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.

ACS Statement on Insurrectionist Attack and Attempted Coup on the Capitol

The attack on American democracy that we all witnessed today has been not four years, but four hundred years in the making. It grows out of a perverted understanding of America not as an imperfect, always unrealized effort to embody ideals of democracy, freedom and equality …

… but rather the white man’s paradise. Perverted and deadly though it is, this racist and violent vision of our nation was written into our founding document by some of the same men who also articulated the ideals to which the best among us have sacrificed so much to achieve.

We must be clear-eyed about the task before us. Some would sacrifice democracy before they will allow another step’s worth of progress toward equality. We must overcome this depraved vision of America.

Clinging to platitudes will weaken rather than strengthen us in this struggle. We must be honest about our flaws as we confront the enemies of democracy. Only in this way, and with the courage not to flinch from the fight, can we save that which is best in America.

 

Statement of Law Professors Calling on the Immediate Removal of Trump from Office

The continued presidency of Donald J. Trump is a grave risk to our democracy.

Donald Trump’s refusal to abide by the judgment of the American people has sabotaged a peaceful transfer of power from his Administration to that of President-Elect Biden. He has continued to lie about the trustworthiness of the national election, sought to enlist state officials in illegal manipulation of election results, and has undermined the constitutional process of the electoral college. And while the nation watched, a lawless, insurrectionist mob stormed the United States Capitol pursuant to his incitement and support.

Donald Trump has violated his Oath “to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”

As professors of law and as citizens, we care deeply about the rule of law and the viability of our constitutional republic.

We call on the United States Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, and the Cabinet to remove President Donald J Trump from office immediately, through the impeachment process or by invoking the 25th Amendment. His removal should be undertaken urgently, before further violence takes place or even greater damage is inflicted on our democracy.

To view the full list of signatories, please click here.

Petition for Disbarment

Thanks to the leadership of some of our phenomenal ACS Student Chapter leaders, and petition has been drafted to begin disbarment proceedings against Senator Hawley and Senator Cruz. As of January 13, 2021 at 3PM ET, over 11,000 lawyers and law students have signed this petition, including over 2,800 ACS members of the Missouri, Texas, and District of Columbia Bars. Please consider signing on 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 fall. 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.

Programming

2020 National Convention

Thank you for joining us for the 2020 ACS Virtual National Convention, an unprecedented event for unprecedented times. We were honored to present an impressive lineup of national legal leaders, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith EllisonMichele GoodwinPam KarlanRon Klain, and Vanita Gupta. You can review the videos of our invigorating week of programming and networking here!

Membership

Join ACS or renew now and your membership will be current through the end of 2020, 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!

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!

Lawyers of ACS

January 2021

Rachel Kitze Collins, (She/Her/Hers)

My upbringing instilled in me a passion for social justice and a love of the environment.  In college, political science and environmental studies were natural choices for my majors, although I resisted for a while the assumption that I would attend law school.  But after internships in Washington, DC, at Environment America, a local nonprofit in Northfield, Minnesota, and in the legal clinics at William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline), I decided that pursuing a law degree was the best way to follow my passions and make a difference.

Read more from Rachel and previous Lawyers of ACS here.

Resources

2020 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

Zinelle October, Executive Vice-President & Vice-President of Network Advancement, zoctober@acslaw.org
Meghan Paulas, Senior Director of Chapters, mpaulas@acslaw.org
Peggy Li, Director of Chapters, pli@acslaw.org
Jordan Blisk, Assistant Director of Chapters, jblisk@acslaw.org
Michelle Herd, Assistant Director of Chapters, mherd@acslaw.org
Christopher Lin, Assistant Director of Chapters, clin@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.