The American Constitution Society is the nation’s leading progressive legal organization, with approximately 200 student and lawyer chapters in almost every state and on most law school campuses. A list of all student chapters is available here. Our chapters hold over 1,400 public programs across the country each year, including debates, conferences, press briefings and networking opportunities. ACS works for positive change by shaping debates in classrooms, courtrooms, legislature and the media. ACS has built a national network of progressive law students, lawyers, judges, policy experts, legislators and academics committed to justice.
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 2020!
Not yet an ACS student member? Join our network today.
For all student chapter resources, click here.
ACS Next Generation Leaders
ACS is currently accepting applications for 2020 Next Generation Leaders! The submission deadline is Monday, March 2, 2020. Click here for more information and to download the application form. Congratulations to our 2019 Next Generation Leaders! Check out our leaders here.
Save the Dates: 2020 ACS Student Convention
ACS will be holding its 8th Annual Student Convention at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 27-28, 2020. Follow all the details here.
Scholarship applications are currently closed.
Registration is now open! If you applied for a scholarship, please wait for a response before registering.
ACS held its 7th Annual National Student Convention February 22-23, 2019. 170 students from 20 states and Washington, D.C., came together at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia for two days of progressive programming and training. Check out our recap blog here. To see pictures and view the full program, visit the Convention webpage.
Fall Membership Competition
ACS is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Student Membership Contest winners are:
- Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
- University of Chicago Law School
Congratulations Student Chapters!
ACS’s 2019 Regional Convening
ACS leaders and progressive advocates gathered at Regional Convenings throughout the country last year.
- Thank you to our University of Denver Sturm College of Law Student Chapter and the Colorado Lawyer Chapter for hosting the Western Regional Convening on October 25-26, 2019.
- Thank you to our Marquette University Law School Chapter and Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter for their work organizing the Midwest Regional Convening on Sep 5-6.
- Thank you to our North Carolina Central University School of Law Student Chapter and the ACS North Carolina Lawyer Chapter for hosting the Southeast Regional Convening on September 27, 2019.
- Thank you to our New York Law School Student Chapter and the ACS New York Lawyer Chapter for hosting the Northeast Regional Convening on October 4, 2019.
You can view highlights from the Northeast, Western, Southeast, and Midwest Regional Convenings on social media at @acslaw and @ACSStudents.
ACS Volunteer Opportunities
Through our volunteer efforts, ACS connects lawyers and law students across the country to opportunities tailored to their interests, skills, and schedule. We are constantly looking for volunteers for ongoing research and pro bono projects. Information on some of our current projects can be found here. They include ACS’s Voter Pre-Registration Initiative, ACS’s Notice and Comment Project, ACS’s Presidential Nominee Vetting Project, and many more! Please sign up on our volunteer survey or email us at LCEmails@acslaw.org if you’d like to help or if you know of any volunteer opportunities or trainings where our members could be helpful.
Join Constitution in the Classroom!
Constitution Day is on September 17! Our Constitution in the Classroom program provides an opportunity for lawyers and law students to teach lessons based on the United States Constitution in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the country. Participating is a great way to increase constitutional literacy in schools and excite young minds about the Constitution. Check out the 2019 Voting Rights lessons and additional information here. If you are interested in participating, please email LCEmails@acslaw.org.
ACS’s State Attorneys General Project
Through ACS’s network of students, lawyers, academics and allies, the State Attorneys General Project (AG Project) develops and disseminates legal resources and hosts programming and events examining the actions of state attorneys general and the emerging legal and policy issues they face. As states’ chief legal officers, state attorneys general are, first and foremost, law enforcement officials sworn to uphold the U.S. and state constitutions, and to enforce federal and state laws. The heart of a state attorney general’s mission is to serve the public interest. With broad jurisdiction and independence to act, state attorneys general play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights, health and safety of their states’ residents. By supporting the efforts of state attorneys general at this critical hour in our nation’s history, the AG Project is an extension of ACS’s efforts to ensure that the law is a force to improve the lives of all people. If your chapter is interested in planning an event involving the state AG office and would like our guidance, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 ACS National Convention
ACS held its 2019 National Convention June 6-8 in Washington, DC. Attorneys, law students, policymakers, and advocates from across the nation came together to discuss complex legal issues facing the United States today. Law students from 45 states and Washington, DC attended, and participated in discussions about structural reform of the U.S. Supreme Court, progressive federalism, the impact of prosecutors on the criminal justice system, and more.
