's Public Defender System. In November, they participated in voter outreach events and hosted speaker Nathan Kozuskanich to discuss his book The Second Amendment on Trial. They wrapped up the month with their Diversity on the Bench event, where they partnered with other student organizations to host three Georgia judges, Judge Carla McMillian, Judge Justin Anand, and Judge Gale Tucson, to talk about their experiences as minorities on the bench.

In January, UGA ACS kicked off the semester with a public interest career panel featuring Luana Walsh, an Atlanta Public Defender, and UGA Law student Evelyn French. At the end of January, Professors Christina Mulligan and Harlan Cohen talked with students about cybersecurity and legal issues surrounding the Edward Snowden document leaks. UGA ACS then hosted Todd Holbrook of the Georgia Wildlife Federation to talk about environmental legislation. On Feb. 12, UGA ACS will have its membership drive day, starting with a morning talk by Professor David Fontana of GW Law School about Obama's judicial nominations. At the end of February, they will host attorneys from the Department of Community Health as well as a speaker from the local EPA office.

Along with these events, UGA ACS has held progressive happy hours and a coffee and donut break during finals. They will have a documentary screening at a local restaurant in March. These events let students relax and discuss progressive ideas in an informal setting.

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Student Chapter of the Week February 3:

Southwestern Law School

In its third year as a chapter, under the guidance of Professors Gowri Ramachandran and Jonathan Miller, Southwestern’s ACS chapter and name recognition have grown steadily. The chapter board’s goal is to sustain this positive trend.

Last semester the chapter hosted its fall general membership meeting, a stimulating debate about judicial activism between Southwestern Professors Warren Grimes and Joerg Knipprath, a room-capacity Supreme Court term preview, and volunteer opportunities with the Children’s Deportation Defense Project and Constitution in the Classroom. Southwestern’s first Constitution in the Classroom event was a great success, during which ten volunteers taught five middle school classes about the Constitution. Volunteers found it very gratifying to have the students thank them for teaching them in an hour “about important and interesting information they didn’t know about.”

This semester speaker events include Professor Justin Levitt from Loyola Law School who will connect the dots from Watergate to Citizens United and the enduring struggles of campaign finance reform. Southwestern Professor Robert Pugsley will present “Stand Your Ground and Self-Defense: A Comparison of CA and FL Law.”  In remembrance of Aaron Swartz, the Electronic Frontier Foundation will speak about defending digital rights. And, the Federalist Society and ACS chapters will co-sponsor a sure to be exciting debate between Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Southwestern ACS Faculty Advisor Professor Gowri Ramachandran. The chapter is also organizing a mixer between the five Los Angeles student chapters and the lawyer chapter.

The Southwestern chapter looks forward to welcoming student chapters near and far to Los Angeles for the ACS Student Convention at UCLA in few weeks!

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Student Chapter of the Week December 16:

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Kermit Roosevelt, the Penn Law School ACS Chapter continues to drive the progressive dialogue on important legal and constitutional issues on campus and is wrapping up another exciting semester. 

The school year began with a bang when the chapter hosted Founder and Editor of SCOTUSblog Amy Howe, ACS Board Member Prof. Linda Greenhouse, Assistant Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Natasha Korgaonkar, and Chair of the ACS Board Member Prof. Peter Edelman for the annual Supreme Court Review & Preview.  Penn Law Prof.  Ted Ruger moderated the panel. The chapter packed a lecture hall to hear former Temple University President Professor David Adamany discuss McCutcheon v. FEC and its possible ramifications.  Our chapter was pleased to host author and journalist Laurence Leamer for a discussion of his book “The Price of Justice” and the overall role that political contributions play in state judicial elections.  Penn Law ACS worked with other student groups on campus to host Professor Lenore Carpenter, former Legal Director at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania and current Temple Professor, for a discussion on LGBT litigation strategies in Pennsylvania.  We were also lucky to be joined by Sarah Stillman, staff writer for the New Yorker and Visiting Scholar at NYU's Journalism Institute, as she discussed her recent article “Taken,” which discusses how civil forfeiture laws and practices have given rise to corruption and violations of our civil liberties. 

