March 23, 2021
March 2021: Amy Larsen
Amy Larsen (she/her)
Co-President, New York Lawyer Chapter, Next Generation Leader
As a native of the Bronx, New York, I grew up in an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood that instilled in me the values of hard work, community, entrepreneurialism, and resilience, especially when confronted by hardship. My mother and grandfather had dreamed of becoming lawyers but didn’t have the means, so they found other ways to achieve their versions of the American dream: my grandfather built a small business out of the ashes of the Great Depression, and my mother earned a Ph.D. to become an international civil servant at the United Nations.
Whenever school was cancelled during my childhood, I accompanied my single mom to work at the UN. Throughout the day, I would meander through the hallways that branched out from her office, mingling with African, Asian, Latino, and European civil servants. Gradually, I came to learn about the key issues of the United Nations: peace and security, development, justice and rule of law, diplomacy, and human rights, and to feel that my life should be devoted to the betterment of others. My early, frequent exposure to diversity and foundational global issues contributed to my passion for understanding and alleviating the deep inequalities that persist in the world today, both at home and abroad.
At Yale, I majored in political science, and worked for women’s political inclusion as the first American hired by a leading women’s rights NGO in Tunisia, conducted public health research in West Africa, published on independent sex trafficking research I conducted in Southeast Asia, and following graduation, served on a Fulbright in South Korea. I then completed a White House internship on then-Vice President Biden’s team devoted to ending violence against women, worked on the U.S. foreign affairs budget while on a human rights fellowship in Congress, helped run part of the 2012 Obama campaign field operation in western Colorado, and served at the State Department’s U.S. Mission to the EU in Brussels where I focused on international trade, sanctions, and speechwriting. While a joint degree student at NYU Law and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, I was elected president of both the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project and ACS.
As the first lawyer in my family, I have been as proud to fight for my own dreams as to advocate for the rights of others, while helping to uphold the core building blocks of our democracy in connection with ACS. In my day job, I work as an attorney on national security, cyber security, and sanctions within the Global Risk + Crisis Management practice at Morrison & Foerster, LLP, and manage pro bono projects related to election security and countering violent extremism online in partnership with leading tech companies. Our Founding Fathers’ intention to create a living Constitution that can adapt to our country’s needs over time relies on citizens doing their part to actualize this envisioned democratic process, in both digital and in-person communities. It continues to be a great honor to take up this vital mandate to serve our country, communities, and fellow citizens as part of the American Constitution Society.