Student Chapter of the Week
The 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.
The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week!
The Chapter began their reinvigorated programming with a nationally attended and recognized event, “Threats to American Democracy.” This discussion featured Professor Klarman of Harvard Law School, and Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times Supreme Court reporter and Yale Senior Research Scholar, who discussed the threats posed to American democracy from a range of socio-political developments, the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in these developments, and how to better protect democracy from these perils. UCLA Law Professor David Marcus moderated the panel. This event drew over 400 registrants and was co-sponsored by many other student ACS chapters, setting forth a model of cooperative national engagement and impact.
The Arizona Law Chapter also focused on creating a platform to discuss current political topics including voter empowerment, early voting, and Arizona’s election infrastructure with their “Power to the Polls” event with All Voting is Local, an organization working to remove discriminatory barriers to the ballot. The Chapter has also been active in writing op-ed pieces. Arizona Law ACS members, in solidarity with the school’s Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), recently published a statement condemning the January 6 insurrection.
At an upcoming event, “A Conversation with Chesa Boudin,” the San Francisco District Attorney will discuss his career and his plans to reform the San Francisco justice system while protecting public safety and treating root causes of crime. Additionally, the Chapter will co-sponsor a discussion on qualified immunity with the Arizona Law Black Law Students Association as a part of the spring lecture series as well as a conversation on health care policy with an introduction from lawyer-activist Ady Barkan. Finally, the Chapter will discuss the significance of allyship in minority communities within the Arizona Law community through their “Conversations on Allyship” event with NALSA and the institution’s Diversity Committee.
The Arizona Law ACS Student Chapter continues to work tirelessly to ensure that the law is a force for protecting our democracy and for improving people’s lives while connecting students to the national ACS network. The student Board would like to thank its faculty advisors, Professors Christopher L. Griffin, Jr. and Roy G. Spece, Jr., for their support and guidance.
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
The University of Pennsylvania Law School’s ACS Student Chapter is honored to be selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week!
University of Pennsylvania Law School’s ACS Student Chapter has been a leading conversation-starter on campus, Zoom, and beyond, hosting over 20 events during the fall semester alone. Some highlights from the Chapter’s programming include a discussion on public health and progressive policymaking during COVID-19 with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, former director of Detroit’s health department and candidate for Michigan governor; a conversation between Berkeley Law Professor Ted Mermin and Penn Law Professor Amanda Shanor on the weaponization of the First Amendment and economic justice; and testimonies from immigrant rights activists and attorneys on the mistreatment of women and children at U.S. border detention facilities. The Chapter also focused on the recent election cycle. Former FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub joined the Chapter to give her take on the 2020 election, and the Chapter organized phone-banking efforts and voter protection opportunities for the presidential election. Finally, the Chapter hosted Supreme Court session reviews and previews, Fireside Chats with law school professors, and 1L-focused events.
The UPenn Chapter remains committed to amplifying progressive voices in the new year, starting with a February 11th discussion of modern monetary theory (MMT), which criticizes widely-held assumptions about debt, deficits, and government budgets that undercut life-sustaining government programs. Other upcoming events this semester from the Chapter’s 24 1L Representatives will focus on deradicalizing the Internet, reshaping the judiciary, reimagining liberal foreign policy, and big-tent progressivism, among other topics.
The UPenn Law ACS Student Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors Kermit Roosevelt and Neil Makhija, ACS National for its continued support, and the UPenn Law student groups and affinity groups that have co-hosted events. The Chapter is thrilled to be named ACS Student Chapter of the Week and will continue to amplify more diverse voices in 2021!
University of Chicago Law School
The University of Chicago Chapter of ACS is honored to be named as the ACS National Student Chapter of the Week! The UChicago Chapter has worked hard this year to make sure that their standards in programing and student body engagement remained as high as ever despite being fully remote. The Chapter set out goals in the beginning of the year to grow their membership, host more events with judges, and diversify their programming.
As a result of this year’s dedicated 2L board, an influx of enthusiastic and talented 1Ls, and some timely outreach and recruitment, the Chapter was thrilled to win the 9th Annual Student Membership Contest from ACS National.
