The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Rating: 4.96 stars   113 reviews

Issues:

Location: 1333 H Street, NW 11th Floor Washington DC 20005 USA

Mission: Founded in 2001, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy ("ACS") is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. Our mission is to ensure that fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice enjoy their rightful, central place in American law. ACS aims to revitalize and transform the legal and policy debates occurring in law school classrooms, federal and state courtrooms, legislative hearing rooms and the media. Through student and lawyer chapters all across the country, and programs and projects at both the national and local level, ACS promotes a progressive vision of the Constitution, law and public policy; educates lawyers, law students, decision-makers and the public about the historic basis and vitality of such a vision and its importance for the lives of real people; strengthens the intellectual underpinnings for progressive law and policy in the United States; and continues to build a diverse and dynamic national network.
Target demographics: shape debate, build networks, and make a difference in law and public policy
Direct beneficiaries per year: educate tens of thousands through our events and publications; teach over 10,000 public school students about their rights; brief dozens of policymakers and media contacts; and placed students and lawyers in clerkships, internships, and jobs with the potential to create social change
Geographic areas served: states, cities, and law schools across the country
Programs: ACS lawyer chapters bring together an expanding grassroots network of lawyers and other professionals spanning from coast to coast. Lawyer chapters offer a local forum to share ideas and debate issues integral to a progressive legal and policy perspective; to foster networking and collaboration; and to engage on timely issues. They also connect members with national ACS initiatives, providing them with opportunities to help shape the national debate. ACS's nationwide network of student chapters is fostering a new generation of progressive leaders. Through hundreds of programs each year featuring renowned advocates, scholars and judges addressing a wide range of legal and policy issues, chapters educate their members about the critical issues facing our country. Working with ACS lawyer chapters and the national office, they also provide students with meaningful opportunities for professional development and mentoring as well as participation in substantive projects.
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I had the privilege of working at ACS after graduating from law school, so I was able to see firsthand how dedicated the staff and the entire organization is to advancing liberalism in the legal sphere. There are any number of groups that pursue specific policies or bring people together to accomplish X, Y, or Z, but ACS really has developed a network of attorneys that can be deployed to do either/or of those two things. Obviously, ACS provides a lot of good networking opportunities, particularly in a profession that lives by networking, but it's programming is top-notch, if more people paid attention.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Figure out a way to make sure all of ACS' awesome programming actually reaches its target audience.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

ACS is an ideal organization for attorneys and law students who want to (1) learn more about the most pressing legal and social issues of the day; and (2) network with other engaged, vibrant professionals. I appreciate that ACS has given me the opportunity to plan substantive events that bring together legal professionals from throughout my area and to attend amazing events planned by others. I was fortunate to receive public interest funding to attend the national convention in DC this year and was absolutely blown away by the quality of the programming and the passion with which attendees engaged on the issues. It's a tremendous group of people, and I am honored to be a part of it.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is my first year as a student member and I'm absolutely blown away by how supportive the staff that I've met is. The organization and its members are some of the most dedicated people around. The organization has been truly influential in showing me that a legal career can be a tool in affecting change.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a member of ACS for over six years. I first became a member of ACS in law school, where is provided me with an opportunity to connect with progressive law students at my school and across the country. It also provided a forum to discuss important legal and policy issues, as well as hear from leading practitioners and professors in the field.

Since graduating from law school, ACS has continued to provide opportunities to interact with other young lawyers, as well as keep abreast of cutting-edge issues across a range of legal areas.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The American Constitution Society (ACS) provides an opportunity for progressive law students and attorneys to interact, exchange ideas and learn from one another. Through events, issue briefs, student and lawyer chapters, publications, and a host of other activities, ACS creates a forum for the discussion and implementation of progressive legal ideas. By fostering a strong progressive legal community, ACS encourages and equips lawyers to advance the cause of social justice in their professional lives. The interactions between practitioners in the field, the best legal minds in the country, and the next generation of social justice-minded lawyers creates an exciting and inspiring atmosphere, one that serves as a reminder of all the wonderful things that lawyers are doing, and can be doing, to make the world a better place.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

encouraging innovative thinking, building a progressive legal community, and providing support to young attorneys seeking to advance social justice.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the number and scope of the organization's local chapters to ensure that, no matter where they live, progressive lawyers are aware of the possibilities to pursue social justice through the law, and have the network and support necessary to do so.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I’ve been a member of ACS for 7 years and have found the organization invaluable to my development as an attorney and a leader. I joined the American Constitution Society during my first year of law school. The events held by the University of Florida chapter allowed me to continue the dialogue regarding constitutional law outside of the classroom. I was always impressed by the number of high caliber speaker ACS would bring to campus.