Penn Law ACS continues to emphasize connecting students to progressive leaders and academics.  Students enjoyed an opportunity to have dinner with Prof. Stephen Burbank through our professor BYO dinners.  We also hosted a number of intimate brownbag lunches including a conversation about comprehensive immigration reform with Prof. Sarah Paoletti and a conversation about the Affordable Care Act Rollout with Prof. Tom Baker.  Finally, as part of a membership drive, both returning and new members enjoyed a quizzo night (that’s trivia, Philadelphia style!) and happy hour together.

The Penn Law Chapter is already looking ahead to next semester when it will host its Eleventh Annual Federal Judges Panel featuring Chief Judge Robert Katzmann and help coordinate the Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition.

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Student Chapter of the Week December 9:

Columbia Law School

The Columbia Law School Chapter of ACS, under the guidance of Professor Gillian Metzger, opened its semester with an introduction to its mission and goals through a Trivia Night co-sponsored with the Federalist Society.  The chapter has been committed to increasing collaboration and dialogue within the CLS community by partnering with a number of other campus organizations. For instance, the chapter worked with the Federalist Society to stage several debates this semester. The first featured Professors Michael Stokes Paulsen and Adam Samaha, the second debate on a balanced budget amendment featured Professor Neil Kinkopf and Nick Dranias, and the third debate on the HHS contraceptive mandates featured Aram Schvey and Matt Bowman and was moderated by Professor Gillian Metzger. In September, the Chapter also partnered with the ACLU to host a panel discussion on the recent Shelby County and Fisher cases. Panelists included ACS Board Member Ted Shaw, Jamal Greene, and Susan Sturm

Further into the semester, the chapter co-sponsored a screening of a documentary about Constance Baker Motley, hosted Ekow Yankah for a discussion of the Trayvon Martin case and flaws in the criminal justice system, and hosted Liz Kennedy for a discussion of the pending McCutcheon v. FEC case. The chapter was also fortunate to have Judge Katherine Forrest, SDNY, give an evening talk on the challenges facing a new judge. The chapter closed its semester with a book talk by Professor Thomas Healy where he presented his new work, “The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendall Holmes Changed His Mind-and Changed the History of America.”

The Chapter is looking forward to a busy spring semester, which will include participating in the law school’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

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Student Chapter of the Week December 2:

Yale Law School

Under the supervision of ACS Board Member Professor Reva Siegel, and with the gracious assistance of fellow ACS Board Member Professor Linda Greenhouse, the Yale Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society is finishing an exciting semester.

Through the ACS Policymaker Series, the chapter has brought a number of current and former members of the President’s administration to Yale. In mid-November, former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visited the chapter to speak about fiscal policymaking. The ACS Policymaker Series has also seen exciting visits from Jess Schumer, Chief of Staff at the Council of Economic Advisers, Marty Lederman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel, and Michael Gottlieb, Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel.

This semester, the Yale chapter also focused extensively on court access and litigation rights issues through its Plaintiffs’ Bar Series. The series saw talks by famed trial lawyer Steve Susman, founder of Susman Godfrey LLP, appellate advocate Deepak Gupta, and others.

Yale’s Progressive Scholarship Workshop, where students workshop and critique faculty working papers, continued this semester with extensive participation from faculty members at Yale, including Professors Akhil Amar, Bruce Ackerman, Heather Gerken, William Eskridge, Ian Ayres, Reva Siegel, and Jack Balkin.

ACS at Yale was also happy to host a number of smaller, reception-style events for members with exciting advocates and policymakers, including former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, and London mayoral candidate MP David Lammy.

The Yale chapter has focused extensively on mentoring and membership development, conducting a 1L mentoring program, job and clerkship related programming, social events, and cosponsorships with other student organizations. Other events this semester featured programming on: campaign finance, the future of the ERA, military commissions, environmental law, the future of charity, housing rights, and American Indian law.

