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!
- 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.
- Love Our Constitution: Due to the tremendous success of last year’s program, we at ACS are excited to announce that we will be hosting Love Our Constitution again starting in February 2018. Love Our Constitution is a chance for ACS members to engage with their community through discussions both large and small. Please see this inspiring article in The Guardian that highlights the collective work of our members and volunteers in organizing and leading Love Our Constitution discussions. You can find the sign-up form here. Our new curriculum and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on our webpage. If you have any additional questions, please email [email protected] and put “Love our Constitution” in the subject line.
- DACA Renewal Volunteers: Help current DACA recipients to renew their DACA status at free DACA Renewal Clinics across the country. See ACS-partner Informed Immigrant’s public google sheet to find a clinic near you or directly add information about known clinics and/or funding.
- 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 Communications Commission seeks comment by February 26 on whether it is prudent to have a cap on the percentage of the national viewing audience that one television station owner can reach, and whether the FCC has the authority to modify or eliminate the existing statutory cap. Also at issue is whether and to what extent station owners should be able to discount their holdings depending on the type of signal they broadcast on - a workaround to the cap that the FCC attempted to reinstate last year.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a draft of a proposed continental shelf oil and gas leasing program with plans to open 98 percent of the Atlantic and Pacific seaboard to offshore drilling during the 2019-2024 period. Comments can be submitted until March 9. See this New York Times article for additional details.
The Bureau of Land Management seeks public input by March 19 on land-use plans for the newly-reconfigured Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monument sites and surrounding areas, after the President shrunk the monuments’ boundaries.
The National Labor Relations Board seeks comment by March 19 (deadline extended) on whether it should change or eliminate a 2014 rule favored by labor unions which sped up the schedule for holding a union election after workers file a petition. Comments should be submitted on the NLRB website. Read more via the Hill.
The Department of Health and Human Services seeks comments by March 27 on a proposal to create broad new protections for individuals and entities claiming a religious objection to providing abortion or other healthcare services, which may also have a negative impact on LGBT persons. It would prohibit exclusion of religious objectors from federally funded programs, and create a new office to enforce the rule.
California Comment Opportunity: The CA Department of Justice seeks comment by March 19 on a proposal to have people who intend to manufacture their own firearm apply for a serial number and complete a background check before doing so. A public hearing will be held in Sacramento on March 19 at 10am. Comments should be submitted to [email protected]. See p. 176-180 of the Feb 2, 2018 CA register for full details.
California Comment Opportunity:The CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation seeks comment by March 30 on a proposal to create a uniform statewide list of approved vendors where inmates may purchase religious items from. Currently, each prison maintains its own list. The goal is to avoid inconsistency in what religious items are approved, particularly if an inmate is transferred, and streamline the process. A public hearing will be held in Sacramento on March 30 at 10am. Comments should be submitted to [email protected]. See p. 232-234 of the Feb 9, 2018 CA register for full details.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.