Lawyer Chapters

About

The American Constitution Society is the nation’s leading progressive legal organization, with Lawyer Chapters in nearly 50 cities and active organizing efforts in a number of other locations. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, judges, scholars and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. Our chapters hold public programs across the country each year, generating “intellectual capital” for ready use by progressive allies and shaping debates on key legal and public policy issues. A list of all ACS Lawyer Chapters is available here. If you are interested in helping to organize a Lawyer Chapter, please contact us at LCEmails@acslaw.org or 202-393-6181.

ACS also works to cultivate the next generation of progressive leaders. We use our extensive national network to assist our members with career development, mentorship, and job assistance. Our members get access to job banks, special conference calls, and the opportunity to network with progressive leaders throughout the country. Access our member job bank here.

Not yet an ACS member? Join our network today, or click here to have your membership auto-renew each year.

Lawyers of ACS

April 2021

Quyen Tu (she/her/ella) 

Co-Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Committee, ACS Los Angeles Lawyer Chapter 

Last summer, as we began to see the disparate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities, KQED published an article on how many children in non-English speaking households are serving as the de facto translators for their family. Boy, did the article resonate with me! As a newly arrived seven-year-old refugee, I did not speak or understand English. By ten, I was the language bridge for my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents as we built our lives in the US. 

Like the kids in the article, I still translate for my family. Nine months into a global pandemic, Kaiser Permanente still only had one page of medical information about COVID-19 in Vietnamese. This is appalling because Kaiser is a large, multi-state institution with access to resources. It has numerous locations in Orange County, home of the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. Yet, Kaiser didn’t offer adequate in-language support to the community it serves. Thankfully, I was able to translate for my family membersBut what about those who don’t have someone like meIf you don’t speak or read English, how do you let Kaiser and other societal institutions know that your needs aren’t being met? 

I was drawn to ACS because of its mission and commitment to diversity, recognizing that we all fundamentally bring value and contribute to American society because of who we are. Working with and representing people who don’t speak English reminds me of my own family’s struggle to communicateIt’s why I continue to learn different languages. I want to lessen the barrier for me to understand and empathize with othersThose moments when I introduce myself as an attorney representing my clients are little capstones in my legal career. 

I have wondered where my life would have led me to if I had arrived in an America that was more inclusive of other voices, different voices. In my current role at Alliance for Justice, I help people and organizations find their own voices and speak in whatever language they are most comfortable expressing themselves in to advocate for change. We are cheerleaders for bold advocacy. Whether individually or as a group, I hope that my work and involvement with ACS brings the vision of a more inclusive America closer to fruition. 

Read more from Quyen and previous Lawyers of ACS here.

2021 National Convention

This year’s 2021 ACS National Convention, will take place virtually from June 7 to June 11.  More details to follow soon.

To view the recordings of last year’s 2020 programming click here.

Supreme Court

Over the last four years, the U.S. Senate has engaged in an unprecedented power grab, placing the Court and our democracy in a new and perilous state. But the ACS lawyers and law students are not going to sit quietly by as the Right takes away their future. We must, and will, respond swiftly and forcefully to make clear that this fantasy of minority rule enforced by captured courts is just that. Courts that are in need of reform will be reformed. See ACS President Russ Feingold’s interview with Bloomberg describing our work with the new administration on federal courts here.

ACS Stands With the Civil Rights Community, Condemning Racism and Violence

As ACS President Russ Feingold and ACS Executive Vice President Zinelle October said in their joint statement last summer, we at ACS are grieving over the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police. These murders and acts of violence are rooted in systemic racism and we stand with our Black and Brown communities who feel this pain most acutely.

ACS is committed to be a part of the change that’s so desperately needed. While we revere the Constitution, defend democracy, and work toward a more just union, we cannot ignore the racist history of our nation’s founding documents. We must continue to work to uphold and insist that our leaders uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives—including the lives of Black and Brown people.

Read the Statement.

At-Large Chapter

Although ACS Chapters can be found in almost every major metropolitan area, there are many who are unable to join one of our existing, location-based chapters due to a variety of circumstances such as a disability, physical location, or work schedule. That is why we launched our At-Large Chapter in 2019: to provide access to progressive programming on critical issues and create avenues to engage with the entire ACS network through an innovative and online-based platform.

Learn more about the At-Large Chapter here.

COVID-19 and ACS Reimbursement Policy

We are advising that chapter events be planned virtually through the spring. Given the uncertainty and the lack of safety surrounding in-person events at this time, we are also halting funding and reimbursements for event and travel costs. As you are organizing events, if there are anticipated costs, please reach out to your ACS national liaison to further discuss.

If you need help planning a virtual event, please reach out to your ACS national liaison or email LCEmails@acslaw.org.

Membership

Join ACS or renew now and your membership will be current through the end of 2021, a critical year of growth and impact for ACS. Help us invest in ACS chapters, chapter programs, networking, pipeline development, and mentorship work. Thank you for your support!

Programming

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

CLE Credits are a great way to attract new members to an ACS Lawyer Chapter event as well as encourage and incentivize programming attendance for busy ACS lawyers. More on how to apply for CLE here.

Impeachment Resources

Keep up-to-date with all of ACS’s impeachment resources here.

Program Guides

If you need ideas for an event, try checking out one of our program guides!

Resources

2021 Model Calendar
ACS’s Tax Exemption Federal Letter
Event Checklist
Lawyer Chapter Handbook
Membership Form (One Pager)
Reimbursement Form
Sample Event Sign-in Sheet
Sample Lawyer Chapter Constitution
Social Media Guidelines
Speaker Release Form
Zoom Guidance
Election 2020 Checklist

Staff

Meghan Paulas, Vice-President of Network Advancement, mpaulas@acslaw.org
Peggy Li, Director of Chapters, pli@acslaw.org
Jordan Blisk, Associate Director of Chapters, jblisk@acslaw.org
Michelle Herd, Associate Director of Chapters, mherd@acslaw.org
Christopher Lin, Assistant Director of Chapters, clin@acslaw.org
Bridget Lawson, Assistant Director of Chapters, blawson@acslaw.org
Olu Adeosun, Chapters Associate, oadeosun@acslaw.org
Sam Fouad, Assistant Director of Network Communications, sfouad@acslaw.org
Princess Jefferson, Chapters Fellow, pjefferson@acslaw.org

Who do I contact to:

Get an RSVP list?
Princess Jefferson
Get an email sent to my list?
Princess Jefferson
​Change my city/contact information?
Princess Jefferson
​Request event funding? Get help with programming and/or speaker ideas?
LCEmails@acslaw.org or your National contact
​Get involved with pro bono or volunteer opportunities?
Ashley Erickson
​Seek media advice or guidance?
Sam Fouad
Find my local chapter?
All of our Lawyer Chapters are listed here.