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Student Chapter of the Week November 25:

Saint Louis University School of Law

The Saint Louis University School of Law ACS Chapter kicked off fall 2013 with an introductory meeting where its new Faculty Advisor, Professor Joel Goldstein, spoke on new originalism. Next, the chapter celebrated Constitution Day with Professor Anders Walker speaking on the controversial proposed Missouri gun legislation. The Constitution Day celebration continued with a happy hour co-hosted by the Mark Twain Student Law Association. In October, Professor Paul Finkelman, a prominent and prolific historian, of Albany Law spoke to students on religious monuments in public spaces. The chapter also spearheaded SLU Law’s inaugural Progressive Student Happy Hour with five other progressive student organizations at SLU Law. 

SLU ACS continued the Brown Bag Lunch Series this fall, titled “My Favorite Amendment,” where professors meet with small groups of students to engage in discussions of the Constitution. Professor Karen Petroski spoke to students on the First Amendment as a constitutional basis for academic freedom. Next semester, Professor Joel Goldstein will speak with students on Justice Thomas abandoning originalism in race cases and Professor Lynn Branham will discuss constitutional rights of prisoners.

In November, the chapter co-sponsored with the SLU Law Federalist Society a debate on the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act with Professor Marcia McCormick and Attorney Michael Rosman of the Center for Individual Rights.  In January 2014, SLU ACS is honored to host The Honorable Richard Teitelman of the Missouri Supreme Court for the chapter’s first meeting of the semester.

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Student Chapter of the Week November 18:

Georgetown University Law Center

The ACS Georgetown Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Professor David Cole, Professor Lisa Heinzerling, and ACS Board Chairman Professor Peter Edelman, has had a strong fall semester. ACS Georgetown began the semester with a Constitution Day event examining the role of the FISA court system and possible avenues for reform. Panelists included Laura Donahue, Director of the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law, Martin Lederman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies at Georgetown Law, and moderator Raffaela Wakeman, Associate Editor of Lawfare.

Throughout the semester, ACS Georgetown has continued to address issues of public debate and has held events related to the Affordable Care Act, the government shutdown, military sexual assaults, legal stigma of marginalized groups, and the role of religion in public life. ACS Georgetown has also held brownbag lunches with Professor David Cole, Professor Peter Edelman, and Professor Eloise Pasachoff. In addition to its broad issue-based agenda, ACS Georgetown has held numerous social events, including regional and school-wide happy hours.

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Student Chapter of the Week November 11:

University of Wisconsin Law School

The University of Wisconsin Law School ACS Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Professor Ben Kempinen, kicked off its fall 2013 semester with a robust lineup of progressive programming. In September, the Chapter co-sponsored a debate with the University of Wisconsin Federalist Society on constitutional originalism.  Additionally, ALICE founder Joel Rogers joined University of Tulane Law School Professor David Marcell and Wisconsin State Representative Chris Taylor to educate students about ALICE’s model law drafting project.

In October, the Chapter co-sponsored a documentary screening of “Terms and Conditions May Apply.” The film exposes telecommunication companies and the federal government in their evisceration of online privacy via collection and resale of personal data.  Next, attorneys Steve Porter and ACLU Wisconsin Director Larry Dupuis spoke to students about Wisconsin Capitol protestors’ constitutional challenge to a permit requirement used by the WI Department of Administration to curtail speech.  Recently, Representative Chris Taylor and Attorney Lester Pines, lead counsel for Planned Parenthood, discussed Planned Parenthood v. Van Hollen, a 7th Circuit case in which Planned Parenthood challenges the constitutionality of a new Wisconsin law requiring reproductive health providers to gain admitting privileges from local hospitals and perform mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds.  Lastly, the Chapter co-sponsored a school voucher debate with the Federalist Society and Secular Law Students Society titled “Freedom from Religion OR Freedom of Religion?”