Additionally, the Chapter met its goal of hosting more judges to speak to their members, by organizing events with Hon. Sara L. Ellis and Hon. Gary S. Feinerman of the Northern District of Illinois, Hon. Amit P. Mehta of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Hon. Robert E. Bacharach of the Tenth Circuit, and Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court. Other event highlights of this year include:
- A new faculty lunch series where Professors Nicole Hallett, Sonja Starr, Bridget Fahey, Hajin Kim, Joshua Macey, and Farah Peterson were able to meet our members and discuss their research and upcoming projects
- A discussion with Richard Cordray the former (and first) Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- A review of the forthcoming Supreme Court term with Professor Leah Litman, host of the legal podcast Strict Scrutiny, and Professor David Strauss
- Two separate events with Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama, on voting rights and police reform
The Chapter is especially grateful for the continued guidance and support of our faculty advisors, Professors Geoffrey Stone and Jennifer Nou. We are also very thankful for Peggy Li and Meghan Paulas at ACS National for all their support and advice throughout this unprecedented year.
Willamette University College of Law
The Willamette College of Law’s ACS Student Chapter is delighted to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! The Willamette Chapter has dedicated their programing this semester to focus on issues regarding drug policies and criminal justice reform. This can be demonstrated through the first event of the semester where they co-sponsored an event titled “Little Green Men: Protest and Federal Repression in Portland.” This event provided context for the origins and intensity of the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland and explored a variety of legal issues related to the presence and actions of federal agents on the streets of Portland.
Another event hosted by the chapter earlier this semester was an event with former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice, Paul De Muniz. At this event, Justice De Muniz discussed his recently published essay series on the death penalty, titled Sentenced to Death for Life; Essays on Oregon’s Death Penalty. The Willamette ACS Chapter closed the month with a couple of networking events, including a virtual happy hour with a panel of practicing defense attorneys to discuss the rewards and struggles that come with working in legal defense.
The chapter could not have successfully navigated the challenges of COVID-19 without the guidance of their faculty advisors, Professor Gilbert Paul Carrasco and Professor Caroline Davidson. The Willamette ACS Student Chapter is looking forward to finishing the semester strong and continuing the work of building inroads for the next generation of progressive attorneys and policymakers.
Stanford Law School
The Stanford ACS Student Chapter is honored to be selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week!
This year, the ACS Stanford Law Student Chapter’s event programming has centered on three major goals: racial justice, environmental justice, and open elections. The Chapter has held a number of engaging speaker events via Zoom, including conversations with David Cole, ACLU Legal Director; Southern District of Mississippi Judge Carlton Reeves; John Kowal, VP of Programs at the Brennan Center; and Mike Feuer, LA City Attorney. Leading up to the 2020 election, the Chapter built a coalition of student organizations to successfully petition SLS to make Election Day a holiday. In addition, the Chapter held a California ballot measures overview, hosted a text-out-the-vote training, volunteered with Election Day voter protection activists, and heard from former candidates who centered Black Lives Matter in their campaigns. The Chapter also welcomed speakers on injustices of civil asset forfeiture, opportunities in court-packing, and challenges of environmental deregulation. Judiciary-focused efforts included the annual Supreme Court roundup, a student-led panel on clerkships, a new judicial database, a clerkship Q&A with ACS Vice President of Strategic Engagement Jill Dash, and a panel with three judges.
Despite the challenges of this time, the Chapter has sought to build and strengthen our progressive community virtually through community hangouts, a post-election succulent-planting event, and informal conversations with Stanford professors. The Chapter has hosted a series of reading groups investigating how legal thought and constitutional interpretation must move forward to achieve justice, equity, and liberty.
Looking forward, the Chapter has an exciting docket of events planned. These include a book discussion on The President and Immigration Law, a primer on the Law and Political Economy movement, a collaboration with Everytown for Gun Safety, and a conversation with Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors, Professors Pam Karlan and Jeff Fisher!
Howard University School of Law
The Howard University School of Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be recognized as the ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week.
This year, the Howard ACS Student Chapter chose to focus on community outreach, collaboration with other chapters and organizations, and the constructive criticism of the societal issues of importance today. To accomplish and further these focal points, the Howard Chapter created a GroupMe, dedicated to all ACS Student Chapters. To Howard Chapter’s delight, this GroupMe now serves as an effective forum for all Student Chapters to share their initiatives and collaborate on events and projects. Howard's Chapter is also pleased to share that they held an inauguration viewing party for then President-Elect Joseph Biden, and Vice-President Elect and fellow Bison, Kamala Harris. To further community building, this viewing party was open to and attended by members of other student chapters and the general public. The Howard chapter also encouraged its campus to “De-stress by Sending a Holiday Card to a person on Death Row”, an event that brought joy to the senders and recipients of the holiday cards. Finally, Howard's Chapter is very proud to have been the ACS President Russell Feingold’s first stop after he took office.
