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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

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

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.


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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Frank H.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS is doing the most important work in our nation right now by countering the ever-present shrill, hateful bombast insisting the Constitution supports an extremist, retrograde agenda. Staffed by the best and brightest lawyers in the country, ACS posits a thoughtful and balanced view of our nation's charter and acts as a a powerful counterweight to the "originalist" agenda which is nothing but a shorthand for institutionalized Christian fundamentalism and economic corporatism.

As a civil rights attorney I am deeply grateful for ACS and the work they do. If they didn't exist, they would have to be invented.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS is a tremendous force for good in the legal community. They provide a much-needed alternative to the conservative, activist model of Constitutional interpretation promulgated by the Federalist Society.

The ACS staff and Board are high-level professionals and their educational programs are of the highest quality. For all of these reasons, ACS is growing fast and has quickly become one of ht most influential legal groups in the country.

Peter C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The ACS helps the public , politician,students and academics understand the complex Constitutional issues confronting us today.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS has been at the forefront of issues of law and policy involving the U.S. Constitution for many years . ACS provides educational programs to professional and the general public through lectures and publications many of which I have attended or read.

Donor

Rating: 5

The educational programming put on by ACS is second to none. I have learned a lot about law and legal policy at their sessions, and am amazed at how quickly this organization has grown over the past few years. It's definitely worth becoming a member and getting involved.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS is an incredible organization that is here to further the careers of progressive attorneys and law students. There is no question that the people involved with ACS are some of the most passionate, thoughtful people working in the field of law today. The networking opportunities are marvelous, as are the events ACS regularly hosts. I am constantly wowed by the amount of effort ACS's staff and members put into the organization, and the rate at which it has grown is simply testament to that. Will undoubtedly continue to support this terrific organization!

Caroline F.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS really punches above its weight. For its size and age, it is highly effective. It engages on the key issues of the day with a palpable influence. Respected by opinion leaders, elected officials and its opposition, it is really making a difference in helping to shape the law and support the progressive values of the Constitution.

Donor

Rating: 5

This non-profit regularly holds inspiring, educational, and timely events on topics of constitutional law. The events educate the public and provide a voice to so many of us who have long viewed the constitution as so much more than words on a page. Their stellar issue briefs and articles further this mission by advancing the discussion for more seasoned professionals.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS provides deep, thoughtful analyses of issues that affect all Americans, especially as they concern our Constitutional rights and the state of the Judicial branch. Its work can inform grassroots organizations and laypeople equally; its staff is particularly accessible in this regard. And its national network-- chapters all over the country, including for law students -- is particularly valuable in engaging people.