ACS National Convention 2018

Washington, DC – June 7-9, 2018

Thanks to all who attended #ACS2018 or followed along with the live streamed panels! The 2018 Convention featured scores of legal and policy luminaries speaking on more than a dozen panels and skills-building workshops that addressed our current moment. Check this page for updates. ACS will post additional videos of the convention sessions over the next few weeks.
Our featured speakers included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who engaged in a memorable conversation with her former law clerk and ACS national board member Professor Melissa Murray. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, and undocumented law graduate Karla Quetzalli Perez also addressed attendees.
Visit our YouTube channel for the following sessions:
Defending the Third BranchThe third branch is in danger of being reshaped in ways that affect hard-won gains in civil and human rights, economic and criminal justice, and basic access to a fair and impartial justice system for generations to come. Our speakers will discuss what can be learned from other democracies’ experiences with attacks on the judiciary, and how we can think - and speak - differently in the courts’ defense in order to help the public understand what is at stake.
Ron Klain, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Revolution LLC
Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Ginna Green, Managing Director, Democracy Collaborative, ReThink Media
Christopher Kang, Chief Counsel, Demand Justice
Melissa Price Kromm, Director, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections
Hon. Timothy Lewis, Counsel, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis
Kristine Lucius, Executive Vice President for Policy, The Leadership Conference
Safeguarding the Rule of LawCritics contend that the United States is currently being led by an executive who demonstrates autocratic tendencies, with a record of ignoring established legal processes, dismantling democratic conventions, and flouting norms that help preserve a stable, reliable government. Are alleged violations of the Emoluments Clauses; attacks on the Mueller investigation, the Justice Department, the judiciary, and the press; and the abandonment of established norms challenging the vitality of the rule of law? If so, what can be done in response?
Easha Anand, Associate, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Co-Host, Versus Trump podcast
Hon. Norman Eisen, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
Daniel Goldman, Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Asha Rangappa, Senior Lecturer, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University
David Strauss, Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law & Faculty Director, Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic, University of Chicago Law School
Justin Walker, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
Religious Freedom v. Anti-Discrimination: Can Rights Be Reconciled?Increasingly, religious liberty claims seem in conflict with reproductive and LGTBQ rights, and these conflicts are being litigated in courthouses, legislatures, and the public discourse. If exemptions are to be available to those who object to abortion, contraception, and marriage equality, on what principle would exemption claims based on beliefs about race be distinguished from claims based on beliefs about sexuality and gender? Is there a constructive way through this thicket?
Mark Joseph Stern, Staff Writer, Slate
Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Lourdes Rivera, Senior Vice President, U.S. Programs, Center for Reproductive Rights
Micah Schwartzman, Joseph W. Dorn Research Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
Robin Fretwell Wilson, Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law; Director and Founder, Tolerance Means Dialogues
#MeToo, UsToo. Can Lawyers Take the Lead?The impact of the viral #MeToo campaign has revealed the pervasiveness of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct on campuses, in the media, and in every workplace, including the legal profession. Panelists will reflect on how the movement has empowered women and others vulnerable to this type of abuse to come forward and share their stories. They will also discuss concerns about visibility and retaliation, how the legal profession can take a leadership role in enacting change, and the challenges that remain.
Meena Harris, Commissioner, San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women; Head of Strategy & Leadership, Uber
F. Paul Bland, Jr., Executive Director, Public Justice
Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
Kalpana Kotagal, Partner, Cohen Milstein
Catherine Lhamon, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Deborah Rhode, Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
Hon. Shira Scheindlin, Of Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP
Reclaiming the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.: Dr. King sought not only to dismantle the Jim Crow laws that perpetuated racial segregation and debasement in the South, but to upend institutionalized racism throughout the country, assemble a “multiracial army of the poor,” and help workers of all colors organize against unjust labor practices. Today, his heirs seek foundational changes to policing and criminal justice. More than a half century after his work began, what does it look like to truly honor Dr. King’s legacy and move closer to the just society envisioned by the Civil Rights Movement?


Hon. Carlton Reeves, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor in Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
Cheryl Harris, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, UCLA Law
Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation Marianne Engelman Lado,
Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Jeanne Theoharis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York