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 2020!
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.
ACS Student Chapters and National Statement on Insurrectionist Attack and Attempted Coup on the Capitol
The attack on American democracy that we all witnessed today has been not four years, but four hundred years in the making. It grows out of a perverted understanding of America not as an imperfect, always unrealized effort to embody ideals of democracy, freedom and equality …
… but rather the white man’s paradise. Perverted and deadly though it is, this racist and violent vision of our nation was written into our founding document by some of the same men who also articulated the ideals to which the best among us have sacrificed so much to achieve.
We must be clear-eyed about the task before us. Some would sacrifice democracy before they will allow another step’s worth of progress toward equality. We must overcome this depraved vision of America.
Clinging to platitudes will weaken rather than strengthen us in this struggle. We must be honest about our flaws as we confront the enemies of democracy. Only in this way, and with the courage not to flinch from the fight, can we save that which is best in America.
ACS Next Generation Leader and Board Member Applications
ACS student members have two exciting opportunities to enhance their engagement in ACS’s work: the ACS Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program and a two-year term on the ACS Board of Directors. The NGL program identifies and provides support to recent and forthcoming law school graduates who have demonstrated special leadership in their work with ACS’s student chapters, and who have the interest, skills, and ability to remain vital members of the ACS community. Click here for more information and to download the application form. The submission deadline is March 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM (in your local time zone).
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 on Law School Campuses
On June 30, ACS co-hosted a discussion with Professor Michele Goodwin and the National Black Law Students Association about the need for a better aligned curriculum that takes seriously how the law engages with Black lives. The panelist further discussed the need for more professors of color, especially Black professors at America’s law schools. As you work towards greater equity and inclusion at your own law schools, please review the recording here.
2020 ACS National Convention
Thank you for joining us for the 2020 ACS Virtual National Convention, an unprecedented event for unprecedented times. We were honored to present an impressive lineup of national legal leaders, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Michele Goodwin, Pam Karlan, Ron Klain, and Vanita Gupta. You can review the videos of our invigorating week of programming and networking here.
2020 ACS Virtual Graduation Ceremony
On May 26, we celebrated the graduation of our incredible ACS Student Leaders! You can view highlights from the Virtual Graduation here.
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 this year’s 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.
2020 ACS Student Convention
ACS is excited to have hosted the ACS Student Convention Virtual Series, which took parts of our planned Student Convention programming and made them virtually accessible and interactive for all of our ACS student leaders. Here is the recording of our kickoff event, Virtual Townhall with ACS President Russ Feingold and you can check out the recordings for the rest of the panels here!
The 2021 ACS Student Convention will be held virtually next year. Final dates to follow soon!
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.
The University of Connecticut School of Law
The ACS UConn Law Student Chapter is pleased to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! The Chapter diligently worked to increase its presence on campus this fall semester, albeit in the new virtual experience!
The Chapter has aimed to amplify topics and voices that are essential to political, social, and cultural conversations, and in light of this, organized an event surrounding voter suppression with Attorney Nancy Abudu of the SPLC and Professor Joshua Douglas of the University of Kentucky. This conversation explored how voter suppression laws disenfranchise minority communities, the power of state constitutions in protecting voting rights, and potential challenges to positive reform that could stem from the pandemic and presidential election. The UConn Student Chapter also co-hosted a conversation with Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Maria Araujo Kahn about women entering the legal profession. Justice Kahn shared from her own experiences and imparted invaluable wisdom and advice to the Chapter’s members.
One event the UConn Chapter created centered around Bush v. Gore and discussed the political question doctrine and how legal frameworks can impact the presidential election. Another event explored the Senate Judiciary Hearings of Amy Coney Barrett and specifically addressed how her answers and prior Circuit Court opinions can predict or provide some insight into her role in potentially shifting the tide of judicial philosophy on the Supreme Court. Finally, in the coming spring semester, the UConn Chapter hopes to provide insightful dialogue surrounding farm workers’ rights, qualified immunity, and other social justice topics in which the Constitution has a stake.
This Chapter is striving daily to solidify its roots in the voice of the UConn Law School community and has made serious efforts to do so in a virtual world. The Chapter has connected with other student organizations, built relationships with professors, reached out to speakers with critical knowledge and experience, and has communicated with its members of the UConn Law School community to organize timely events.
The UConn ACS Student Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor, Professor Joseph MacDougald, for his guidance, wisdom, and continued support.
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.
Elorm Sallah (he/him/his), Howard University School of Law, ‘22
Elorm Sallah is a 2L at Howard University School of Law. Elorm credits the two years he spent at ACS’s national office as its executive assistant as the main reason why he successfully navigated the admissions process and felt prepared to tackle common obstacles in law school. Since joining Howard Law, Elorm has passionately applied theory to practice by participating in a legal clinic, serving on law review, and assisting 1Ls with legal writing.
A member of the District of Columbia Superior Court Student Bar and Howard Law’s Child Welfare Clinic, Elorm fervently represents the interests of his clients who are accused of child neglect. Elorm is also a staff editor for the Howard Human & Civil Rights Law Review, where he is drafting a note on Social Security’s disability determination and hearings process. In addition, Elorm is a research assistant for the law library where he creates research guides and advises 1Ls on draft development.
Elorm hopes that the skills he is obtaining at Howard will lay a foundation for a career in public service. Elorm, a proud child of Ghanaian immigrants, was born and raised in Northern Virginia but calls DC his adopted home. He received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University. In his free time, Elorm enjoys running, reading, and cooking and he is always eager to receive recommendations for traveling and meditation.
Read about past Students of ACS here.
For all student chapter resources, click here.