This month, University of Wisconsin Law School Professor Keith Findley presented on Wisconsin’s exoneration compensation bill, which would increase the amount that the state compensates a wrongfully convicted individual.   Additionally, the Chapter is co-sponsoring a documentary screening of “The State of Arizona,” which exposes the human consequences of SB1070.  Finally, the Chapter has sponsored two lectures: “The Immigration Consequences of DOMA,” by Attorney Glorily Lopez, and “The NSA and the 4th Amendment” by University of Wisconsin Law School Professor Cecilia Klingele.

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Student Chapter of the Week November 4:

UC Berkeley School of Law

The ACS Berkeley Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Andrew Bradt, has had a busy and eventful fall semester.  The chapter kicked off the year with two membership drives that drew in a strong, engaged 1L class that will be the foundation of the organization in the coming years.  Moreover, the chapter has utilized its strong relationships with other campus organizations, forming partnerships and co-hosting progressive events with the Henderson Center for Social Justice, the Queer Caucus, the Asian American Law Journal, and the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, to name a few. 

In a joint event with the Boalt Hall Women’s Association and Queer Caucus at the law school, the chapter hosted San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney and member of the ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter Board of Advisors Therese Stewart, who spoke about her decade-long involvement in the ultimately successful litigation over Prop 8 and marriage equality.  The event was attended by nearly one hundred enthusiastic students and received rave reviews from attendees.  More recently, the chapter held a joint event with the Berkeley Criminal Law Journal to view the critically acclaimed documentary, Gideon’s Army.  Going forward, the chapter plans to attend oral arguments at the 9th Circuit Courthouse in San Francisco on November 8 and is planning an event on campaign finance.  Next semester, the chapter hopes to continue building momentum by hosting a series of events exploring its members’ varied interests.

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 28:

Capital University Law School

The Capital University Law School ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisors Professors Mark Brown and Peggy Cordray, kicked off the semester with a Constitution Day Supreme Court Term Review panel featuring Capital Law Professors Dan Kobil, Charles Cohen, Mark Brown and Mark Strasser with Professor Susan Gilles as moderator. The chapter hosted a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert, author of Chasing Gideon, that was co-sponsored by the ACS Columbus Lawyer Chapter and the Moritz ACS Chapter, and partnered with those chapters to host a discussion with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. Additionally, the Capital ACS Chapter is hosting a career panel highlighting non-profit and public service careers and plans to partner with the Capital Black Law Students Association to host a Racial Justice and Stand Your Ground Presentation in early November, a mass incarceration panel discussion and a screening of the documentary “Broken on All Sides.” The Capital Law Chapter also plans to host a Judicial Clerkship Panel and partner with the Women’s Law Association to co-sponsor a Supreme Court term preview.

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 21:

University of Missouri School of Law

The University of Missouri School of Law’s ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Prof. Richard Reuben, has had a great year so far. After attending the National Convention in Washington D.C., and upon its return to law school, the Mizzou Law ACS Board worked hard to recruit first year students through its activities fair, first year happy hour, and all-member Welcome Back party.

In September, the chapter hosted two very successful debates with the Federalist Society: “Constitution Day Debate: Originalism v. A Living Constitution,” featuring Prof. Ben Trachtenberg of the University of Missouri School of Law and Prof. John McGinnis of Northwestern University School of Law, and “DOMA & Prop-8: The Legal Implications of the Recent Cases,” featuring Ian Millhiser, Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress.

Currently, Mizzou Law ACS is in the midst of its Supreme Court Lunch series, being held throughout October. First, Prof. Richard Reuben discussed Shelby County v. Holder. This week, Prof. Carl Esbeck will discuss Town of Greece v. Galloway. Finally, Dean Rigel Oliveri will give a talk on Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action.

Overall, Mizzou Law ACS has had a successful semester, has a number of events in the works for the remainder of the year, and would like to thank National for all of its support!

