The premier progressive legal gathering of the year will take place on May 18-20 in Washington, D.C. The ACS National Convention brings together lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, activists, and policymakers to examine some of the most urgent and challenging issues confronting our nation.

National Convention
Thursday, May 18-Saturday, May 20
Capital Hilton
1001 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036





Attorney General Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison
Minnesota Attorney General

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan

Lina Khan
Federal Trade Commission Chair

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award

Leah Litman
Leah Litman
Professor of Law
University of Michigan School of Law


Friday, May 19


9:15 – 10:45 a.m.: Plenary Session 1

Dismantling the Tools of Tyranny

In the past decade, the world’s largest democracies (including countries like the United States, Brazil, India, and the Philippines) have been increasingly threatened by authoritarians and proto-authoritarians who weaponize various institutions and social biases to achieve greater political, economic, and social control. Their strategies include marginalizing and demonizing ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities, coopting the judiciary, exploiting the criminal legal system (including the use of the death penalty), and curtailing bodily autonomy, most notably over reproductive choices. How are these strategies being employed in the U.S. and what warning should we take? What lessons can we learn about combatting these efforts to achieve inclusive democracies?

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Breakout Session 1

Advancing a New Era of Antitrust

The nomination and confirmation of progressives to lead the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission have created the opportunity to revive the progressive tradition of trust busting. This opportunity arises within the context of renewed efforts now underway to resurrect the field of regulated industries, which decades of deregulation killed. How can progressive lawyers, law students, and law scholars take advantage of these opportunities to advance a new era of antitrust?

Beyond Color-Blindness: Confronting Legacies of Injustice

In recent years, revitalized movements for racial justice have spotlighted the continuing impact of genocide, slavery, segregation, and related systems of oppression in driving inequitable outcomes for people of color and called for affirmative measures to redress past harms. Meanwhile, through cases like Students for Fair Admissions, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is advancing an ahistorical (and, when applied to sovereign Native tribes, inappropriate) “color-blind” reading of the Constitution, which threatens to derail these efforts. How can lawyers best support and contribute to movements to create a truly equitable society within this challenging legal landscape? How do we reckon with the law’s (past and continuing) role in perpetuating inequality? What should our legal frameworks around racial justice look like in the future?

Countering the Roberts Court’s Weaponizing of the First Amendment

The Supreme Court is poised to use the First Amendment to strike down laws aimed at addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation. The effect of this decision could ultimately extend to laws designed to protect against discrimination based on race, gender, and other protected classes. This and previous First Amendment cases raise questions about whose freedoms this Court is interested in protecting. Relying on dubious originalist notions about the Free Speech and Establishment Clauses, the Court is rewriting First Amendment Law. This is forcing progressives to decide whether to assert more religious freedom and freedom of speech claims given the Court’s leanings at the risk of allowing conservatives to further dictate the terms of the debate. What, then, are the long-term consequences of this movement?

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Breakout Session 2

One Year Later: Advocating in the Aftermath of Dobbs

One year after the Court’s disastrous decision in Dobbs, patients, health care providers, and advocates are still sorting through the resulting fallout. State officials continue to pursue abortion bans and restrictions in some states while others work to expand access to their residents while also managing the flood of patients crossing borders seeking care. And prosecutors are left to decide how to best exercise their discretion in states and localities with abortion bans. How has the shift to the states played out on the ground? What can attorneys learn from the past year about the future of progressive movement lawyering when it comes to abortion rights?

Entrenched: The Fight for Meaningful Representation in the Shadow of Merrill and Moore

This term the Court heard two cases that will be highly consequential in the pursuit of a truly multiracial democracy – Merrill v. Milligan, a case that could gut what remains of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and severely hamper meaningful representation for marginalized communities, and Moore v. Harper, which has the potential to rewrite election law if the Court adopts the so-called “Independent State Legislature Theory.” In 2019, the Court already allowed states to gerrymander districts for partisan gain. If the Court rules against pro-voter plaintiffs this term, it will further open the floodgates for state legislators to pursue racially gerrymandered districts and entrench themselves beyond the reach of state courts or state constitutional protections.  How can progressives fight this move toward extreme concentration of power in state legislatures?  What redress will disenfranchised voters have to vindicate their rights if the Court adopts the ISLT?  What reforms are needed and how can they be achieved?