In keeping with the spirit of community, collaboration, and constructive criticism, Howard's Chapter is also pleased to announce that it will be co-hosting “From Terry v. Ohio to Eric Garner: A Feminist Critique on Stop and Frisk” with Howard's very own Professor Josephine Ross. Howard's Chapter also wishes to host a Constitution in the Classroom event in the near future to ensure that the up and coming generations understand and appreciate the importance of the Constitution.
Howard's Chapter would like to thank its faculty advisors, Justin Hansford and Lisa Crooms-Robinson and would also like to give a special thanks to ACS National for the opportunity to share its initiatives with the ACS community and sends its best regards to all.
Emory University School of Law
The Emory Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week!
This academic year, the Chapter’s programming has largely centered around the implications of the 2020 election on progressive policy in America. Georgia’s pivotal role in deciding the presidency and control of the Senate gave the Chapter plenty to explore.
Fall programming opened with the Chapter’s longstanding Happy Hour tradition—the virtual event centered around United States Postal Service trivia and support initiatives. The Chapter then hosted a voting rights panel for the ACS Southeast Regional Convening, featuring a voting rights attorney involved in high profile election litigation in Georgia. Following election night, the Chapter invited students to debrief on election results and discuss resources surrounding the Senate runoffs.
Last fall, the Chapter also began an event series for students to engage in discussions around research interests and career development with progressive faculty. The first event in this series featured an expert on health and administrative law. Upcoming events in the series will feature experts on other wide-ranging interests of the Chapter’s membership.
To kick off the spring semester, the Chapter held a panel discussion on the future of progressive policy, in conjunction with the Georgia State University ACS chapter. The panel included four esteemed constitutional scholars from Emory and GSU. Moderated by an Emory Law Chapter 1L Representative, the professors delved into how progressive policy must ensure equity for all. The topics ranged from career insights to executive action and to progressive judicial reform.
Beyond the content of the Chapter’s events, the executive board also ensures that the events are inclusive and accessible to anyone who would wish to attend. At the forefront of this effort is the Chapter’s commitment to advertising across media platforms, using closed captioning at events, promoting the inclusion of gender-neutral language and pronoun-positive spaces, and challenging other board members, speakers, and audiences to consider the implications of policies, decisions, and actions on diverse groups of people.
The Emory Law ACS Chapter thanks its faculty advisor, Professor Fred Smith Jr., and its esteemed professional and academic guests for helping propel the mission of ACS at Emory.
University of Texas School of Law at Austin
The University of Texas Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! This semester, the University of Texas Law Chapter’s goal has been to provide programming that both tackles the most critical legal issues and provides a sense of community among our membership while remote.
The University of Texas Law Chapter kicked off their(virtual) semester with a Supreme Court review by Professor Steve Vladeck. The Chapter teamed up with the Texas Law Federalist Society and the Southwest Black Law Students Association to produce a panel on qualified immunity and police reform. Once a month, they hosted a different Texas federal judge to interview about their path to the bench. In an effort to discuss the ongoing eviction crisis, the University of Texas Law’s Chapter invited a panel of tenant activists, a local judge, and legal aid attorneys to share their housing policy experiences and expertise. Further, they also invited the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project to take a deep dive into the reproductive rights cases from the last Supreme Court term. Following this event, the crew of 5-4 Pod, a progressive podcast about the Supreme Court, led a timely discussion about Shelby County v. Holder and the Voting Rights Act. Later in the semester, the Chapter teamed up with seven other progressive organizations on campus to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy and other problems with the federal judiciary where they were pleased to welcome Professor Shavonne Evette Henderson.
To provide a more interactive experience, the University of Texas Student Chapter created two regular discussion groups aimed at engaging their 1L members. The first discussion group centered around the Chapter’s monthly 1L Alternative Curriculum Initiative, which is a collaborative effort with Law Students for Black Lives at Texas Law. Each month’s discussion group dealt with issues of a traditional 1L class and intersections with racial justice. That conversation was facilitated by a Texas Law professor who specializes in this area. The other discussion group, known fondly as Fireside Chat, is a bi-weekly chat and is led by our 1L representatives on topics ranging from originalism to affordable housing!
The University of Texas ACS Student Chapter would like to thank their Faculty Advisors, Lynn Blais, Joseph Fishkin, and William Forbath for their support and continuous efforts to make this chapter better!
