Student Chapters

About

The American Constitution Society is the nation’s leading progressive legal organization, with approximately 200 student and lawyer chapters in almost every state and law school. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, 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 over 1,400 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 student chapters is available here.

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 Members Job Bank here.

Fill out our Summer Update Form to let us know what you will be doing in Summer 2021!

Not yet an ACS student member? Join our network today.

Connect with the student chapters on Twitter and Instagram.

For all student chapter resources, click here.

Information on our current volunteer projects can be found here.

Learn more about our State Attorneys General Project here.

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

Student Chapter of the Week

Our student chapters work hard to bring progressive programming on timely legal topics to campuses across the country. The ACS Chapters Team recognizes a different student chapter for its efforts each week during the academic year. Read about our previous Chapters of the Week here.

Brooklyn Law School

The Brooklyn Law School ACS Student Chapter is thrilled and honored to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week.

The ACS Chapter at Brooklyn Law School continued to grow in its second year as a chapter, by increasing its membership and hosting a wide range of events throughout the year. The Chapter planned events that covered the Supreme Court docket, disability rights, excessive force, impeachment, and how the Supreme Court is being reshaped. They were also able to collaborate with the incredible ACS Student Chapters at Cornell, NYU, New York Law School, and St. John’s University on fantastic events that focused on the Supreme Court.

The Brooklyn Law ACS Chapter is very thankful to Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi for headlining a fascinating panel event on qualified immunity and civil rights. The Chapter would also like to thank the Brooklyn Law School chapter of the Disability Advocacy Law Students Association and CCIT-NYC for partnering to organize a disability rights event.

The graduating E-Board is very proud of the Chapter’s accomplishments during the last year and is excited to see what the incoming E-Board will accomplish in the future.

Finally, the Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor William Araiza for helping start the Chapter and for continually providing support to making the Chapter a success.

Student of ACS

ACS wouldn’t be ACS without its amazing network of law students that inspire us every day. Each week of the academic year, ACS features a blurb from a student chapter member about their work with ACS, what led them to law school, what motivates them, and more.

Ross Svenson (he/him/his), Harvard Law School ‘21

My peers and I came to law school in the wake of the devastating 2016 election and in the shadow of Donald Trump’s presidency. As a field organizer for Hillary Clinton, I felt the election loss acutely and as a U.S. Senate staffer I saw the policy consequences up close. To me, the harm caused by the Trump Administration’s radically conservative positions and policies wasn’t abstract. After each speech or policy enactment, I knew how it would affect the communities in which I had organized or that my Senator represented. Like so many others, the election experience in 2016 and its aftermath motivated me to attend law school so that I could explore avenues for effecting progressive change, be it through organizing, litigation, or policy advocacy.

Through ACS, I found a progressive home that not only supported that personal exploration, but also offered community through shared values. ACS never failed to remind me why I and so many other students came to law school in the first place. Whether that reminder came in the form of academic symposia on progressive constitutionalism or community action opposing Justice Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, I appreciated how the organization filled the gaps of purpose and perspective that can characterize law school. I learned as much about emerging legal theories and public policy through ACS events as I did in the classroom. The organization plays a critical role in developing progressive intellectual capital, and I’m so glad that our generation of law students can take our ACS experiences with us into the legal world.

Read about past Students of ACS here.

If you have a story you would like to share through Students of ACS, please e-mail us at campus@acslaw.org.

Announcements

2021 ACS National Convention 

This year’s 2021 ACS National Convention took place virtually from June 7 to June 11. This year’s convention focused on the Constitution’s “founding failures” when it comes to race and equality in this country, and reckoning with our past to create a more just future. Thank you to all who attended and made this event such a success!

To view the recordings of this year’s 2021 programming click here.

2021 ACS Virtual Graduation Ceremony

This year’s virtual graduation took place on May 21, 2021 and featured remarks from Jarrett Adams, Kristine Cruz, Hon. Luis Felipe Restrepo, and Cecile Richards. Thank you to all who attended and made this event such a success!

