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.
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.
University of Oregon School of Law
The University of Oregon School of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society is honored to have been selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the week. The Chapter is also grateful to be recognized as a winner in the 9th Annual Student Membership Contest last fall. Despite the inability to come together in the same room, the widespread commitment to progressive values has been inspiring. The Chapter is especially grateful for the students who have joined this year. The new members’ eagerness and commitment to the mission of ACS, despite an entirely virtual law school experience, is greatly appreciated.
The UO Law ACS Student Chapter has worked to advance ACS’s mission of protecting democracy and justice. The Chapter also strives to connect progressive law students who seek to work together towards building a more inclusive, informed, and just society. Previous events have included a conversation on the constitutionality of unilateral executive authority over nuclear weapons, a discussion on the impact of the death penalty, several presidential debate watch-parties, and an analysis of the State v. Juliana case, in which young activists are fighting to hold the state responsible for its climate policies. The Chapter is currently working on an event to discuss right-wing extremism in Oregon and hopes to continue to have more virtual events this year.
The Chapter would like to thank its faculty advisors, Professor Stewart Chinn and Professor Ofer Raban, for their commitment and support. The Chapter is also appreciative of the many others who have always been willing to be a part of our events.
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.
Nicholas Vachel Williams (he/him/his), University of North Carolina School of Law ‘22
As a native of rural eastern North Carolina, I developed a strong sense of understanding of the economic and social pressures in rural communities across America. Both of my parents were public educators in rural school systems. Because of their work, I witnessed the individual and communal empowerment, and liberation, that a good education can provide. I decided to follow my parents’ footsteps of service to the people, but rather than teaching in the classroom, I wanted to advocate for others in the courtroom.
Before attending law school at the University of North Carolina, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Appalachian State University. It wasn’t until I started attending Appalachian State University that my consciousness of class and economic disparities grew, later informing my advocacy of progressive values and reform. However, most of these realizations developed outside of the classroom. I realized that I, my family and many of my neighbors from back home were not afforded the same opportunities as many of my peers simply because of geographic location and economic status.
While at ASU, I harnessed these realizations with local government advocacy. I served as the University’s student advocate through the Student Government. In that position, I worked with local attorneys to establish flood victim legal clinics, fought to keep the on-campus voting site, and collaborated with community members to repeal an over-intrusive town skateboarding ban. As a result of this work, I decided that I would like to advocate for others as an attorney.
Read about past Students of ACS here.
ACS Trans Visibility Blog Series
Check out the following blog by:
2021 ACS Virtual Graduation Ceremony
This year’s virtual graduation will take place on May 21, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. The program will feature remarks from Jarrett Adams, Kristine Cruz, Hon. Luis Felipe Restrepo, and Cecile Richards. If you are a graduating 3L, and would like to have your name read and/or picture shown at our Virtual Graduation, please complete the google form here.
To register for the 2021 virtual graduation, please click here.
If you would like to view highlights from the last year’s 2020 Virtual Graduation, please click here.
2021 ACS National Convention
This year’s 2021 ACS National Convention, will take place virtually from June 7 to June 11. To register for this year’s convention click here. More details to follow soon.
To view the recordings of last year’s 2020 programming click here.
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!
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.
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.
For all student chapter resources, click here.