September 25, 2019

Top 10 Ways to Build an Outstanding Chapter

Michelle Herd Assistant Director of Chapters
Jordan Blisk Assistant Director of Chapters


  1. Stay Connected to your ACS National Liaison: We mean it when we say we want to help! The Chapters Team is ready and willing to assist you with a variety of different issues, including, but not limited to: career development, networking, clerkships, programming ideas, speaker suggestions, and ACS resources. The absolute best part of our job is getting to connect with you, so please don’t be shy if you want to chat!
  2. Don’t Procrastinate: How can you plan successful programming around the issues that motivate you? Prepare, prepare, prepare! Schedule and hold regular board meetings, build a tentative calendar of events, and delegate tasks from the event checklist. Soon, you will have everyone registering for your events faster than you can say “finals season”!
  3. Post Your Events (see #2): If you’re putting on an awesome event, don’t forget to brag about it! Posting your events serves several purposes. First, it is essential if you need to request funding for your event. It also lets us keep tabs on what you are up to and helps inch you closer to having your efforts recognized with an award.
  4. Use the Model Calendar: To help spark the genius that we know you are capable of, check out this handy Model Calendar! You can use it as a template to build your phenomenal programming year or just to impress your friends with your knowledge of landmark case anniversaries.
  5. Develop and Utilize Your Network: Make your work with ACS work for you! Invite and stay in touch with speakers in practice areas that you’re interested in, ask to take a local Judge to coffee, or invite your former supervisors to present at an event. Lawyers love to talk about their careers and share their knowledge, especially with law students. Let us know if you need any help brainstorming ideas!
  6. Co-sponsor Events: Collaborating with other organizations is imperative to building and strengthening progressive coalitions on your campus. If you want to broaden your event topics, increase your audience, create more networking opportunities, and possibly save some chapter funds, consider co-sponsoring! If you need ideas for collaborators, reach out to your Faculty Advisor(s) for assistance. Additionally, don’t forget about co-sponsoring opportunities with your local ACS Lawyer Chapter.
  7. Create a Diversity and Inclusion Chair Position: At ACS, we believe that the law should be a force to improve the lives of all people. We are committed to an equitable, inclusive, and progressive vision for the future, and we encourage you to take explicit, intentional, and direct action to help achieve it. Though it may feel counterintuitive, specifically having a Diversity and Inclusion Chair is vital to ensure that your membership and speakers properly reflect the best range of relevant perspectives and experiences.
  8. Attend Student Convention: Seriously, why not!? Every spring, our ACS Student Convention provides progressive intellectual and advocacy capital for hundreds of the nation’s brightest progressive law students. Bring a buddy and join us for a chance to connect with your peers, hear from leading national progressive leaders, and expand your network. Scholarships will be available, so stay tuned for 2020 Convention details!
  9. Attend National Convention: Can’t get enough? Our annual ACS National Convention brings together nearly a thousand top-notch scholars, practitioners, and students from around the country to empower attendees to be progressive champions and partners in their communities. Just like Student Convention, scholarships will be available for National Convention too! See you in June 2020!
  10. Have fun! You have the opportunity to create lifelong relationships through our network, so relax and enjoy the community you are building with us!