Danger & Opportunity: An Inflection Point for Labor

The conservative legal movement has spent decades trying to weaken unions and protections for workers, with Supreme Court decisions in Janus and Cedar Point being some of the most recent and high-profile victories for the anti-union movement. At the same time, there’s been a surge of worker organizing after years of degraded working conditions, with high profile victories against major corporations, and state and local governments in many jurisdictions have been at the vanguard of passing and enforcing new laws to protect and support workers. As the Supreme Court considers a case this Term, Glacier Point North, that could permit employers to use state tort law against employees for striking, the labor movement finds itself at a critical juncture.

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.: Plenary Session 2

We Are Not All Originalist

More than a decade after then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan famously declared, “[W]e are all originalists,” a conservative super-majority, made up of at least three avowed originalists, has taken control of the Supreme Court. This Court has relied on claims of originalism to achieve the aims of the conservative legal movement—including undermining reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, and the separation of church and state. Some progressives argue that if properly applied, originalism will lead to rights-expanding, progressive decisions, while critics assert that originalism is largely results-oriented and frequently abandoned by conservative justices when it cannot lead to their desired result (including through the increasing use of the so-called Shadow Docket). Faced with a Court in the thrall of originalism, what are the best avenues for lawyers, judges, and scholars to articulate and achieve a progressive vision of the Constitution?

Stay tuned for more information about this year’s Speakers, Awards, and Panels.

Information about the program, schedule, and speakers will be updated frequently so please check this page often for the latest information.

Thursday, May 18


8:30 am – 9:30 am      Working Group/ Hill Meeting Check-In *

9:30 am – 2:30 pm      Working Group/Hill Meetings*

11:00 am      Registration opens

11:30 am – 3:00 pm      Judges Meeting/Convening*

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm      Chapter Presidents Meeting*

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm      #MeToo Task Force Workshop

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm      Welcome Reception (Congressional Ballroom)

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm      Welcome Dinner (Presidential Ballroom)

*By Invitation only

Friday, May 19


9:15 am – 10:45 am      Plenary Session 1

Dismantling the Tools of Tyranny

11:00 am – 12:00 pm    Breakout Session 1

Revitalizing the Administrative State

Beyond Color-Blindness: Confronting Legacies of Injustice

Countering the Roberts Court’s Weaponizing of the First Amendment

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm        Breakout Session 2

One Year Later: Advocating in the Aftermath of Dobbs

Entrenched: The Fight for Meaningful Representation in the Shadow of Merrill and Moore

Danger & Opportunity: An Inflection Point for Labor

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm        Plenary Session 2 

We Are Not All Originalist


Saturday, May 20


7:30 am – 8:30 am      Birdwatching conducted by Tykee James; a 20-minute tour walk through the Constitution Gardens. (Meet in Hotel Lobby)

8:00 am – 9:00 am      Morning Jog/Stroll (Meet in Hotel Lobby)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm      Next Generation Leaders Brunch* 

4:00 pm      Group Baseball Game Outing (Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers)


Planning to attend the 2023 National Convention in person? You can reserve your accommodations today!

Visit this special link at the Capital Hilton website to book your room at a discounted rate before April 25, 2023.

Capital Hilton
1001 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036


By attending the ACS Convention in person, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and further acknowledge that you understand and will follow all health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control, and the local health department, as implemented by ACS and the hotel. Failure to abide by all health and safety protocols implemented for the event is grounds for being asked to leave the event without a refund. We are requiring that by May 18, 2023, all in-person attendees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC and will have received at least one COVID booster in the last year, and that they will provide proof thereof (photo acceptable) at the time of check-in at convention. Failure to provide such proof will result in not being admitted to the in-person convention.

SPONSORS Become a sponsor »



Covington Kirkland Ellis Lieff Cabraser





AFSCME Center for Reproductive Rights Compassion & Choices
Munger Tolles & Olson LLP




AFT Brennan Center CAC
HNBA Jenner Jones Day
Kieve Law Offices LGBT Bar NAPABA
NARAL SEIU United Steelworkers


If you have questions about sponsoring the 2023 ACS National Convention, please contact Zachary Holland, Assistant Director of Development, via email at:


The student scholarship application is now open, and scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis. Apply before February 15, 2023.

If you are a lawyer and have a hardship that makes the cost of attendance impossible, please contact us at

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

This year’s CLE materials are coming soon!

For those requesting CLE for virtual or in-person participation, you will be required to log codes announced during Convention sessions in order to verify participation and obtain credit.

ACS is in the process of applying to states for CLE credit. The availability and amount of CLE credit may vary by state. So far, ACS has been approved for the following:

  • California (presumptively accredited) – Credit Hours TBD

If you have further questions about CLE, please contact us at or