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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

American Constitution Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Democracy

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

167 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoy being a part of ACS. Being involved with this great organization helped me to see ways in which I could affect change within the community. I appreciate their passion for helping others and all of the ways in which they provide avenues to do so. Law school would not have been the same without ACS.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Joining ACS in law school has allowed me to be part of a network of like-minded individuals. Being on the board of a student chapter, I have been able to be active with students at my law school, the lawyer's chapter, and national network. I have attended various panels and discussions, which have sparked many meaningful conversations.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is an incredible organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of being involved in all the activities that the organization has to offer. All volunteers and staff are incredibly kind and fun, and being part of the group has certainly made going to law school easier. Simply a stellar, first class progressive organization.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A high quality progressive legal organization. Good leadership and organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Joining ACS in law school was one of the best decisions I have ever made. ACS has provided me an outlet to engage with other students and professionals in our industry and strive to. do good things. Additionally, ACS has guaranteed that when I leave law school, I will have a network of individuals who I can reach out to if needed. I will forever be thankful for ACS, the work they do, and the staff who make everything they do possible.

1 ACSRocks

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS helped me find a way to really make an impact on my local and legal community in law school. They provided resources and support to help me tailor my passion for positive social change. As a newly licensed attorney they have helped me connect with like minded professionals who desire to change their community for the better. I just love my ACSers and am proud to be a part of an organization that seeks positive change, regardless of your party.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the constants in my law school career has been the march of incredible opportunities made available to me through my membership in ACS. No other organization I know of makes so much effort to educate and shape young progressive lawyers who care about the future of our country. ACS has a bold, positive, attainable vision for the future of our democracy and I look forward to continuing to be a part of it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society's work is vital to our constitutional democracy. As a faculty advisor to a law school chapter, I can attest that no other national legal organization does more to promote the constitutional promise of liberty and equality than ACS through its high quality programming, incredibly supportive community, and invaluable networking opportunities with other progressive law students, lawyers, judges, and political leaders across the country.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the time I started law school, ACS has played an important role in my outside-of-class education there. They've introduced me to a valuable network of professionals who have provided me with guidance and networking opportunities, as well as practical advice to help me succeed in law school and in my career.

1 Morgan H.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This has been an incredible organization to work with! I am a student leader and the resources and opportunities that ACS has provided me are fantastic.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer board member serving on the Chicago Lawyer Chapter's BOD. ACS has been an important source of information and inspiration to me. As a lawyer, it is invaluable to have a network of like-minded colleagues with which to share information. Last year, we were able to host around 20 sponsored and co-sponsored events. The truth matters, and ACS has been a critical force in getting quality information out to its network, providing a space for discussion and innovation in our field.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS provides thought leadership and an invaluable network for progressive lawyers and law students. The breadth of issues on which they work and the way they engage lawyers and law students through their local chapters helps to promote a progressive vision of the Constitution that is desperately needed today.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

ACS has been instrumental in me connecting with like minded students, attorneys, and judges in my community.

1 Naomi Esther H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACS is the most amazing organization I have ever been a part of. The people involved with ACS, both as employees and as members, are incredible human beings and do such amazing work! I feel honored to be a part of the work ACS does day in and day out.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a first-generation college and law student, ACS helped me navigate the complex process of clerkship applications by explaining the process and connecting me to former or current clerks of specific judges to which I wanted to apply. My ACS faculty adviser wrote one of my recommendation letters, and Zack Gima (ACS staff) helped me prepare for my interview with my judge. ACS was absolutely vital to my clerkship search.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a law student, my job, first and foremost, is to learn the workings of the law and prepare for a career practicing in the legal profession. When I arrived at school, my goal was simple: focus on my studies, develop good relationships with my professors, and prepare for the many many years after school, not just the three I would spend in it.

Along came ACS - both the national organization and my school chapter - and with it the realization that my professional skills and preparedness to be a responsible attorney would be bolstered greatly by engaging with this organization. Over time my involvement has deepened and the rewards have multiplied. The support and guidance I receive from ACS in every aspect of my legal studies and practice has been invaluable, and as a network nationwide their work is absolutely indispensable for ensuring that my generation of lawyers (as well as those who came before, and will follow after) is well-trained, well-educated, and meaningfully oriented toward responsible practice and being a contributing member of my professional and social communities.