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 14:

Rutgers School of Law - Newark

The Rutgers-Newark student chapter, under the guidance of Co-Faculty Advisors Profs. Penny Venetis and Jessica Kitson, is off to a fast start this fall. After beginning the semester with a student mixer during orientation, the chapter hosted Rutgers-Newark’s official Constitution Day event featuring Professor James Pope. The following week, the chapter kicked off its Supreme Court in Review Series with a discussion of Shelby County and the future of the Voting Rights Act with Professor Elise Boddie. The chapter then hosted a panel on the future of drug laws featuring Evan Nison, Executive Director of NORML-NJ. The chapter’s second Supreme Court in Review event looked at DOMA and Prop 8 ten years after Lawrence and featured ACS National Board member Paul Smith.

Still to come this semester is a look at Fisher and the future of affirmative action with Professor Brandon Paradise and a Supreme Court Preview with Ian Millhiser, Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. The chapter is currently putting the finishing touches on an election-day look at campaign finance laws, a panel looking back at the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and will close out the semester with a screening of Broken on All Sides, which examines mass incarceration in the United States.

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK OCTOBER 7:

The Ohio State University Mortiz College of Law


 

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ACS Student Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor and ACS Board Member Daniel Tokaji, kicked off the semester with a Constitution Day discussion on Executive War Powers and the Question of Syria featuring Moritz Law Professors Peter Shane and Dakota Rudesill. The chapter also hosted Moritz Law Associate Dean for Faculty Donald Tobin for a discussion on Nonprofits in Politics and the IRS Targeting Scandal. 

Additionally, the Moritz ACS Chapter partnered with the ACS Columbus Lawyer Chapter and the Capital Law ACS Chapter to host a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert, author of Chasing Gideon, and is partnering with those chapters to host a discussion with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray. The chapter is welcoming Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to Moritz for a discussion on Judicial Election Reform in Ohio, and will host Ohio Representative Kathleen Clyde, Ohio Representative Michael Stinziano, and Columbus City Councilmember Zach Klein for a discussion on Legislative Careers. The Moritz Chapter is partnering with the Moritz Federalist Society to host a Supreme Court Term Preview moderated by Moritz Law DeanAlan Michaels. The chapter is also co-sponsoring a discussion about charter schools and a screening of Defending Gideon

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 30:

Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University


 

The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University ACS Student Chapter, led by faculty adviser Chapin Cimino, is in the midst of a busy fall schedule of events. The chapter began its semester with an event called “Police Brutality in the Age of the iPhone,” where Philadelphia defense attorneys Jonathan Feinberg of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg and Lawrence Krasner of Krasner, Hughes and Long, LLC, discussed the way that cell phones with video cameras have revolutionized criminal defense and police procedure. The chapter also hosted Lyle Denniston from SCOTUSBlog, Tiffany L. Palmer, Shareholder, Jerner & Palmer, P.C., and Mary Catherine Roper, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU of Pennsylvania, and Earle Mack Professor David Cohen to discuss the exciting DOMA v. Windsor case. Mary Beth Tinker kicked off her Tinker Tour at Earle Mack, where she discussed her landmark First Amendment case, Tinker v. Des Moines, and encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights. Seton Hall Professor Thomas Healy also spoke at Earle Mack about his new book, The Great Dissent, which investigates Oliver Wendell Holmes’ dissent in Abrams v. United States, which laid the foundation for free speech rights today.

Earle Mack recently held two of its largest events of the semester: a half-day symposium “Practicing in the Shadow of Roe,” where pro-choice lawyers and practitioners discussed the limitations imposed on them in the forty years since Roe, and “The Sequester Hits the Courts,” which included federal Judge Brooks Smith (3d Cir.) and federal Judge C. Darnell Jones II (E.D. Pa.), federal public defenders Rich Coughlin and Nina Carpiniello Spizer, and Villanova Law Professor Tuan Samahon. The event discussed how the Sequester has affected access to justice by limiting the courts and the defenders, which is sadly ironic on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright. In addition, the Earle Mack chapter had a discussion with Justice Goodwin Liu of the Supreme Court of California on “Keeping Faith with the Constitution.” The chapter will also host author Michael Avery in October to discuss his book, “The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back From Liberals.” 