ACS Nationals is proud to present this year’s 2021 Student Chapter Awards:

ACS’s Reproductive Rights & Justice Award

  •  Boston College Law School

ACS’s Rising Chapter of the Year Award

  • The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

Chapter of the Year Award

  • The University of Chicago Law School

ACS Programming Awards

  • Boston College Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • Harvard Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • Notre Dame Law School
  • Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
  • Stanford Law School
  • The University of Texas School of Law
  • UC Berkeley School of Law
  • University at Buffalo School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • William & Mary Law School
  • Yale Law School

2021 ACS Student Convention

The 2021 ACS Student Convention was held virtually from March 25 to March 27 and brought together over 500 people! Thank you to all who attended and made this event such a success.

To view this year’s virtual Student Convention programming recordings click here.

Fall Membership Contest Winners

ACS is pleased to announce the 9th Annual Student Membership Contest winners:

  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Oregon School of Law

Congratulations to our leaders at the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Oregon School of Law!

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 statement 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.

Elevating and Engaging with Black Lives Program Series

In response to the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, ACS hosted its first “Elevating and Engaging with Black Lives” program on June 30, which focused on the experiences of Black lives on law school campuses. The recording for this first event can be found here. We then hosted a Part II of the series on August 12 to  discuss the need for a better aligned curriculum that takes seriously how the law engages with Black lives, as well as the need for more professors of color at America’s law schools. The recording for this second event is available here.

To continue to forge a different and better conversation about the role of law in promoting equality and safeguarding constitutional rights, and to continue to center the experiences and perspectives of Black lives, ACS, alongside Professor Michele Goodwin, the National Black Law Students Association, and the National Bar Association, hosted  Part III of this program: Elevating and Engaging Black Judges on March 17, 2021. The program focused on diversity in the judiciary and the need for more Black judges and sought to inspire students and young lawyers to see themselves as future judges. This event’s recording can be found here.

Fortunately, this powerful conversation will not stop there, as Part IV of this series will take place on April 28, 2021 and discuss the role of elected officials. Stay tuned for more updates on this program.

2020 ACS Student Chapter Award Winners

ACS Rising Chapter of the Year

Congratulations to our University of Idaho College of Law ACS Student Chapter for being ACS’s Rising Chapter of the Year! This annual award goes to a new or recently revived chapter that has done the most to advance progressive causes.

Chapter Programming Awards

ACS Programming Awards are presented annually to our most active chapters. We are thrilled to recognize these chapters, who helped to shape the debate and promote a progressive vision of the Constitution at their universities. The ACS Student Chapter winners of this year’s Programming Awards are:

  • Boston College Law School
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School 
  • University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Duke Law School 
  • The George Washington University Law School 
  • Georgetown University Law Center 
  • Harvard Law School 
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center 
  • University of Michigan Law School 
  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Notre Dame Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School 
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Stanford Law School 
  • The University of Texas School of Law 
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • Willamette University College of Law 
  • William & Mary Law School
  • University of Wisconsin Law School 
  • Yale Law School

Reproductive Rights and Justice Award

Congratulations to our Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Student Chapter for being the 2020 recipient of the Reproductive Rights and Justice Award. This annual award, presented in conjunction with the Center for Reproductive Rights, goes to the chapter that has had the greatest impact in the area of reproductive rights.

ACS Chapter of the Year 

Congratulations to our University of Michigan Law School Student Chapter for being selected as the 2020 ACS Student Chapter of the Year. This annual award is presented to the chapter that has shown the greatest strength in meeting ACS’s mission and goals.

Faculty Advisor of the Year 

Congratulations to Professor April G. Dawson for being selected as the 2020 Faculty Advisor of the Year. Professor April G. Dawson is the ACS Faculty Advisor at North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she has been monumental in supporting the chapter and and strengthening ACS’s progressive network.

Resources

For all student chapter resources, click here.