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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Law & Jurisprudence

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.

Community Stories

61 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS has been a real anchor for me, helping me in my career, opening doors and making connections. Staff is wonderful, smart and effective. Law students and lawyers, policymakers and judges -- this is an organization that is making a difference in helping shape law and policy, respecting the Constitution while advancing progressive principles.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS has really helped me to see how lawyers can make a difference in our society and in my community. The presentations and the speakers that ACS has hosted at my school have shown me how the law affects individuals and changes broad social issues. It has also helped me connect with professionals and form stronger connections with my professors, which I believe will help me in my career, as well as enhancing my education and my commitment to service.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a wonderful organization that provides ample opportunities for networking and thoughtful discourse on the leading issues of our time. Every ACS event I've attended has been welcoming and informative. I always enjoy what the organization has to offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS provides a powerful opportunity to network with individuals committed to the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and it's expressed fundamental values: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. I had the good fortune to recently attend my first ACS National Convention and was so impressed with the plethora of fabulous speakers. The speakers did an outstanding job discussing and explaining important legal topics of the day. The convention was remarkable. The speakers and events really did help foster progressive discussion and opportunities for real-world change, as another reviewer aptly stated. Members of local chapters volunteer their time and work hard to provide meaningful presentations and serve their local communities. ACS also does a stellar job producing meaningful publications, many of which are available for free on their website.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I also attended an ACS conference in DC and it could not have been better. The speakers and events all help to foster an open, progressive discussion that encourages real-world change.

More than the recent conference, however, ACS allows its chapters to pursue thought-provoking events interesting to local communities. These events attract legal professionals in many types of roles, helping to encourage connections that would likely not exist otherwise. ACS excels at bringing together people of similar values to maximize its impact civic and legal discourse both locally and nationally.

Its yearly conference was a great example of these strengths, and my volunteer work at ACS is valuable because it helps contribute to such a great organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently attended and volunteered at an ACS conference in Washington D.C. and I had a wonderful experience. The issues this group works on are relevant and important to all of us, the speakers and panels were great, and the conference was well organized. -Chris P., Portland, ME.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a wonderful organization. The helpful staff at the national headquarters are incredibly supportive and highly knowledgeable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Marti M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.