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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

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society is the most incredible legal organization in existence. It connects legal practitioners and law students of all varieties from all over the country, and helps effectuate positive changes in society. I went to the National Convention this summer, and met so many amazing people. I was also able to listen to and chat with some incredible legal minds at all of the amazing panels and presentations. I am also a member of the bay area lawyer's chapters (they have them all over the country) so I get invited to events like supreme court previews at law firms and local happy hours. It's really terrific!

Jim_93

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACS is an amazing organization that is truly dedicated to furthering progressive American constitutional values. Their focus is on making real change in the world as well as furthering opportunities for those on the ground making that change.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended the ACS 2011 Annual Convention and the program was informative and intellectually challenging. Speakers ranged from Paul Clement to Floyd Abrams. It was the best CLE program I've ever attended and it was exciting to listen to a range of speakers discuss a variety of pressing legal and public policy issues.

Rachel N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was both a member and an officer of my law school student chapter of the American Constitution Society, and of all the organizations with which I was involved in law school, ACS was one of the best. The national staff is always willing and able to assist student chapters in creating interesting and relevant programs. Moreover, the speakers who willing to share their experience and knowledge with students and other progressive lawyers is simply phenomenal.

Allan A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a continually rightward drifting country, the ACS remains a fair and stalwart defender of the Constitution. All of its programs are informative and inspiring. Anyone who supports democratic principles should join and donate to the ACS!

Allan Abramson, Alexandria VA

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Prior to entering law school, I attended part of one of the first national conferences. At that point, I knew that the organization was poised to take a leadership role in this space and the progressive vision of the organization was vital. When I entered law school in 2004, there was no student chapter and I then decided to found the school's chapter. Since then, I have attended nearly all subsequent national conferences and still stay involved in my city's Lawyer Chapter by serving on the Steering Committee. It is a FANTASTIC organization that I appreciate for it's intellectual leadership, great organization, supportive networks and national reach.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am in my first year of law school and I find the ACS panels both informative and entertaining. My school's various student organizations host a wide variety of speakers and panels but those hosted by the ACS stand out consistently.

Review from Guidestar