The University at Buffalo SUNY School of Law
As an entirely new eBoard, the University at Buffalo SUNY School of Law Student Chapter is honored to be named the ACS Student Chapter of the Week!
Part of the Chapter’s vision is to share ACS’s mission through variously-styled events. This semester, the ACS Buffalo Chapter kicked off its event series with a traditionally formatted panel on civil rights. This was followed by their Statehood Series, which, over the course of three months, involved discussions about Puerto Rico, D.C., and tribal sovereignty. The Chapter also provided more relaxed experiences, like a Centennial Tea roundtable, which honored the one-hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment by centering the conversation on the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women’s influence on 19th century suffragettes, and a happy hour with an election law expert after November’s good news. Featured film screenings also boosted involvement! In October, the Chapter provided midterm-weary members a Just Mercy viewing with a speaker from Represent Justice.
The ACS Buffalo Chapter continuously strives to bring in the expert voices of those who are traditionally underrepresented. To that end, the Chapter ensured that it featured Puerto Rican speakers, including some from the University of Puerto Rico, for their first Statehood panel. The Sovereignty event included Native voices and the Chapter began a new tradition of opening with a land acknowledgment. This is something the Chapter acknowledges should have been done sooner but is definitely something it will continue.
Finally, the ACS Buffalo Chapter recognizes the importance of engaging with their local community. Members assisted in getting out the vote and the Chapter connected heavily through social media. In November, the Chapter gave thanks through their Thank-a-Vet event. Their event, “UB the Light” linked our followers to organizations in need of donations and support. The Chapter was proud to showcase these groups and help fuel generosity.
The ACS Buffalo Chapter is already off and running this semester with events! Please join them as they do more information sharing and networking, including their upcoming panel with women judges, and offer events that amplify BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ voices, and address issues concerning the environment, healthcare, and education.
The chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors, Professors Michael Boucai and Martha McCluskey, for their support.
University of Georgia School of Law
The University of Georgia School of Law’s ACS Student Chapter is thrilled to be named the ACS Student Chapter of the Week! Over the past fall semester, the Chapter hosted ten events and looks forward to continuing its momentum this spring.
The UGA Chapter kicked off the semester with a Legal Observer Training, which was co-sponsored by UGA Law’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. In recognition of National Voter Registration Day, the Chapter hosted a voting drive outside the law school and a state-specific voter suppression training with All Voting is Local-GA that evening.
In late September, the Chapter teamed up with the Federalist Society to co-sponsor a debate between Professors Eric Segall of Georgia State University and Ilan Wurman of Arizona State University on the value of originalism.
Throughout October, the Chapter hosted its Voting Rights Series, which included a conversation with UGA Law Professor Lori Ringhand on Election Regulation; a conversation with Emmet Bondurant on partisan gerrymandering and his experience litigating Rucho v. Common Cause; and a conversation about the relationship between race and voting, which was co-sponsored by the UGA Law Davenport-Benham Black Law Students Association (BLSA).
Additionally, in October, the Chapter worked with BLSA to co-sponsor “A Conversation about Police Accountability” with UGA Law Professors Melissa Redmond and Russell Gabriel. Finally, in November, the Chapter hosted a panel discussion, which was co-sponsored by BLSA, on the relationship between race and capital punishment, which was followed by a debate on qualified immunity that was co-sponsored by the Federalist Society.
The Chapter looks forward to continued success in the spring, when it will begin the semester with two judicial panels: one on federal judicial clerkships and another on clerkships at the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Chapter is grateful for the support from its Faculty Advisor, Professor Russell Gabriel, and the ACS Athens Lawyer Chapter President, David Lyle.
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.
Santa Clara University School of Law
The Santa Clara Law ACS Student Chapter is honored to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! As the Chapter continues to promote a more equitable interpretation of the Constitution in the midst of the numerous challenges 2020 has faced us with, Santa Clara is proud to be a part ACS’s a progressive network.
The Santa Clara ACS Student Chapter’s work began before the semester started. It partnered with the National Lawyers Guild to host a Legal Observer training for nearly 400 members of the Bay Area to support the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. The Chapter’s dedication to protect the First Amendment continued through Constitution Day where it hosted a panel of experienced civil rights attorneys who explained how the right to peacefully assemble has been under attack. The Chapter also cosponsored an event with Santa Clara University’s ACLU organization to have an honest conversation with community leaders about what exactly defunding the police would look like.