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 23:

Harvard Law School


  

The ACS Harvard Law School Student Chapter, under the guidance of faculty advisor Professor Michael Klarman, has an exciting slate of events planned for this fall. First, the semester kicked off with a visit from Justice Elena Kagan, who sat down with HLS Dean Martha Minow to chat about life inside One First Street. Next, Harvard has planned several events that focus on civil rights issues, including a lunch talk with Lenora Lapides, Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project; a discussion about government spending on the poor with Peter Edelman, ACS Board Chair, Georgetown Law professor and expert on poverty issues; and a lunch talk on equal opportunity in education with Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court. 

In the coming weeks, New York Times Legal Columnist and ACS Board Member Linda Greenhouse will give students a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term; Karen Houppert, author of “Chasing Gideon,” will visit campus to address the problem of mass incarceration, and Natasha Korgaonkar of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund will discuss how voting rights advocacy groups are responding to Shelby County v. Holder. Additionally, Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog, will come to moot his case BG Group v. Argentina and give a midyear report on the Supreme Court. Lastly, the HLS chapter is gearing up to host this year’s ACS Northeast Regional Student Conference, with seven panels built around the theme “The Future of Equality.”

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 16:

Tulane University Law School

The ACS Tulane Law School Chapter, under the guidance of Faculty Advisor Professor Keith Werhan, is looking forward to a great semester. The chapter has initiated a Supreme Court Review series, in which Tulane Law faculty will discuss recent SCOTUS decisions that affect individual rights and liberties. The first event in the series, “That Dog Can’t Sniff Your Grass:  Florida v. Jardines,” will feature a lecture by Professor Jancy Hoeffel about the Court’s recent ruling that a warrantless sniff by a drug dog at the front door of a private residence violates the Fourth Amendment. The second event in the series is “It’s Good (Not) To Be The King:  Vance v. Ball State,” in which Professor Joel Friedman will discuss the limitations of the definition of “supervisor” for purposes of employer vicarious liability in cases of workplace harassment that were established by the ruling.  The fall semester’s final event in the series, “Death of DOMA:  U.S. v. Windsor,” features Professor Robert Westley’s analysis of the Court’s DOMA ruling.  The series will resume in the spring.

In addition, the chapter will welcome Emily Maw, the Director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, in November.  Her lecture, entitled “Attorney Accountability and Wrongful Convictions:  50 Years After Gideon,” will illuminate the role of “bad lawyering” (i.e. errors, negligence, and deliberate misconduct by both prosecutors and defense attorneys) in wrongful convictions.

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STUDENT CHAPTER OF THE WEEK SEPTEMBER 9:

Indiana University Maurer School of Law

The Indiana University Maurer School of Law ACS Student Chapter, with faculty advisor and ACS Board Member Prof. Dawn Johnsen, has already planned many great events. The fall semester’s theme is Gideon’s 50th anniversary and related events include: a talk and book signing with Karen Houppert author of Chasing Gideon, a panel of public defenders to discuss indigent defense, screenings of films Defending Gideon and Gideon’s Trumpet, and a panel featuring David Carroll of the 6th Amendment Center and Prof. Norman Lefstein of IU-Indianapolis McKinney School of Law. In addition, the chapter is sponsoring “Modeling Progressive Law for States and Cities” with ALICE founder Joel Rogers and has invited local community groups to take part in ALICE’s vital mission. Its Constitution Day events will feature Duke University School of Law Prof. Jeff Powell on "War Powers under the Constitution and The Question of Syria," and law students will engage with middle school students as part of Constitution in the Classroom.

In addition, the chapter will cosponsor a panel on Prof. Jeannine Bell’s new book, Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-In Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing and a student question-and-answer session with Yale Law School Prof. Harold Koh during his visit for an endowed lecture series on international law. Prof. Winnifred Sullivan will discuss prayer at government meetings, an issue before the Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and Amy Howe, editor at SCOTUSblog, will present a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court docket. The chapter's spring semester's theme will be Brown’s 60th anniversary and the chapter will host a talk by ACS Board member and Columbia Law Prof. Ted Shaw, previously President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Social events, mixers and less formal brown bag lunches also are planned throughout the year.

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