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.
Fall Membership Competition
ACS is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Student Membership Contest to see which ACS chapter can make the biggest gains in national membership. ACS will award two winners in the Fall membership competition based on the following categories:
1. Percentage of membership increase
2. Raw number of new members and renewals
Each winning chapter is awarded one full scholarship to attend the 2020 ACS Student Convention. Students can sign up for national membership online. For assistance in building your membership base, reach out to your ACS National Contact. Remember, all Executive Board members should be national members. The competition ends November 30, 2019
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.
Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of attendance. Click here to apply!
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.
ACS’s 2019 Regional Convening
ACS leaders and progressive advocates gathered at Regional Convenings throughout the country this 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 coming up 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.
ACS Next Generation Leaders
Congratulations to our 2019 Next Generation Leaders! Check out our leaders here.
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.
Clockwise from top: (1) Congressman Steve Cohen discussing the Electoral College. (2) Memphis ACS Student Chapter. (3) “Small Room, Big Ideas” conversation with Professor Daniel Schaffzin.
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ACS Student Chapter
After a period of dormancy, the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ACS Student Chapter is back again! The chapter is honored, after being revived less than a year ago, to be selected as the ACS Student Chapter of the Week.
We began this year with an in-depth look at the socioeconomic and racial inequality that resulted from the demerger of the public-school districts in Shelby County, TN. The panel featured Professor Daniel Kiel, Dr. Barbara Prescott, and Mr. Cardell Orrin. Next, ACS Memphis spoke with Congressman Steve Cohen about proposals to abolish the Electoral College. We also hosted a Community Organizing Training with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to make learning actionable in Memphis. Our latest event was a panel discussing America’s history of discriminatory immigration laws and policies, featuring retired immigration Judge Charles Pazar; attorney Bryce Ashby; and Dr. Alicia Triche, Chief Editor of The Green Card. We look forward to Judge Pazar’s return in January to host the ACS Winter Break Book Club discussion of The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent.
Further, ACS Memphis has introduced “Small Room, Big Ideas” a small-group discussion series led by a professor on topics such as gun control, impeachment, and blight in Memphis. Our chapter also loves to have fun and has organized school-wide basketball and kickball games, as well as a constitutional cookie decorating party.
ACS Memphis would like to emphatically thank the chapter’s Executive Board for their tireless dedication and our faculty advisor, Professor Carrie Kerley, for her support and guidance. We would also like to thank the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law’s faculty, especially Professors Frank, Kiel, McClurg, Mulroy, and Schaffzin. Finally, ACS Memphis would like to recognize Dean Katharine Schaffzin; Assistant Deans Meredith, Aden and Wilson; and administrative staff members Ms. Onidas, Ms. Hope, Ms. Gardner, and Mr. Tony for all their help in facilitating our programs.
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.
Suman Malempati, M.D., Emory University School of Law, ‘21
My path to law school has been highly unusual to say the least. For me, law school is the start of a second career after I had a previous career as a pediatrician and pediatric oncologist. After several years of being a physician, researcher, and educator, I decided to change careers because of my passion for social justice and my desire to work for change. It might be surprising to people who don’t know me well, but my new career in law may have nothing do with my previous career in medicine.
I had not heard of the American Constitution Society until I started school at Emory Law. At Emory, I quickly discovered that ACS’s mission aligns completely with my values and with the reasons I decided to leave a successful career to go to law school. I have a strong interest in constitutional law, and I believe the law should be a force to protect the rights that the U.S. Constitution guarantees. One of the highlights of my law school experience has been the opportunity to be a co-President of the Emory Law School Chapter of ACS. I’ve enjoyed getting to interact with other progressive-minded law students and to make connections with some amazing lawyers in the ACS community.
So far, the ride has been amazing. I am fortunate to have an extremely patient and supportive family who have somehow allowed me to take this crazy leap! Moving forward, I am highly motivated to use my law degree to work towards a more just world. I’m still determining my exact career path, but I’m interested in a career that combines policy work and civil rights litigation. I know for certain that I will always stay connected to ACS.
Read about past Students of ACS here.
For all student chapter resources, click here.