Convention speakers included Bryan Stevenson, Hon. Goodwin Liu, Rep. Colin Allred, Rep. Sharice Davids, Michele Goodwin, Hon. Anita Earls, and many more.
Check our convention page for photos and videos from the Convention.
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.
Rutgers Law School-Newark ACS Student Chapter
The Rutgers Law School – Newark ACS Chapter restarted on campus in the fall semester of 2018. The Chapter began with a Midterm Election Watch Party. Throughout the year, the Chapter hosted several events on the Mueller Report, the constitutionality of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and the president’s use of emergency funds to build a wall on the US–Mexico border. Each event featured a professor to provide students with the constitutional backdrop of everyday happenings in our government. The Chapter also hosted a fireside chat between Rutgers Dean Taja-Nia Henderson and NYU Professor Rachel E. Barkow on Professor Barkow’s new book, Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration.
The Chapter kicked off the 2019–20 school year with a Constitution Day celebration, where students won patriotic prizes for answering U.S. government and history questions. The Chapter also hosted an Impeachment Pop-Up with Professor and ACS National Board Member Elise Boddie, who discussed the mounting evidence against the president and answered numerous questions about the constitutionality of the impeachment process. The Chapter’s “Hustler Magazine in the Age of Social Media” event was an interactive panel discussion about the evolution of our free speech rights, from the U.S. Supreme Court’s hallmark decision in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell to the present day legal question of whether private institutions are covered by the First Amendment. The Chapter closed out the semester with DACA recipients and other undocumented people at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
This coming semester we look forward to hosting a panel discussion on non-legal careers for progressive lawyering and continuing to host thought-provoking events on constitutional questions that effect our daily lives. The Rutgers-Newark ACS student chapter would like to thank ACS National and our faculty advisors Elise Boddie and Susan Feathers for their continued support and guidance.
Students 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.
Julia Manacher, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College
I have always been vocal about my opinions, but I began considering myself to be a full-fledged activist in November of 2016. The outcome of the 2016 presidential election inspired me, along with a group of other highly motivated women, to engage politically; however, we weren’t certain where to begin. After considerable effort, we founded Women to the Front (WTTF), a progressive social action organization aimed at identifying organizations of limited means which protect, defend, and elevate the progressive ideals that we value. The women of WTTF pour our collective time and talents into throwing fundraisers for the organizations that we support to raise awareness and funds for their causes. Working with WTTF has strengthened my commitment to public service and helped me recognize how much I value being involved with an organization that contributes to the public good.
When I went to law school, I knew that I wanted to find a progressive organization where I could continue contributing in similar ways to my work with WTTF. ACS fit the bill. The moment I joined ACS, I realized that I had found a group that felt very much like the women I worked with back home. The other student members of ACS are equally committed to the progressive ideals that are so important to me. It has been an amazing experience to bring various speakers and programs to our campus that highlight our commitment to progressivism.
As an activist and future lawyer, my personal passion is for immigration reform. ACS has given me phenomenal opportunities to pursue my passion for immigration while enjoying the community that I have come to respect and appreciate so much while in school. The road to immigration reform is constantly changing and far from certain; but what I do know is that the progressive ideology ACS sets forward directly supports the reforms I believe are necessary in the battle for equitable immigration laws. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found ACS, a group that ties together my work with WTTF, my passion for immigration, and my progressive ideology, all while pursuing my dream of becoming a lawyer.
Read about past Students of ACS here.
For all student chapter resources, click here.