Santa Clara’s ACS Chapter has also hosted multiple events in an effort to build rapport and connections that are lacking within the realm of remote education. The Chapter cosponsored a Bob Ross style Paint Night to help students de-stress and take their mind off the rigors of law school, and it also hosted watch parties for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates.
To conclude the fall semester, the Santa Clara ACS Chapter communicated with the Office of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to have her speak with the student body following the November election. While the plan for Spring will depend on what 2021 brings, the Santa Clara Law ACS board, is committed to overcoming any obstacle in the hopes of spreading the progressive message!
The Chapter would like to thank its wonderful faculty advisors, Professor Ellen Kreitzberg and Professor Margaret Russell, for their support.
Marquette University Law School
Marquette University’s ACS Student Chapter has been revitalized this semester and is so happy to have been selected as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! The Marquette Student Chapter is based out of Milwaukee, WI and has been motivated by the recent injustices facing the country. The Chapter has been taking a more active role on campus to emphasize the importance of progressive ideals.
The ACS Marquette Student Chapter has been actively collaborating with affinity organizations at Marquette’s Law School campus, as well as its undergraduate campus. Recently, the Chapter hosted an event on the Flores Exhibit, which entailed a discussion with Attorney Joseph Rivas about the adolescent immigrants detained within centers at the border.
The Marquette Student Chapter has devoted much of its programming to identifying injustices within American institutions and providing resources to enact change. For instance, this semester, the Chapter planned events surrounding the decision and impact of Roe v. Wade, election security, and voting rights.
Additionally, the Marquette Law Student Chapter is comprised of a strong, diverse board that is focused on and driven by the morals of fighting for justice and equality. To adapt to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the ACS Marquette Chapter has been collaborating with student chapters across the country in marketing their events as well as providing new insight on how to keep people engaged and focused on the issues at hand. The ACS Marquette Chapter is unique in that it has a 1L committee, which is motivated to raise awareness about progressive issues and events to the 1L class.
Lastly, the ACS Marquette Student Chapter would like to thank its wonderful Faculty Advisors, Professors Lisa Mazzie and Atiba Ellis, for their unwavering counsel and support.
To keep up with ACS Marquette, please follow them on Instagram at @ACSMarquette.
Boston College Law School
The Boston College Law School’s Chapter of ACS is thrilled to be named ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! Even despite the pandemic, the Boston College Chapter maintained its programming and used the virtual environment this past fall as an opportunity to bring in speakers from both near and far.
By hosting legal professionals and scholars to discuss the big questions facing the country today, the ACS Boston College Student Chapter created an open space on campus to discuss federalism, race and voting rights, reproductive rights, free press, the McGirt case, the legal landscape of the 2020 election, and religious freedom.
The Boston College Chapter also cosponsored a number of events with others campus organizations including BLSA, NALSA, JLSA, and the Women’s Law Center, through which it was able to engage with an impressive and diverse group of lawyers. The chapter is grateful to all of its speakers and particularly wants to thank ACS National Board members Professor Pam Karlan, Professor Aziz Huq, and Professor Micah Schwartzman for participating in programming this semester.
Further, the Boston College Law's ACS Chapter was quick on its feet to shift its signature Supreme Court preview event into a space of reflection and remembrance to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which would not have been possible without the help of the Chapter’s Faculty Advisor, Kent Greenfield.
By the end of October, the Boston College Chapter will have hosted nine speaker events in addition to several social events, some of which were spotlighted in the Boston College Law Magazine, such as a favorite virtual Jeopardy event. Another accolade for the Chapter has been its newly created mentoring program, geared at aiding 1Ls by pairing them up with upper level ACS students.
Following the planning of its post-election event, the Boston College ACS Student Chapter looks forward to another engaging agenda next semester with programming that seeks to reemphasize its commitment to racial justice, LGBTQ+ equality, women’s equality, and progressive lawyering.
University of Virginia School of Law
The ACS University of Virginia School of Law Student Chapter is honored to be recognized by ACS National as Student Chapter of the Week! This year has offered many reminders that working in solidarity is imperative in the fight against powerful, regressive interests, and UVA Law is grateful to be a part of a national community of progressive law students doing this work.
This year, the ACS UVA chapter has been focused primarily on increasing access to progressive voices on the bench and connecting students to lawyers seeking change and protecting our institutions. While COVID-19 has unquestionably presented more challenges than benefits, one of the few benefits that the chapter has seized on is the ease of access to leaders from all over the country. Hosting ACS programming via Zoom has offered unprecedented access to leading legal minds near and far. For example, this semester, the chapter has been able to host judges at almost every level of the state and federal judiciary. Additionally the ACS UVA Student Chapter has also held events on the Equal Rights Amendment, (which Virginia only recently ratified), voting rights and voter suppression, and criminal justice reform.
