The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) 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.
If you are interested in helping to organize an ACS student chapter, please contact Student Chapters at [email protected] or 202-393-6181.
Not yet an ACS student member? Join our network today.
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The 2018 ACS Student Convention featuring remarks by Jason Kander and Vanita Gupta will be hosted by the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago March 9-10, 2018. Register here.
2018 ACS Next Generation Leader and Board Member Application Now Available
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 February 23, 2018.
Law Student Research Volunteers Needed
ACS and our coalition partners need your help on both long and short term research projects. If you’re interested in voting rights, election law, or ACS’s State Attorneys General Project, let us know! All projects can be done remotely and only require a few hours of research each week. If you are interested, please email [email protected] and we’ll give you additional information on the available projects.
ACS State Attorneys General Project
ACS has launched the State Attorneys General Project in recognition of the unique and expanding role state attorneys general play in our system of government. In conjunction with this announcement, our student chapters have organized many impactful events highlighting State AGs on:
If your chapter is interested in planning an event involving the state AG office in the spring semester and would like our guidance, e-mail us at [email protected]. And ICYMI, check out Samantha Bee’s piece on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman!
2018 ACS National Writing Competitions
Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition
The American Constitution Society (ACS) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Chapter host an annual national student writing competition in honor of Constance Baker Motley's legacy. ACS welcomes all student papers furthering and promoting a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. The student authors of the top three papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention in the summer of 2018 and a cash prize for their work. The winner will be awarded $3,000 and each of the two runners-up will receive $1,000. The top paper may also receive an offer of publication in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.
Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law is a competition soliciting student papers related to American regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. The author of the winning paper in each category will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and the winning papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention, on the ACS website, and potentially through other means agreed upon by the authors and ACS. For example, ACS’s two journals, the Harvard Law and Policy Review (HLPR) and Advance, will consider publication of appropriate pieces that meet their word limit guidelines (under 10,000 words for HLPR and under 5,000 words for Advance).
Save the Date! 2018 ACS National Convention
2017 ACS National Convention June 8-10, 2017
Thank you to all of our students that attended this year's National Convention. It was a huge success and we hope everyone that attended had a memorable experience.
Each year at the National Convention, ACS recognizes student chapters that hold outstanding programming. We would like to congratulate the following student chapters for their work during the 2016-2017 academic year.
First, the Rising Chapter of the Year Award went to The University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law for having made the greatest strides as a new or recently revived chapter in establishing a presence on campus, focused on ACS priorities. Second, the Reproductive Rights and Justice Award, presented by ACS and the Center for Reproductive Rights, went to The University of Texas at Austin School of Law for having placed a significant focus on reproductive rights and justice.
Next, the Programming Award. Awarded to our strongest chapters who have conducted at least 20 substantive and effective events, we recognize:
UC Berkeley School of Law; The University of Chicago Law School; Chicago-Kent College of Law; Harvard Law School; Cornell Law School; University of La Verne College of Law; University of Michigan Law School; Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law; The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; University of South Carolina School of Law; Stanford Law School; The University of Texas at Austin School of Law; UCLA School of Law; Willamette University College of Law; and Yale Law School
Finally, the Student Chapter of the Year Award was awarded to the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law for having shown the greatest overall strength in meeting ACS’s mission and goals. Thank you to our students, and congratulations to all!
Visit the official convention website for more information!
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Student Chapter of the Week February 12
University of South Carolina School of Law
The American Constitution Society at the University of South Carolina works to address topics that are happening in today’s world. The chapter has organized events on the following:
The chapter looks forward to organizing the following events:
- Constitutional and employment law issues surrounding football players kneeling during the National Anthem.
- A gerrymandering and voting rights event with the League of Women of Voters.
- A Journey to Judgeship event with the Black Law Students Association.
- The chapter also worked with BLSA to host a regional meeting featuring past and current ACS members.
- The chapter worked with the Carolina Equality Alliance student organization to co-host “Transgender in the Military.”
- The chapter conducted a forum with legislators and good-government advocates to discuss money in politics.
The South Carolina ACS Student Chapter is thankful for the support of its faculty advisors, Professors Seth Stoughton, Thomas Crocker, and Tessa Davis.
- A discussion on “Coming Out in the Workplace.”
- A discussion on the #Metoo Movement cosponsored with Women in Law and the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network.
- “Neuroscience and the Law,” which will look at how our current understanding of the functions of the brain can influence the law.
- A Supreme Court Talk on Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The chapter will work with the Christian Legal Society, Carolina Equality Alliance, and South Carolina Faculty to organize this event.
- A discussion on immigration and DACA.
- A discussion on criminal justice reform.
- A speaker event on the campaign to push cities towards 100% renewable energy.
For more great ideas from our student chapters, please click here.
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STUDENTS OF ACS
Students of ACS
Allison Hunn, UC Berkeley School of Law '18
Before coming to law school, I had the privilege of working in both politics and government. During that time, I developed a love of policy – the ability to solve problems and make lives better through compromise, creativity, and pragmatism. I entered law school with enough work experience to know that I wanted to graduate and begin a policy-centered career. And despite attending a law school with a strong commitment to public service, I didn’t anticipate the pressure I would feel to follow the traditional path of law firms, clerkships - the whole nine yards.
However, with my initial goal in mind, I went to work on the Clinton Campaign in Brooklyn, NY the summer after my first year. I ended up staying through the November Election as part of a field placement, and sadly, felt her loss alongside the many who share a belief in progressive values and fidelity to the Constitution. When I returned to law school in January 2017, I felt unsure about how to remain motivated in this field. ACS helped answer that question.
This year, as President of the Berkeley Law Chapter, I’ve had the privilege of helping arrange speakers and lawyers who are using their talents to add to the progressive discourse. My goal has been, in part, to expose our community of students to the many valuable and important ways we can use our degrees, as well as educate law students on the policy issues being discussed by the legal community. Recognizing ACS’s extensive network of passionate progressive lawyers has helped motivate my final semesters in law school. I’m excited to graduate this spring, and join in the work to solve our country’s greatest challenges.