The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

Rating: 4.96 stars   113 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 was introduced to ACS in law school. Our school chapter hosted great speeches and debates. Since graduating in 2009, I have become even more involved in my local lawyer chapter. The local chapter offers great volunteer opportunities and hosts networking events, where I can meet like-minded public interest attorneys. I was fortunate enough to receive a fellowship for the ACS National Convention last summer, and I was blown away by the exciting program. The convention featured interesting panels and fascinating speakers, like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Senator Al Franken. ACS does a great job of keeping lawyers engaged in broader social and political issues.

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

I've helped with volunteer events, such as Constitution in the Classroom, which teaches schoolchildren about the U.S. Constitution. I was fortunate enough to receive a fellowship for the ACS National Convention last summer, and I was blown away by the exciting program. The convention featured interesting panels and fascinating speakers, like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Senator Al Franken.

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

Keep up the good work!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with ACS since my first year of law school. It's such a terrific organization! ACS significantly enhanced my law school experience, showing me the importance of learning about and remaining involved in constitutional issues. It added much-needed depth and realism to my academic experience! I have also met some terrific and inspiring people through ACS, and have learned about issues I never previously thought about. It's a great organization to remain active in even after law school.

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

ACS became a tremendous force at Howard University School of Law and really got the students thinking about constitutional issues

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

make them more vigilant about getting members to renew their dues. ACS is so enthusiastic about getting people interested and involved (which is great), that it tends to neglect some of the more mundane things, like sending out reminders to members to get them to pay their dues

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

ACS is a wonderful organization! They have so many fantastic informational events and they facilitate lawyers volunteering in the community.

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

my interaction with CITC.

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

make it more widely available -- it's awfully DC-centric.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Great speakers, events, members, and conferences. I'm greatful for their advocacy now more than ever.

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

Events and conferences.

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

Make it louder!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

They've done a great job making sure that the true meaning, and the way to interpret the constitution, is known. Their student organizations help to frame the debates on campus, and their social events for attorneys engage the whole community

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

working as a student organizer on campus

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

Create more cross-campus communication, and create more connections between professionals; and between professionals and students

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a first-year law student, and I've found ACS to be enormously helpful and informative. I've learned a lot from the different speakers brought in to talk about very relevant, current issues in today's legal sphere, and it's been great to meet other progressive students.

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

I even obtained an internship offer from a recent ACS happy hour with local attorneys.

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

not change anything.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am second year law student and co-president of my law school's chapter of ACS and I can't even begin to describe how much support - both financially and programitcally - I receive from the ACS national office. Besides the obvious plus of helping to fund our on campus events ACS' staff is always there to help students find speakers for their programs and connect students with lawyers in their area.
Having such a strong commitment to bringing as many law students as possible to the annual convention in DC is just one testament to ACS commitment to mentoring the next generation of lawyers.

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

California

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

nothing!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a third-year law student, and I'm very grateful for the American Constitution Society's efforts in law schools. Through the high-quality speakers ACS has brought to my campus, and through the opportunities that ACS has provided for me to attend national conferences, I've greatly expanded my knowledge of the Constitution and the important legal issues our country currently faces. ACS has greatly enriched my education.

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

My understanding of the Constitution and it's application to modern issues has been greatly enhanced by ACS. I've also had the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with some of the brightest legal minds on our country because of ACS' campus programs.

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

Expand it's reach into other campuses and other lawyer chapters.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a third-year law student, and I'm very grateful for the American Constitution Society's efforts in law schools. Through the high-quality speakers ACS has brought to my campus, and through the opportunities that ACS has provided for me to attend national conferences, I've greatly expanded my knowledge of the Constitution and the important legal issues our country currently faces. ACS has greatly enriched my education.

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

My understanding of the Constitution and it's application to modern issues has been greatly enhanced by ACS. I've also had the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with some of the brightest legal minds on our country because of ACS' campus programs.

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

Expand it's reach into other campuses and other lawyer chapters.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I became involved with ACS at Penn Law School in my first year, going on to be the Speaker's Chair and President of our ACS chapter. In the law school community, ACS has quickly become the premier progressive legal policy and advocacy organization. Our chapter puts on dozens of unique events each year that bring students together to discuss and learn more about many of the important issues facing our country. ACS members immediately become part of a larger community of individuals with similar interests and goals, making it a great networking opportunity and a place for professional development.

ACS helps shape public legal debates by publishing timely articles, blog posts, issue briefs and other literature on important areas of the law. ACS also provides areas for students and professionals to hone and publish their work, through their national moot court competition and writing competitions.

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

Worked with the national organization to put on many quality events over the years, including our annual Supreme Court Review and Preview and Federal Judges Panels. A full list of our events can be found at http://www.law.upenn.edu/groups/acs/events.html. I also went to the Constitution in 2020 symposium at Yale Law School, the National Student Symposium at Penn Law School, and the National Convention in Washington, DC, where I expanded my network and made many valuable professional connections.

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

Give it more money, so it can more fully fund student activities across the country.

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

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