ACS is one of the most vibrant student organizations on campus. We hold speaker events with some of the most talented and compelling legal practitioners in their field.
We welcome professors and legal scholars to Columbia Law who are thinking about new legal challenges--and coming up with cutting edge solutions. And we support judges, clerks, government attorneys, and advocates who respect the U.S. Constitution and seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten. Please see below for a list of our upcoming and past events. Have an idea for an event? Are you a lawyer or scholar interested in speaking on progressive legal issues at Columbia? Contact us!
If you are not a member of the Columbia Law School or greater Columbia University community - and you would like to attend one of our events - please email us no less than 48 hours in advance of the event. There is almost always strong demand for our events within the Columbia University community, and while we would be happy to accommodate guests, we must know in advance to determine whether we can accommodate you.
Hon. Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.: The Supreme Court in a Time of Transition
(with the D.C. Law Students Association, Social Justice Initiatives,
and the Office of Career Services and Professional Development)
April 11, 2017 | Lunch
We the People: Live Recording of the National Constitution Center's Podcast
(with The Federalist Society)
April 10, 2017 | Dinner
The Future of Reproductive Rights Litigation
(with If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice,
the Columbia Law School Democrats, and the ACLU)
April 6, 2017 | Lunch & Networking
Partisan Gerrymandering and the Efficiency Gap with Prof. Nick Stephanopoulos
March 21, 2017
Ari Melber: MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent
(with the Columbia Law School Democrats & Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Law Society)
February 8, 2017
Roberta Kaplan '91 and the HB 1523 Litigators: New Frontiers in the Fight for LGBTQ+ Equality
November 14, 2016
On November 14, 2016 - just days after the 2016 presidential election - Roberta Kaplan '91 joined ACS for a critical and important discussion on new frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. Kaplan '91 successfully argued on behalf of Edith Windsor in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor. In Windsor, the Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door to Obergefell v. Hodges - and marriage equality - two years later. Kaplan, joined by fellow Paul, Weiss attorneys Jacob Taber and William Freeland, discussed her work arguing against Mississippi HB 1523, an anti-marriage equality and anti-transgender bill.
Kaplan spoke candidly about new frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, including battles against "legal right to discriminate" laws such as North Carolina's anti-transgender bathroom bill. She also spoke to how the fight for LGBTQ+ equality would shift with the incoming presidential transition. Described as a "true American hero" by former President Bill Clinton, Roberta Kaplan '91 is a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in litigation. She is a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and a 1991 graduate of the Law School. Her book, Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA, was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2015.
(L-R: Paul, Weiss litigators William Freeland and Jacob Taber; Roberta Kaplan '91; and ACS Co-President Shane Grannum '18)
Fixing the Court: What the Supreme Court Needs to Become More Open and Accessible
October 19, 2016
The Missing American Jury: A Book Talk with Professor Suja Thomas
September 22, 2016
Professor Suja Thomas of the University of Illinois College of Law joined the American Constitution Society (ACS) for a talk on her newest book, The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries. Her book explores how criminal, civil, and grand juries have disappeared from the legal system - despite their significant presence in the U.S. Constitution. Prof. Thomas has written extensively on juries for publications like The New York Times (co-authoring a piece with Mark Cuban), and her work has been cited by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Before becoming a professor, she practiced law for many years in New York City - including at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Corporate Citizen?: A Book Talk with Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy '01
September 20, 2016
ACS welcomed Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy - a 2001 graduate of Columbia Law School - back to her alma mater for a discussion about her new book, Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State. Corporate Citizen explores how corporations have engaged in an aggressive campaign to dramatically enlarge their political and commercial speech and religious rights through strategic litigation and extensive lobbying. In her new book, she offers reforms to support these new understandings of corporation in contemporary society. A renowned election law expert, Prof. Torres-Spelliscy is a professor of law at Stetson University College of Law in Florida and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. Before becoming a law professor, she was a counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center and an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP in New York City. ACS thanks our co-sponsors - the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and the Latino/a Law Students Association (LaLSA) for their support.