The broad and dedicated ACS network has been a value-multiplier par excellence, and I am so thrilled that some of my work can contribute to others' lives and careers as well. I am excited for a future in this organization, and its reputation and status as a nonprofit reassures me that we'll be able to maintain a high level of earnest enthusiasm and dedication to a pure mission for years to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACS helped me find my voice during law school and has continued to help me use that voice as a practicing attorney.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the things I like best about ACS is how they provide information on crucial developments in civil rights. One of my favorite topics is voting rights, and learning about voter suppression tactics that hinder the progress that has been made. We must stay vigilant.

I enjoy learning about Supreme Court cases and developments in a fun and informative manner and venue. The fellowship is uplifting.

Perhaps what I find most important, is that I like the way ACS facilitates Constitution in the Classroom (CITC). This program helps ACS members and staff get the word out to DC public school students about the importance of the US Constitution. The instructors tackle and discuss issues relevant to the youth. Further, when students meet a variety of visitors who they might not regularly engage with, CITC demonstrates that there are many kinds of people in, and aspects of, the legal profession. And the instructors can benefit from the interaction with bright young people who they don't often encounter. For me, it's simply a great community service event all around. Ming Lowe

Christina B.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACS is one of the best nonprofits with which I have ever had the privilege of engaging. ACS's staff is knowledgeable, dedicated, and passionate. When I think of progressive leadership in the US, ACS is at the forefront. ACS inspires law students and attorneys to take action and produces important, groundbreaking reports on various hot topics in law. ACS believes that law should be a force for change to improve the lives of all people and acts on that belief by organizing and engaging attorneys, law professors, judges, and law students on progressive issues. ACS's work is vital to democracy.

Monica P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society has empowered me to plan events at my law school around topics of national importance. On a personal note, ACS has also helped me feel at home at my school. I am truly grateful for everything they do to advance a vision of the law that helps all people.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS's work on judicial nominations is one of the most important programs I've supported. Proud to be an ACS supporter.

Rachael H.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACS was so helpful when I was starting law school; it instantly connected me with like-minded law students. ACS continues to help its members by offering personalized career advice, publicizing important notice and comment opportunities, and hosting informative and entertaining events on a variety of topics. ACS and its staff perform a great service for law students and lawyers alike and truly deserves recognition for all that it has accomplished.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing organization! Everyone in the national office is approachable, helpful, and friendly. I’ve been to a number of interesting events with unparalleled commentary and networking opportunities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS helped register out of state voters at our graduate school

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've watched ACS in action for many years and am impressed by its superb management, talented staff, motivated volunteers and members who include stars in the field, and ACS's ability to adopt new strategies and tactics in changing times. It is now without doubt the premier advocacy organization of American progressive jurists.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Relevant and rich programming on legal topics with excellent reach to students and diverse members and communities.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS has been a constant force for enrichment and engagement through law school and my professional years. I enjoy the high-quality programming and opportunity to engage with diverse thought leaders. I satisfy my intellectual side through ACS. As a bonus, I even met some dear friends through ACS involvement.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

At a time in the US when a number of cherished rights as well as our democracy and the rule of law are gravely threatened, the American Constitution Society (ACS) is helping to shape the debate on important legal and constitutional issues, build networks of lawyers, law students, judges and policymakers who want the law to improve the lives of Americans, and defend enduring constitutional values. I have attended a number of truly excellent discussions by leading lawyers and law professors on topics such as the legal status of corporations, the recently-ended Supreme Court term, theories of executive power under the Constitution (including a discussion of how different legal theories relate to special counsel Robert Mueller), and the recent nomination to the Supreme Court. ACS is playing a vital rule during these momentous times.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society has been uniquely effective in bringing together the country's best legal minds, including lawyers, judges, academics, public officials, and law students, to develop a progressive vision of our Constitution and laws. It has been profoundly influential in helping to shape public debate over critical Constitutional and legal issues. As a law professor, I have benefitted directly from its programs and publications, as well as the networking opportunities ACS creates for professional and intellectual exchange.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society is the foremost national network of lawyers, judges, policy makers and law students working to develop and promote the ideas and strategies that can help move our legal system and the constitutional law that governs it in a more progressive direction. I have had the privilege of being both audience and participant for various of its outstanding programs at both the local and national level and find that its blog and publications are reliable sources of important new insights into law and social justice. As a law professor, I know that my students who belong to ACS find their engagement with the local and national organizations to be a source of inspiration as they pursue their own paths towards legal careers that serve the public interest. ACS is simply indispensable.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS does a great job connecting like-minded law students and lawyers and making substantive contributions to current constitutional debates.

