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Pam Karlan

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The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
July 18, 2011

ACS has been a major part of my professional life for the last decade. It offers liberal and progressive lawyers a chance to interact, in a substantive way, across fields, regions, and demographics. So I've attended panels on a wide variety of topics outside my everyday specialties on issues like consumers' rights, corporate accountability, and international law. I've met like-minded lawyers from across the country and frequently run into lawyers and judges I've met through ACS. And I've gotten many chances to talk about constitutional law with students and young lawyers.

Perhaps my most extensive involvement has come from being a co-author of Keeping Faith With the Constitution, first published by ACS (and available for free download from its website: acslaw.org) and then in a revised edition by Oxford University Press. This book offers an accessible account of constitutional interpretation and why the U.S. Constitution is, at its heart, a progressive document responsive to our nation's needs and commitments. Not only was the book fun to write, but as part of the process, I got to work with a pair of amazingly talented co-authors (Goodwin Liu and Chris Schroeder), a perceptive slew of sounding-board folks from a range of perspectives, and then to debate and present the work around the country. That kind of collaborative effort to advance a liberal understanding of the Constitution lies at the heart of ACS.

The Great!

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

having the opportunity to work with a wide range of liberal and progressive lawyers

Ways to make it better...

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

Expand its educational programming for non-lawyers

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I've attended symposia and panels, participated in debates, co-written a book about constitutional law.