Michigan Law student chapter wins national award from the American Constitution Society

By Sharon Morioka
Michigan Law

The American Constitution Society (ACS) has recognized the Michigan Law student chapter as its 2024 Student Chapter of the Year. The annual award goes to the chapter that has shown the greatest strength in meeting ACS’s mission and goals. The organization, which counts nearly 200 student and lawyer chapters in the country, is recognizing Michigan Law at the ACS National Convention, June 6-8 in Atlanta.
“We were so honored to be selected, especially since so many other ACS student chapters are also doing incredible work,” said rising 3L Ryan Jansen, co-president with rising 3L Arthur Etter during the 2023–2024 academic year.

For the third year in a row, the chapter won a Programming Award, given to ACS’s “strongest” student chapters. Michigan Law previously won the Student Chapter of the Year award in 2009 and 2020.

Jansen and Etter said the highlights of the academic year were hosting former US Attorney General Eric Holder and the Hon. L. Felipe Restrepo of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

“Eric Holder was tremendously candid and offered an unparalleled perspective into the Obama administration,” said Etter, who also received the ACS Next Generation Leader award. “Judge Restrepo spoke about effective advocacy and his time on the bench and the sentencing commission. He also met with students at a dinner event and at a meet-and-greet over coffee.”

The ACS included these two events when citing the Michigan Law chapter. It also commended the group for hosting 25 events covering a range of topics, including the US Supreme Court, immigration, qualified immunity, state constitutional law, voting rights and election law, technology and privacy, disability rights, and criminal justice.

The chapter also grew and expanded the progressive legal network, both at the Law School and within the community, by growing its membership, expanding the board, and regularly partnering and co-sponsoring with other local student groups.

“The students have done a wonderful job of developing leadership opportunities for a large number of students,” said Barbara McQuade, a professor from practice at Michigan Law who advises the chapter along with Ellen Katz, the Ralph W. Aigler Professor of Law. “As a result of the active involvement of so many members, the chapter has been able to organize numerous programs throughout the school year without over-burdening any individual students with responsibilities. Their effort has been a model for joyful collaboration and successful programming.”

The chapter’s executive board has approximately 25 members, and the total chapter membership exceeds 200 students. Jansen said the board and the chapter’s members are the reason for the chapter’s success.

“Without their continued dedication and effort, we could not have had such a tremendous year,” he said. “The other reason for our success is the fact that Michigan Law carries such a currency in the legal world. People want to come here to speak since they know students at Michigan will be future leaders in the profession. It provides us a tremendous opportunity to connect with so many people.”

Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available