The difficulties of this year have only cemented the importance of prioritizing wellbeing and community for chapter members. To that end, the chapter has invested in peer mentorship and scholarship support with the ACS UVA Law’s intrepid 1L members spearheading new election protection teams in partnership with Election Protection, Law 4 Black Lives, and the NAACP. As Zoom fatigue grows, it will be important to continue these efforts to meet students where they are in this difficult moment.
The chapter would like to thank its faculty advisors and ACS National for their continued support!
Columbia Law School
The Columbia Law School ACS Student Chapter is honored to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! Over the past several months, the Columbia Law chapter has sought to strengthen its programming by offering events on timely and engaging topics featuring thoughtful, progressive speakers.
To kick off the semester, the Chapter hosted their first virtual event with Judge Carlton Reeves (S.D. Miss.) to discuss his recent opinion on qualified immunity and the potential for re-thinking the judicially-created doctrine in the wake of the wave of protests about police brutality. Shortly thereafter, the Columbia Law Chapter celebrated Constitution Day by hosting a panel with some of the leading scholars on the ERA in an effort to think through the legal battles ahead and how law students can respond. The Chapter has been fortunate to be able to offer other events as well, including an event with Judge Diane Wood (7th Cir.) about the role of "contextualism" in constitutional interpretation and an event with Professor Adam Cox of NYU Law about his new book on the role of the president in American immigration law.
As the chapter prepared for the recent, unprecedented Supreme Court nomination, it pondered new and creative ways to engage the Columbia Law student body on the topics that matter to ACS. To that end, the ACS Columbia Law Student Chapter intends to plan more events on the constitutional foundations for court balancing and other ways to get the 21st century judiciary the country deserves.
As the nation braves these unique times, the Columbia Chapter also continues to think about how to make connections nationwide and invites other ACS Chapters to reach out, connect, and collaborate on future programming. Finally, the Chapter would like to extend its deep appreciation to its Faculty Advisor, Gillian Metzger for her support.
To read more about the Columbia Law School ACS Student Chapter, check out their website.
The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
The Detroit Mercy Law School ACS Student Chapter is honored to be recognized as ACS National’s Student Chapter of the Week! The Detroit Mercy Chapter has had a successful virtual semester dedicated to educating its community on how to make an informed vote.
The chapter joined Detroit Mercy’s Immigration Law Association and Federalist Society in a conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on America’s incarceration system of jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. Participants heard from Atenas Burrola from the Immigration Justice Campaign, Phil Mayor from the ACLU of Michigan, and Shon Hopwood from Georgetown Law. Afterwards, participants engaged in conversations about the criminal justice system in small groups.
Another of the Detroit Mercy Chapter’s events posed the question, “What is Criminal Justice Reform to an Exoneree?” allowing participants to hear directly from Darrell Siggers, an exoneree who was wrongfully imprisoned for 34 years. Valerie Newman, the Director of the Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, also spoke about her work in improving the criminal justice system and investigating innocence claims.
Additionally, the chapter also joined forces with the Immigration Law Association and the Hispanic & Latino/a Law Students Association in inviting Attorney Sarah Yore-Van Oosterhout from Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates and DACA recipients to discuss what is at stake for Undocumented Immigrants in the upcoming election.
Most recently, the chapter hosted Michigan’s arm of All Voting is Local to provide a voter advocacy training covering the history of voter suppression, policies expanding the right to vote, and how to ensure every vote is counted.
The Detroit Mercy Chapter looks forward to their next event, “Electoral College vs. National Popular Vote”, featuring Professor Richard Primus, a legal scholar and former clerk to Justice Ginsburg! It would also like to thank their Faculty Advisor, Professor Jelani Jefferson Exum, for her support.
Check out @ACSDetroitMercy on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the Detroit Mercy Law Student Chapter.
University of Idaho College of Law
The University of Idaho College of Law ACS Student Chapter is thrilled to be named by ACS National as Student Chapter of the Week! With their expanding presence on campus, they have been able to reach more progressive law students and coordinate a growing list of events for not only the College of Law, but also the community at-large.
