May 26, 2020

American Constitution Society Honors Future Progressive Leaders With Virtual Graduation Ceremony

ACS President Russ Feingold calls on graduates to work toward realizing a Constitution ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’




Contact: Nancy Rodriguez


Washington, DC – Today, the American Constitution Society held a virtual graduation and award ceremony honoring the more than 700 Class of 2020 students who chose to make ACS a part of their law school experience.

ACS recognized that the ongoing pandemic meant that its outstanding student leaders would be unable to engage in traditional graduation ceremonies. In response, to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of these students and inspire them as they enter the legal profession, ACS hosted this virtual ceremony.

“The future is always uncertain, but I have never seen it more so in my lifetime than now. But I can tell you that I’m feeling very optimistic that your class is poised with the skills, determination, and ingenuity to help our country move forward and rebuild in the wake of this devastating tragedy,” ACS President Russ Feingold told the graduates. “There are many reasons to be discouraged right now, but I have confidence that you are going to be able to spend your life’s work in helping to restore faith in our democracy and in our legal system. You will work toward realizing a Constitution that is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

In addition to Feingold, the graduates heard special remarks from ACS National Board members Alejandra Y. Castillo, YWCA USA Chief Executive Officer; and Melissa Murray, the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network at New York University School of Law. They also received a commencement address from the Honorable Carlton Reeves, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

ACS Student Board Member Naomi Martin, a 2020 graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, also addressed the graduates.

During the ceremony, ACS presented its annual chapter awards. The University of Idaho College of Law ACS Student Chapter was honored as the 2020 ACS Rising Chapter of the Year. The Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ACS Student Chapter received the 2020 Reproductive Rights and Justice Award. This annual award is presented in conjunction with the Center for Reproductive Rights. The following ACS Student Chapters were recognized with the 2020 Programming Award:

  • Boston College Law School
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Duke Law School
  • The George Washington University Law School
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Harvard Law School
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Notre Dame Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Stanford Law School
  • The University of Texas School of Law
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • Willamette University College of Law
  • William & Mary Law School
  • University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Yale Law School


The University of Michigan Law School ACS Student Chapter was recognized as the 2020 Student Chapter of the Year.



ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter at @acslaw.