The American Constitution Society For Law And Policy

Rating: 4.96 stars   114 reviews

Issues: Education

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a law student and have been involved with ACS as a national member, the president of my school's student chapter, and a member of the organizations Next Generation Leader Program. ACS offers incredible opportunities for progressive law students and attorneys. It has a strong network of members in a variety of interesting and important positions around the country, all of whom are eager to help other people who share ACS values and want to work for ACS goals. I would encourage every progressive legal professional to become involved.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a law student who has been a member of ACS from the beginning of my first year at law school. Now I am serving as a board member of the student chapter at my law school and it has been a great experience all along. I consider myself a progressive and I particularly like the fact that ACS is one of the progressive student/lawyer organizations that can effectively function as an umbrella organization working together with other progressive/liberal national nonprofits. ACS has organized great events like its Annual National Convention at D.C. and it has been promoting civil discourse on important social justice issues like voting rights, economic inequality, and other basic civil rights. I hope ACS can continue to work toward achieving its organizational goals together with other nonprofits and general public.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

ACS is the premier progressive legal network in the country. If anyone in the legal world wants to get involved in progressive causes, being active in ACS is the best way to get connected with like-minded and passionate students and practitioners. I have been involved with ACS for a while now, and the organization has been a lifeblood as I figure out my career.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

ACS is a crucial organization for connecting and organizing disparate groups of progressive professionals from across the country. ACS provides valuable training, legal instruction, and connections to established progressives in a variety of different fields. I have personally benefited by constantly learning new things about the law, being exposed to like-minded peers and future colleagues, and gaining access to professional development opportunities that other organizations have not come close to providing. I have been extremely active throughout law school and look forward to continuing my engagement with ACS over the remainder of my career!

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I served as a volunteer at the 2012 ACS National Convention last month. It was a very valuable experience! The convention included panel discussions, plenaries, networking events and an opportunity to be assigned a mentor. All of these events were centered around discussing how we as lawyers, students, and professors can and SHOULD impact social justice in our local communities and country. While at the convention I met my assigned mentor who works as an attorney for the White House. I told him I am interested in law and policy work and he suggested a few places to which I should apply for a clerkship. He then suggested I also contact his office and inquire about clerkship opportunities. The next week, I received a call from his office requesting an interview. The next day, after the interview, I received an offer. This Fall I will be a WHITE HOUSE LAW CLERK!!! How cool is that?! Well, I owe it all to the ACS National Convention!

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?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Volunteering for the ACS Annual Convention allowed me to be partnered with a mentor and just a couple of weeks later a job offer at my mentor's place of business, THE WHITE HOUSE!!!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

The volunteer experience was quite awesome as it allowed me to gain valuable networking experience. Also, I was able to be in a room with some of my heroes and and others that have dedicated their lives to advocating and fighting for social justice.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with ACS for a decade--first as President of the Emory Law School Chapter, and currently as President of the Georgia Lawyers Chapter. ACS is a fine organization and has made a tremendous impact in the lives of attorneys young and old who work to serve the public interest and build a legal community that is responsive to the needs of the vulnerable in our society, and that promotes the Constitution as a vital and living document.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

ACS was one of the highlights of my first year of law school. The chapter at BU Law is active and thriving because of the overall non-profit's influence and support. The BU Law chapter of ACS consistently partners with other student-run organizations and non-profits to bring engaging speakers to speak on innovative and timely topics. ACS's ability to leverage its resources to meet its ultimate goals of education and awareness fill gaps previously unmet by an organization at BU Law. I knew that I needed to involve myself in this organization. I serve as an Executive Member (because the Moot Court competition was cancelled this year) and I hope to give back to this organization by sponsoring events in voting, family law, and tax law for the fall semester. Thank you ACS for your continued support for legal education and knowledge!

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?

Some

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

ACS is a great presence on campus. The group continually brings interesting and engaging speakers onto campus, and hosts some highly intriguing discussions. They are a solid group at school; everyone knows of what ACS does, and whenever they host an event, ACS always rises to the high expectations.

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

I've watched speakers on 2nd Amendment topics that wrote SCOTUS amicae briefs, I've seen a debate on same-sex marriage, and a number of other stimulating topics.

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

Give it more publicity so it can expand not just on the nature of topics it covers, but the people it is able to bring in as speakers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I decided to pursue a career in law as a second career in life. With my head on straight and my feet planted firmly in the ground, I entered law school secure in the fact that my career goal was Civil Rights Advocacy and providing access to justice to the underserved communities. Fortunately, I attended the recent American Constitution Society convention in DC in an effort to incorporate a chapter into my law school. The event in DC was life eye-opening. My exposure to a roomful of brilliant, insightful, and open minds reconfirmed my goals and reinvigorated my spirit. I encountered practitioners that spent their professional lives accomplishing what I came to law school to do!!! Progressivism is alive and well and ACS breathes new life into each and every day. I can now bring this spirit back to my law school with me and share it with my fellow progressives.

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

During the convention, I attended a break-out session regarding LGBT rights, especially repeal of DOMA. When I returned to my summer internship, the information that I garnered coupled with the fire that was lit within me compelled me to write policy papers for my organization taking a definitive stand for the immediate repeal of DOMA. We shall submit these papers to our reps in Congress. Every single person can make a difference!

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

At the conventions, I would include student chapter leaders in the discussions, plenary and breakout. Students engage in clinics and externships (especially progressive students). Their experiences can serve to inform the discussions about the needs of the public. After all, generals (good ones, at least) do not effectively draft battle plans without input from the front line soldiers!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined ACS my second year of law school and it has been a wonderful experience. ACS provides different perspectives which are sometimes lacking in the classroom. The national convention truly insprired me to become more active in my school's chapter and encourage others to join ACS.

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

Becoming more involved in my school both socially and politically.

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

I would allow the student chapters to co-sponsor with any school group.

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