Most notable was the ACS Idaho chapter’s exhibit and discussion panel celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The Idaho ACS Student Chapter hosted the “19th Amendment Centennial” exhibit on loan from the American Bar Association. At this event they also discussed how far women’s suffrage has come in the past 100 year and how much more work needs to be done with an incredible panel of leaders, scholars, historians, and activists.
Another exciting highlight for the ACS Idaho Student Chapter is the cancellation of classes on November 3rd to promote law student engagement in the democratic process. After promotion and encouragement by the Student Chapter, November 3rd was deemed an official College of Law Day of Service. The ACS Idaho Chapter looks forward to continuing to assist law students in this effort by providing vital information on volunteering as a poll worker on Election Day and early voting.
Finally, the Idaho ACS Student Chapter is very proud of the community they have formed during these uncertain, and often stressful, times. The University of Idaho College of Law is unique as it has two campuses located in Boise, Idaho, and Moscow, Idaho. With members in both locations, the members of the Chapter have discovered new ways to bring the two campuses together virtually, forming strong bonds between students across the state.
The University of Idaho College of Law ACS Student Chapter would like to thank their faculty advisors for all of their guidance and support!
University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
The University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law ACS Student Chapter is grateful to be recognized by ACS National as Student Chapter of the Week! UNLV looks forward to a great year and the creation of consistent avenues to find new, innovative ways to engage members and the law school community in these unique times.
The UNLV chapter kicked off the semester by hosting the ACS Virtual Western Regional Convening in conjunction with the ACS Student Chapters from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Arizona State Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. At the Convening, the UNLV chapter’s panel focused on cannabis legalization and how states can create laws and policies with a restorative justice angle in mind. The panel featured state leaders who were key players in pushing for cannabis legalization in Nevada and who continue to identify deficiencies in the laws in order to ensure that the communities most impacted by criminalization are being repaired.
Additionally, the Western Regional Convening featured a panel that combined experts from the chapters’ home states of Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona to discuss election integrity in the era of COVID-19. The UNLV chapter’s featured panelist was a state senator who discussed all the ins and outs of Nevada’s elections amidst the pandemic and how voters can ensure that their voting plan is successful—and counted.
This semester, the UNLV chapter is turning its focus to election integrity. The Chapter recently hosted a Voter Suppression and Advocacy Training event with Nevada’s All Voting is Local. The training covered the history of voter suppression, what it looks like today, and advocacy tactics to ensure greater access to voting in the time of COVID-19 and racial injustice. The Chapter recently explored more advocacy options through a training with the Nevada Voter Protection Department. As election day nears, the UNLV chapter continues to work to organize early voting outings, volunteer opportunities, and create other election integrity events aimed at increasing ones interest and raising awareness to the importance of voting efforts.
The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor and ACS National Board of Directors member, Professor Ruben Garcia, for his support.
St. Louis University School of Law
The ACS St. Louis University School of Law Student Chapter is grateful to be recognized by ACS National as Student Chapter of the Week and to contribute to the ongoing conversation regarding structural racism and the fate of our democracy.
Following the death of George Floyd, the St. Louis Law ACS Chapter partnered with the St. Louis Law Black Law Students Association (BLSA) to construct a five-part speaker series concerning the fundamental precepts of structural inequality in St. Louis and, by extension, the country at-large. This series examines tremendous obstacles and disadvantages faced by People of Color in areas such as education, wealth, property, and the health system. The design of the current system leads to disproportionate rates of incarceration and homelessness among populations of color, particularly Black and Brown communities. If not properly remedied, this cycle will only continue.
The series titled Strengthen Your Understanding: Honest Perspectives, focused weekly on a different social institution and the structural impediments therein which were unambiguously designed to forestall the social and economic progress of people of color generally and the African American population specifically. The ACS St. Louis student chapter was fortunate to host both preeminent scholars and legal practitioners who spoke on relevant topics.
The intent of these discussions were to create a venue for experts to provide depth on a specific topic used as fodder for a moderated discussion with the speakers and participants. The ACS chapter’s sincere hope was that these difficult but long-overdue conversations would provide greater clarity and understanding concerning the enduring barriers shrouding previously opaque social institutions.
The ACS St. Louis Student Chapter truly believes in a progressive jurisprudence venerating the Constitution as a remarkable document capable of far-reaching application. They intend to do more programming of this nature to reflect an evolving national zeitgeist finally demanding change.