I enjoy ACS’s efforts to foster appreciation of the constitution among school aged children. Its Constitution in the Classroom program encourages law students and attorneys to share their knowledge and appreciation of the constitution with primary and secondary school students by teaching a class focusing constitutional rights and responsibilities. ACS understands that an understanding of fundamental constitutional principles helps to encourage citizenship in school children.


If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I cannot think of any.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I first discovered the American Constitution Society when I was in law school. Having gone to a fairly conservative school, I was looking for an organization that matched the already strong conservative organizations on campus. Finding ACS on the web, I decided to go to their annual meeting three years ago.

I'm glad that I did. ACS put on an excellent program featuring some of the best and brightest minds on the liberal and progressive side of the law. In addition to the programming, I made many connections with other attendees to the convention. The staff at ACS was very supportive when I decided to start a new chapter of the organization at my law school campus.

I've now been a member of the organization for just over three years and by far it has been the most valuable of all of the professional organizations I have joined. I would highly recommend ACS to any lawyer who is interested in connecting with other progressive lawyers and thinking about the big picture issues of our day.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing. They should continue doing great work.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The ACS is a dynamic organization devoted to promoting a progressive vision of Constitutional interpretation. Through its many law school and lawyer chapters, it brings together like-minded individuals who strive together for goals, such as equality under the law, and access to the courts for all persons regardless of social standing.

Specifically for the Washington, DC area, there are many events hosted by both the D.C. lawyer chapter and the national organization where one can listen to thoughtful and interesting speakers. The organization also promotes an annual "Constitution in the Classroom" event where local attorneys work within the public school system to educate students regarding our founding document.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that I have had my mind opened to the many possible careers one could have furthering progressive causes as an attorney.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would schedule more volunteer outreach events, similar to the Constitution in the Classroom events, to better link the ACS with other progressive organizations.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

How did you learn about this organization?

The internet.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I joined the American Constitution Society as a law student to help foster my understanding of constitutional law and how it affects policy issues. Years later, as a practicing attorney, I stay involved to push myself to keep thinking about the issues and to continue the conversation with other attorneys and policymakers, especially in my local community. The strong relationships and connections I've built through ACS in DC have been wonderful, but the greatest value is the opportunity to share and spread ideas with people who live and practice law in other parts of the country.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

build stronger connections outside the Beltway.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned of ACS during my first year of law school. Attending the convention allowed me to make friends with similar passion for constitutional policy and interpretation, and these friends have become like family to me. The relationships I've forged through ACS have been some of the most supportive and intellectually stimulating of contacts made in my legal career. The programming offered nationally and locally is first-rate, bringing a balanced voice in an often shrill political climate.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get word out to every politically aware adult in the program areas!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The ACS allowed me to attend a convention in D.C. where I was able to learn so much valuable information. They set up a very interesting and informative convention. The convention fostered a truly amazing learning experience, networking with inspirational colleges, and most certainly brought in the most influential and inspirational speakers. The ACS is a great nonprofit organization that is a true asset to the legal community.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

ACS exposes law students to the intellectual drama of constitutional law by sending high-profile practitioners to speak to them, organizing national legal writing competitions, and inviting students to rub elbows and learn about recent Supreme Court jurisprudence form an insider's perspective at the National Convention. As a recent graduate, I've been influenced greatly from an educational perspective. As I continue to practice law, ACS's progressive influence on the national policy stage will likely be of similar importance to me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

bring back the national moot court competition for law students. It was a wonderful experience.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?