Donor

Rating: 5

ACS has helped connect like minded lawyers so we can collectively advocate for positive change, further develop legal theories based on the changing landscape, and assist one another in advancing or careers. It has been a pleasure and an honor working with them for over 10 years.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACS plays a vital role in convening, educating, inspiring, and networking law students, lawyers, judges, academics, policymakers and others who believe that law should be a positive force for everyone in the United States. As a law student I am involved with ACS in my earliest years, and it helped supplement the legal education I received in classrooms with a greater focus on real-world issues and current debates. I am confident that ACS has made me better aware of the challenges facing our democracy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS does an amazing job informing the broader public about important legal issues, helping to ensure an informed and motivated citizenry.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Plays an invaluable role in shaping the legal dialogue on constitutional issues from a progressive perspective.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Very useful connector for lawyers both at the national and state level: educational programs, mentoring with law students, advocacy opportunities and more!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There's no better organization for the times we are currently in.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this organization for 3+ years and have seen the growth and impact they are having on the legal profession. This vital organization will help unite lawyers across the country to make positive, progressive impacts on a local, state, and national level.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In a time when civics education is badly needed, ACS fills the void.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is a fantastic resource for the progressive legal community and those working on legal policy issues. I find myself consistently returning to its website for both the latest in legal developments as well as for foundational background on new topics. Its blogs are well-curated and cover a range of topics and perspectives.

Joshua P. P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a young law student, I am so pleased that ACS is out there promoting a positive, progressive vision of the law. Having already attended the 2017 Annual Convention and numerous chapter events, I am excited to keep working with this group.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan progressive policy organization. It works closely with local bar associations, law students, judges, Congress, and many other organizations to advocate for a more progressive reading of the Constitution. I think its work with law schools and young, new lawyers is some of its best and most important work. It helps young people become active in their communities, connects them with judges, and affects change in vulnerable populations with the energy of those new lawyers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing organization for lawyers and law students!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Acs has done so much for me! I love this nonprofit and they have helped me get my job

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for the last 5 years and the work that they do is critical in advancing the public debate on so many crucial issues facing this nation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a great organization advancing the progressive movement.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The American Constitution Society (ACS) has helped define the lawyer I am today. As a first-generation high school graduate, college graduate, and law school attendee, I was completely overwhelmed my 1L year of classes. ACS took me under its wing, connected me with established lawyers in my desire practice area, offered me scholarships to attend conferences and conventions, and ultimately helped me secure my current legal position. As a nonprofit, ACS is amazing in creating a sense of community for progressive lawyers and providing wonderful networking and education opportunities. The organization stands by its values in its pursuit of the progressive advancement of the law, never forgetting about the individual members that make up the organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a great organization. They put on intelligent events with thoughtful speakers and bring together people from across the country who care about this world and the direction in which it is heading.

Jeff H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS was the best thing about my law school experience. Law students with progessive ideals should absolutely check it out and grow their network. They offer great programming and amazing networking experiences.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that ACS does on a daily basis -- fighting for a more just and equitable society and legal system -- is vital now more than ever.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

ACS is a supportive organization that has helped our law school bring in bold and dynamic speakers. Our institution is stronger for its association with ACS!