The ACS St. Louis Executive Board includes Chandni Challa (President), Mikalya Butler (Vice President), and Alex Foxberry (Secretary-Treasurer) The ACS St. Louis Student Chapter thanks Riana Brooks (President) and the entire BLSA team for partnering on this timely and important series. Additionally, it would like to thank Dean Jon Baris, Dean Shannon Morse, Professor Brendan Roediger, and ACS Faculty Advisor Professor Marcia McCormick, without whom this series would not have been possible. Finally, the Chapter would like to thank the St. Louis Law School Dean William P. Johnson for his weekly attendance, which was truly meaningful as it showcased SLU Law’s commitment to equal opportunity and justice for all.
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
ASU’s ACS Chapter is honored to be recognized as the ACS Student Chapter of the Week.
The Chapter has planned nearly twenty events for the fall semester. ASU participated in the Western Regional Convening and assisted in planning the panels on Extreme Risk Protective Orders and elections. The Chapter has also created a Racism in the Law Event Series, creating space for professors and students to discuss ways in which racism has been written into and perpetuated by the laws in this country. Some topics explored in the event series include the federal income tax code, reproductive rights, and prosecutor accountability in police brutality cases. Additionally, ASU is also excited to host Judge Bacharach of the Tenth Circuit to discuss the art and science of legal writing. On October 5th, the last day to register to vote in Arizona, the Chapter is hosting an event with All Voting is Local to teach students about the history of voter suppression in Arizona and steps to ensure a fair and free election this November.
In addition to programming, ASU has taken measures to keep members connected while navigating law school during COVID-19. The Chapter created a mentorship program to pair new students with 2Ls and 3Ls that have similar academic and recreational interests and planned social hours to allow students to network and make friends. The Chapter has also created an outline bank to assist its members succeed in their classes. The ASU Chapter is also partnering with the ACS Arizona Lawyer Chapter to create a mentorship program that matches students with attorneys working in their field of interest.
The ASU Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisor Joshua Sellers and ACS National for the continued support and encouragement while navigating virtual programming this year.
UC Berkeley School of Law
The ACS chapter at Berkeley Law is thrilled to be recognized as the ACS Student Chapter of the Week! This semester, the Berkeley Law Chapter’s programming will focus on a multifaceted Social, Racial, and Economic Justice Book Club/Speaker Series. The Chapter hopes that this series of events will encourage law students to utilize their legal training in the future to advance social, racial, and economic justice.
The ACS Berkeley Law Chapter kicked off the year with its annual Supreme Court Roundup, which was co-hosted by the Berkeley Law Federalist Society chapter At this event, both groups reflected on the most recent Supreme Court term and discussed implications for the future. The Chapter celebrated Constitution Day with Dr. David Carrillo, Executive Director of the California Constitution Center, who focused on the values and differences between the state and federal constitutions and the importance of advocacy at both levels.
The Berkeley Law Chapter has thirteen more events planned this semester on subjects including: reparations; the critical role judges have in advancing justice; family separations at the border and children’s civil rights; the election and redistricting; habeas corpus; the separation of church and state; consumer protection; reproductive justice; and antitrust law. These events will each feature incredible and diverse leading voices in their fields. You can check out the ACS at Berkeley Law Chapter’s full list of speakers and events here.
Berkeley Law ACS Co-Presidents Francesco Arreaga and Megan Raymond wish to thank their fellow board members Jen Sherman, Calen Bennett, Sean Sullivan, Jenna Waldman, and John Batoha, as well as their Berkeley Law ACS Faculty Advisor, Professor Andrew Bradt, for their contributions in making the Chapter the success it is today. Please follow Berkeley Law ACS on Facebook to keep up with events.
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law ACS Student Chapter has been busy planning topical and interesting events for its students and lawyers! In early September, the chapter partnered with the University of Arizona Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and University of Nevada Las Vegas ACS student chapters to host the 2020 ACS Virtual Western Regional Convening. This two-day event brought together students and lawyers from all across the western states to network and discuss progressive legal issues. With events covering topics such as red flag gun laws, cannabis legalization, police reform, and voting rights, this convening truly reignited the spirits of both students and lawyers amidst this trying time.
In addition to the Western Regional Convening, the chapter is hosting a series of lunch talks called “Reforming the Republic.” The slated topics include the impact of protests, voting reform and transition of power, healthcare inequality, and education reform. Additionally, the chapter is planning different ways to engage 1L students, including hosting virtual happy hours and electing students to serve as 1L board members! The Chapter would like to thank its Faculty Advisors, Professors Alan Chen and Alexi Freeman, for their support and guidance.