Chapter Initiatives

Our ACS Chapter engages in many initiatives, both on and off the HLS campus. While many of these are evolving in today’s virtual world, we’re committed to continuing our important work. Read more about what we do in the pages below!

Our Academics programming includes resources such as an ACS outline/exam bank (focused on visiting professors whose outlines might not otherwise be available to ACS students) and events centered on academics, particularly programs that support 1Ls as they adjust to HLS. Our Academic programming also focuses on clerkship resources and helps connects Chapter members with each other throughout these exploration and application processes. 

Our Activism Directors organize opportunities for the ACS community to engage in community activism on the HLS campus, such as rallies and petitions on Harvard-specific issues, as well as off-campus activism for progressive causes like voter registration and racial justice.

Alumni and Career Resources entail the development and management of our relationships with Harvard ACS alumni as well as the national ACS community, in addition to general career development assistance. Our Alumni and Career Resources Director coordinates an alumni-student mentorship program, as well as opportunities for current students to connect with individual alumni as well as groups and networks throughout the country. These relationships can be helpful for topics like summer jobs, EIP, clerkships, and public interest fellowships. 

As an organization committed to progressive ideas, one of our Chapter’s foremost commitments is making sure that we live up to these ideas and words in our actions. To that end our Director of Diversity works on programming for our Chapter that includes internal equity and inclusion trainings, as well as the proactive identification of opportunities for growth and change in the manner and content of our programming. Additionally, our work in this space includes a commitment to making our organization a place where all HLS students feel welcome, valued, and heard. We particularly welcome feedback and thoughts on our progress in this space and how we can better work in solidarity with all types of movements for justice. 

Our Chapter maintains several important educational partnerships with community institutions local to the Cambridge and greater Boston area. One example is Constitution in the Classroom, a civic engagement curriculum that ACS established in partnership with local public schools. In this program our members develop and deliver classes about the Constitution for elementary and middle school students. Recently, we have also begun a new partnership that focuses on delivering educational classes and workshops specifically about the criminal legal system at the Nashua Street Jail as a resource for incarcerated individuals. We anticipate that these programs will continue even during the remote Fall 2020 semester.

ACS is a big organization—one of the largest on the HLS campus—so there is a lot to communicate with all of our members! An important part of our Board’s mission is to make sure that everyone feels fully included, engaged, and up-to-date on our work and our wonderful community. An important aspect of our Membership is the ability to attend a variety of social events throughout the year, from casual hang-outs to our annual Progressive Formal with HLPR!

Calling all students interested in public policy! Our Policy Committee produces original work addressing critical national, state, and local policy issues. Each year we identify and develop relationships with progressive policy organizations to coordinate projects that individual students on the committee can work on. Our Policy Directors assist each committee member by helping define the form and scope of their work—including memoranda, white papers, blog posts, model legislation, events, etc. This is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on legal research and writing experience, in a space dedicated to progressive issues that you are passionate about. 

In addition to a great network of progressive students on campus, our Chapter wants to make sure that progressive students are aware of and can connect with HLS faculty members that share interest and expertise in the progressive legal areas that you care about. Our Chapter works to engage HLS faculty in a variety of manners, from advice for our work and organizational functions to contributing programming and mentorship for our members.

The  Progressive Constitutionalism Project is a committee that launched in 2019 to engage scholars, produce writing, and promote campus dialogue on progressive visions of constitutional law. We regularly host “reading group”-style meetings to discuss progressive constitutionalism with opportunities for student writing as well as student engagement with leading scholars in the field. This Project works closely with the Harvard Law & Policy Review (ACS’s official journal) to highlight progressive legal scholarship, as well as with ACS National to promote this work in the larger legal community. 

We know that 1L is an important, but busy, year for many reasons. That’s why our Board finds it important to connect with each HLS section and have a spot for their representatives on our board. We specifically look each year for a section representative from each 1L, LLM, and Transfer section so that our entire Chapter is tuned into the needs and interests of these communities.

We are a large organization, and HLS has a large student body, so we are committed to building strong relationships with all groups and students on campus so we can serve both our members and the larger campus community.

If you are another HLS student organization, journal, coalition, etc., please reach out to us for any questions on cosponsorship, joint programming, or any way that we can support your organization’s members and mission. The best email for these inquiries is — we’ll then direct your request to the appropriate Board member.

Each year, our Chapter coordinates the law school’s Supreme Court Moots program with the Harvard Law Review and Federalist Society. As part of this program, ACS hosts moot arguments for real-life Supreme Court advocates who are in the process of preparing their cases currently before the Court. These advocates deliver their arguments to a panel of professors and practitioners with expertise in the precise question presented. Students can attend and observe these moots, which is an unparalleled window into the craft of appellate advocacy and the unique world of Supreme Court litigation.

NOTE: As our moots feature live cases, there are particular logistical and confidentiality features to these events. Please pay close attention as you encounter these features while attending.

Each year our Chapter takes a trip to D.C. to meet with and learn from amazing progressive lawyers, policy professional, and judges. We also try to connect with ACS chapters from National and schools in the D.C. area. This year, we are in the process of exploring possibilities for what this programming looks like in various remote school scenarios.