Advisor

Rating: 5

ACS has created amazing opportunities for my students.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS plays a vital role in convening, educating, inspiring, and networking law students, lawyers, judges, academics, policymakers and others who believe that law should be a positive force for everyone in the United States. As a law student I was involved with ACS in its earliest years, and it helped supplement the legal education I received in classrooms with a greater focus on real-world issues and current debates. Years later, as a lawyer, I have come back to ACS and built a lawyer chapter to bring together and energize our local legal community.

Tyler H.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic development team. Great senior leadership.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS has been a real anchor for me, helping me in my career, opening doors and making connections. Staff is wonderful, smart and effective. Law students and lawyers, policymakers and judges -- this is an organization that is making a difference in helping shape law and policy, respecting the Constitution while advancing progressive principles.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS has really helped me to see how lawyers can make a difference in our society and in my community. The presentations and the speakers that ACS has hosted at my school have shown me how the law affects individuals and changes broad social issues. It has also helped me connect with professionals and form stronger connections with my professors, which I believe will help me in my career, as well as enhancing my education and my commitment to service.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ACS has served as a valuable resource throughout my law school career. At my school, ACS has connected me with classmates and professors who share similar beliefs and career goals as me. In my local community, I am able to connect with professionals, including prominent lawyers like judges, all because of ACS. Further, nationally, I am connected to a robust network of attorneys. The educational, learning, and networking opportunities are abundant for ACS members both in law school and in the legal community.

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a wonderful organization that provides ample opportunities for networking and thoughtful discourse on the leading issues of our time. Every ACS event I've attended has been welcoming and informative. I always enjoy what the organization has to offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS provides a powerful opportunity to network with individuals committed to the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and it's expressed fundamental values: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law. I had the good fortune to recently attend my first ACS National Convention and was so impressed with the plethora of fabulous speakers. The speakers did an outstanding job discussing and explaining important legal topics of the day. The convention was remarkable. The speakers and events really did help foster progressive discussion and opportunities for real-world change, as another reviewer aptly stated. Members of local chapters volunteer their time and work hard to provide meaningful presentations and serve their local communities. ACS also does a stellar job producing meaningful publications, many of which are available for free on their website.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I also attended an ACS conference in DC and it could not have been better. The speakers and events all help to foster an open, progressive discussion that encourages real-world change.

More than the recent conference, however, ACS allows its chapters to pursue thought-provoking events interesting to local communities. These events attract legal professionals in many types of roles, helping to encourage connections that would likely not exist otherwise. ACS excels at bringing together people of similar values to maximize its impact civic and legal discourse both locally and nationally.

Its yearly conference was a great example of these strengths, and my volunteer work at ACS is valuable because it helps contribute to such a great organization.

Sulma G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACS is a power house of legal analysis offering candid insight into the workings of our courts, government and communities. Their 2014 annual convention presented many panels on relevant legal issues provoking thoughtful discussions for everyone present. Their staff did an amazing job of bringing everyone and everything together all while making it appear effortless.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently attended and volunteered at an ACS conference in Washington D.C. and I had a wonderful experience. The issues this group works on are relevant and important to all of us, the speakers and panels were great, and the conference was well organized. -Chris P., Portland, ME.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACS is a wonderful organization. The helpful staff at the national headquarters are incredibly supportive and highly knowledgeable.

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of working at ACS after graduating from law school, so I was able to see firsthand how dedicated the staff and the entire organization is to advancing liberalism in the legal sphere. There are any number of groups that pursue specific policies or bring people together to accomplish X, Y, or Z, but ACS really has developed a network of attorneys that can be deployed to do either/or of those two things. Obviously, ACS provides a lot of good networking opportunities, particularly in a profession that lives by networking, but it's programming is top-notch, if more people paid attention.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACS is an ideal organization for attorneys and law students who want to (1) learn more about the most pressing legal and social issues of the day; and (2) network with other engaged, vibrant professionals. I appreciate that ACS has given me the opportunity to plan substantive events that bring together legal professionals from throughout my area and to attend amazing events planned by others. I was fortunate to receive public interest funding to attend the national convention in DC this year and was absolutely blown away by the quality of the programming and the passion with which attendees engaged on the issues. It's a tremendous group of people, and I am honored to be a part of it.