May 23, 2021

May 2021: Chris Hu

Chris Hu, Co-Chair of Gala Committee, ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter

Chris Hu (he/him)
Co-Chair of Gala Committee, ACS Bay Area Lawyer Chapter

I first got involved with ACS as a 1L at Stanford, when I was asked to create a website for one of ACS’s first student conferences. I’m glad that my rudimentary effort seems to have disappeared from the internet—I’m tech-savvy only by the low standards of the legal profession! In the ten years since, my career has taken me in unexpected directions, but ACS has been a constant.

I began my legal career focused on prisoner civil rights, working on cases involving prisoners with disabilities and the First Amendment right to receive books, magazines, and other reading materials in custody. In the past few years I’ve transitioned away from public interest work to general appellate practice. I still get to work on my share of pro bono matters, but I also handle a wide range of appeals involving a breadth of issues from contracts to torts and everything in between.  Right now, I’m particularly excited to be working on a pro bono cert petition challenging a rule that allows judges to sentence defendants based on conduct that the jury did not find proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, I recently obtained review in the California Supreme Court in a case involving interpretation of a tort immunity statute, and I am currently briefing the merits of that question.

Around the same time I made the transition to a more general practice, I knew I wanted to stay connected to the issues I care about, so I applied to join the board of the Bay Area Lawyer Chapter. After many years of enjoying the chapter’s annual gala as an attendee, I now help organize it as co-chair of our gala committee. Last year, I helped plan our first-ever virtual gala, which featured a keynote discussion with Alicia Garza, Kristen Clarke, and Melissa Murray. My co-chair and I had some doubts about whether we could pull off a virtual gala, but the rest of the board (along with staff at ACS National) pitched in to make it a successful event.  I’ve also been involved in a bit of everything else our Chapter does, from pathways to the bench initiatives to promoting our events on social media.

ACS has always been committed to an inclusive vision of the Constitution, and over the past year, I’ve been especially proud to see racial justice at the forefront of ACS’s programming. I look forward to continuing those conversations at this year’s national convention.

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