Get Involved

Are you looking for opportunities to volunteer your time?

The American Constitution Society can help you get involved.

 

Welcome to the ACS Volunteer page! If you’re looking for a way to contribute to the progressive resistance, you’ve come to the right place. Through our volunteer efforts, we connect lawyers and law students across the country to opportunities tailored to their interests, skills, and schedule.  We are constantly looking for volunteers for ongoing research and pro bono projects and would love your help. Information on some of our current projects can be found below. Please email us at [email protected] if you’d like to help! Also, if you know of any volunteer opportunities or trainings where our members could be helpful, please send an email to [email protected] with the details. Thank you for supporting our efforts!

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Get Involved with Youth Pre-Registration: Young people can register as future voters in states with pre-registration laws, even if they won’t turn 18 before Election Day.  If you are in a state that offers pre-registration, consider engaging your community and future voters in the voter pre-registration effort. ACS has state specific voter pre-registration resources for you to use in high schools, libraries, civic organizations, and other public venues to help get out the word on how youth can pre-register. Please fill out this form if you plan to participate. For more information, please visit our pre-registration webpage

-Want to reduce gun violence? Join Lawyers for a Safer America: ACS is partnering with the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, the nation's only public interest legal practice dedicated to fighting in the courts to reduce gun violence. We are recruiting attorney volunteers to join their national pro bono alliance, Lawyers for a Safer America. Lawyers from any legal specialty are welcome. Please email [email protected] for more information on how to get involved.

Constitution in the Classroom:  This program provides an opportunity for lawyers and law students to teach lessons based on the United States Constitution to elementary, middle, and high school students. ACS provides instructions, lesson plans, and pocket constitutions for the students. Find out more here and sign-up to volunteer here.

Pro Bono Help Needed For Sexual Harassment Cases: In this nationwide moment of raising awareness of sexual harassment and assault, a national fund has been created for victims of sexual harassment. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund focuses on victims without the resources or means to obtain legal representation and is currently looking for attorneys from all different practice areas to help support individuals who have experienced sexual harassment and assault. Help is needed with transactional advice and plaintiff-side and defense work. Attorneys will be asked to provide help on a pro bono or reduced fee basis, depending on funding. The Fund will be housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center and the participating attorneys will be working with the Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up here and be sure to spread the word with your network.

Presidential Nominee Vetting Project:  Volunteers needed to research Trump administration nominees for federal political and judicial positions. Research can be performed remotely and requires approximately 10 hours of research. If you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] with the subject line "Presidential Nominee Vetting."

Notice and Comment Project: This ACS initiative identifies opportunities to comment on key regulations put forth by federal agencies. Volunteers needed to write comments and provide expert talking points to guide comment writing.  For more information on Notice and Comment procedure, check out our Notice and Comment Webinar. Please [email protected] with the subject line "Notice and Comment" for more information.

Top Notice and Comment Opportunities:

  • The Federal Election Commission seeks comments on two proposals. The Commission requests comment by May 21 on whether it should write rules about how former candidates and past officeholders may use unspent campaign funds. The Commission also plans to require new disclosures on political advertisements online, and seeks comment by May 25 on alternative methods of doing so.

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seeks comments on which of its existing regulations should be modified or eliminated by June 19. 

  • The Department of Justice seeks comment by June 27 on a ban of “bump stock” devices, which effectively convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic rifles. The regulation would prohibit sale of bump stocks and require the surrender or destruction of existing units. Previously, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms determined that the devices could not be banned under existing law. Legislation to the same effect is stalled in Congress, and the regulation is expected to be challenged by gun makers. Read more from the Washington Post.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission seeks comment by August 7 on three related rules, which would require investment advisors and brokers to act in their clients’ best interest, set standards of conduct, and clearly disclose their fees and services, conflicts of interest, and legal or disciplinary proceedings against them. This would take the place of the blocked “fiduciary rule” from the Department of Labor. Read more from CNBC.

  • California Comment Opportunities: The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) seeks comment on a proposal to update the training course for new District Attorney Investigators, to include more in-depth coverage of topics such as officer involved incidents and crimes by public officials. Comments should be emailed to [email protected] by 5pm on July 2. A hearing will be held if any person requests one. See p. 731-733 of the May 11, 2018 CA Register. The California Board of State and Community Corrections seeks comment by 5pm on May 21 on a proposal to amend minimum standards for juvenile detention facilities. The changes would update reporting requirements for use of force, assure that chemical agents are used only after attempts at de-escalation, adopt “trauma-informed” care methods, add standards for confinement conditions, and require transition and aftercare plans. Submit comments to [email protected]. A public hearing will be held if any person requests it in their comment. See pp. 559-561 of the April 6, 2018 California Notice Register.

  • Members can also search the Federal Register for other comment opportunities.

ACS-Spread the Vote Voting Rights Partnership: Spread The Vote (STV) is a non-profit that helps individuals obtain government issued IDs in states that require ID to vote. STV is currently working in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia and will be shortly expanding to Florida and Texas. Starting in 2018, STV needs help researching and compiling guides that outline state-specific voting law and the process for obtaining an ID and registering to vote in that state. If you live in one of these states and would like to participate, please email [email protected] with the subject line "Spread the Vote". 

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND): KIND needs pro bono attorneys willing to take on individual cases for unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children. No immigration experience is necessary. KIND trains and mentors volunteers throughout their cases. Please email [email protected] with the subject line "KIND" to join.

State Innovation Exchange (SiX) Legislative Drafting: Attorneys with legislative drafting experience are needed to review draft legislation and draft model laws. Please email [email protected] with the subject line "Legislative Drafting" to be put on a list for future projects.

Amicus Briefs: Experienced lawyers and law firms are needed to write amicus briefs for various progressive lawsuits. Please email [email protected] with the subject line "Amicus Briefs" to be put on a list for future projects.

Political Ad Monitoring: In an effort to increase the transparency of political ads, ProPublica has built a political ad-monitoring tool – a browser extension that works with Firefox or Chrome – that collects political ads that are shown to users when they log into Facebook. The tool collects no personal information at all from users, but collects the ads and places them in a public database so that they can be fact-checked and politicians can be held accountable for their campaign promises. Please join in the efforts to increase transparency and accountability by using the browser extensions today

- National Women's Law Center: NWLC is launching the first national legal network to combat sex discrimination faced by women and girls. The Legal Network for Gender Equity has initially recruited 75 attorneys from across the country who stand ready to represent women and girls experiencing sex discrimination on the job, at school, and in the health care system. The Center is assembling the infrastructure for the network to become fully operational later this year and will continue to expand its network—with the goal of attorneys participating in every state. If you are an attorney interested in taking part in this Network please fill out your information at http://www.nwlc.org/legalnetworksignup. Please be sure to indicate on the volunteer form that you learned about the Legal Network for Gender Equality through ACS.

- The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition is seeking volunteers who speak Spanish, French or Arabic to help answer its detention line. If you are able to help, please visit https://www.caircoalition.org/how-to-help/volunteering.

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You can join ACS or renew your membership here, and engage with your local lawyer chapter here. If there isn't a chapter in your area, email us today at [email protected] to help start one.