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.
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.
2020 National Convention
Join us for the premier progressive legal gathering of the year! The 2020 ACS National Convention will bring together lawyers, law students, judges, and policymakers to address some of the most urgent and challenging issues confronting our nation. Register now to receive our early bird registration rates!
In addition, scholarships are available to defray lodging, travel, and/or registration costs for public interest and government attorneys earning $100,000 or less. You can apply for a Public Interest Fellowship (PIF) here.
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.
Keep up-to-date with all of ACS’s impeachment resources here.
2019 ACS National Lawyer Convening
Progressive lawyers and advocates from around the country gathered in Atlanta in October for the 2019 ACS National Lawyer Convening. The Convening program centered around the belief that the law can and should be a force to improve the lives of all people and empowered ACS leaders to help lead the charge! From strengthening leadership skills to developing a creative litigation strategy to becoming a judge, attendees heard about tangible ways to further this goal as progressive attorneys and advocates.
Check our convening page for photos and videos from the Convening.
2019 ACS National Convention
The 2019 ACS National Convention brought together nearly 1,000 lawyers, law students, judges, and policymakers to address some of the most urgent and challenging issues confronting our nation. Speakers included Bryan Stevenson, Hon. Goodwin Liu (Cal.), Rep. Colin Allred, Rep. Sharice Davids, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, Bob Ferguson, Hon. Anita Earls (N.C.), and many more.
Panels considered such timely issues from structural reform of the U.S. Supreme Court, to the role of state courts and constitutions in protecting rights and liberties, to the need for comprehensive reform to repair democracy in the post-Trump era. The ACS Arizona Lawyer Chapter received the Chapter of the Year Award. The ACS Bay Area and Madison Lawyer Chapters received Programming Awards.
Check our convention page for photos and videos from the Convention.
2019 Program Guide: Progressive Federalism
2018 Program Guide: Safeguarding the Rule of Law
2017 Program Guide: Fighting For Our First Freedoms
2016 Program Guide: Are All Voters Created Equal?
Lawyers in Action
On February 4, the ACS Michigan Chapter, in partnership with the ACS University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Student Chapter and the University of Detroit Mercy Black Student Union, hosted a panel discussion on progressive prosecution and criminal justice. The panel included Hon. Aramis Ayala, the State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Valerie Newman, the Director of the Conviction Integrity Unit at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a former member of the ACS Michigan Chapter Board of Directors, and speaker & exoneree Aaron Salter. The event was moderated by Matt Monahan, the Chair of the ACS Michigan Chapter.
The panelists talked about a wide number of topics, including the implications of progressive prosecution and potential struggles associated with progressive prosecution and what it means to engage in prosecutorial work with an eye towards equity. Members of the audience also contributed to the dialogue, asking questions of the panelists and offering their own insights and experiences.
Our thanks to the various event hosts, our exceptional panelists, and the audience for an engaging and informative event!
View past Lawyers in Action events here.
Lawyers of ACS
Conchitz Cruz (she/her/hers)
ACS Next Generation Leader; Member, ACS New York Lawyer Chapter; Former Co-President, Yale Law School ACS Chapter
I joined Yale Law School’s ACS Chapter my first year in law school. The organization brought speakers to campus who inspired me and reminded me why I had gone back to school to be an attorney. I served on the board of Yale’s ACS chapter, including a term as Co-President. While in law school, I co-founded the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) and am now the Co-Executive Director of the organization. ASAP provides community support and emergency legal aid to asylum seekers seeking safe haven in the United States regardless of where they are located. We have worked with asylum-seeking families in over 40 states and are now serving families forced to live in camps on the Mexican side of the Mexico-U.S. border.
ACS was supportive of my work as a law student and Next Generation Leader, and continues to support me in my role at ASAP especially as we are working with clients to hold the government accountable for mistreatment in immigration detention, including the trauma of family separation, through litigation, media and policy.
Read more from Conchita and previous Lawyers of ACS here.
2020 Model Calendar
ACS’s Tax Exemption Federal Letter
Lawyer Chapter Handbook
Membership Form (One Pager)
Sample Event Sign-in Sheet
Sample Lawyer Chapter Constitution
Social Media Guidelines
Speaker Release Form
Zinelle October, Executive Vice-President & Vice-President of Network Advancement, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan Paulas, Senior Director of Chapters, email@example.com
Peggy Li, Director of Chapters, firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Greene, Associate Director of Chapters, email@example.com
Jordan Blisk, Assistant Director of Chapters, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Herd, Assistant Director of Chapters, email@example.com
Christopher Lin, Assistant Director of Chapters, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Fouad, Assistant Director of Network Communications, email@example.com
Jake Mazeitis, Lawyer Chapters Fellow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Who do I contact to:
Get an RSVP list?
Get an email sent to my list?
Change my city/contact information?
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?
Seek media advice or guidance?
Find my local chapter?
All of our Lawyer Chapters are listed here.