ACS National Lawyer Convening

2019 National Lawyer Convening - Atlanta, GA, October 17-19

Progressive lawyers and advocates from around the country gathered in Atlanta in October for the 2019 ACS National Lawyer Convening. The Convening program centered around the belief that the law can and should be a force to improve the lives of all people and empowered ACS leaders to help lead the charge! From strengthening leadership skills to developing a creative litigation strategy to becoming a judge, attendees heard about tangible ways to further this goal as progressive attorneys and advocates.

Speakers discussed the important and vital role community organizing, academic scholarship, litigation, and legislative advocacy play in advancing issues like voting rights, reproductive freedom, immigration and asylum, right to counsel, and protecting the rule of law.

The Convening gave attendees the opportunity to hone their leadership style, make genuine connections with other legal professionals, and share their stories about why progressive advocacy matters to them.


Voting Rights and Election Integrity


In the past 10 years, the civil rights legal space has seen an evolution towards movement lawyering and coalition-based work, embracing the idea that issues must be addressed and rights defended on all levels. With voting rights at the heart of civil rights work and Georgia as a hotbed state for issues of voter suppression, poor election administration, and redistricting, this panel featured Nancy Abudu, Bruce P. Brown, Jackie Colon, April England-Albright, and Bryan Sells as they took a closer look at both how the work gets done and the voting rights issues taking front and center in Georgia leading up to the 2020 election.

Conversation on Inequalities of Criminal Defense


How does inequality in defense lead to other disparities? Using Jarrett Adams’ experience as an exonerated attorney, the panel discusses how his personal account reflects serious problems in the criminal justice system. The discussion, featuring Stephen Bright and Josie Duffy Rice, examines the right to counsel, effective advocacy, and what sustainable reform should look like.

Woman speaking on panel

2019 Lawyer Leader Awards

ACS delivered the following awards at the Convening:

  • Leadership Awards--Anne Gordon, Leader of the North Carolina Lawyer Chapter;  and Saraswati Singh, Co-President of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Lawyer Chapter
  • Diversity and Inclusivity Award--Dallas-Ft. Worth Lawyer Chapter
  • Pipeline Paver Award-- Georgia Lawyer Chapter


Two men greeting
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Convening speakers included: Hon. Christopher Brook (N.C. Ct. App.), Hon. Waverly Crenshaw (M.D. Tenn.), Hon. David Dreyer, Hon. Kim Jolson (S.D. Ohio), Hon. Beverly Martin (11th Cir.), Hon. Carlton Reeves (S.D. Miss.),  Hon. Brenda Lopez Romero, Nancy Abudu, Jarrett Adams, Stephen Bright, Bruce Brown, Jackie Colon, Conchita Cruz, April England-Albright, Deborah Gonzalez, Jerry Gonzalez, Monica Modi Khant, Neil Kinkopf, Anthony Mallon, Barbara McQuade, Priya Narasimhan, Erica Newland, Josie Duffy Rice, Tiffany Williams Roberts, Eric Segall, Bob Sleppy, Fred Smith Jr., Elliot Williams, and Sean Young.


View the schedule of events

Looking for CLE Credit?

The ACS 2019 National Lawyer Convening offered CLE credit for a variety of jurisdictions, including CA and GA and reciprocal states such as AL, AZ, CT, and NY.  CLE Documentation available here.