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UT Law’s American Constitution Society student chapter wins “Chapter of the Year” from national organization

From left to right: Meredith Kincaid, '13, outgoing president; Kali Cohn, '14, incoming president; David Fisher, '15, incoming event coordinator; Nora Gay, '15, incoming vice-president of membership; Michael Hurta, '15, incoming vice president of treasury; and Kristine Baumstark, '14, incoming vice president of mentorship.

From left to right: Meredith Kincaid, ’13, outgoing president; Kali Cohn, ’14, incoming president; David Fisher, ’15, incoming event coordinator; Nora Gay, ’15, incoming vice-president of membership; Michael Hurta, ’15, incoming vice president of treasury; and Kristine Baumstark, ’14, incoming vice president of mentorship.

The Law School’s chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) won “Chapter of the Year” at a June 13, 2013, ACS awards banquet, held during their national convention in Washington, D.C. The award was presented at a dinner featuring Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

“This award is a huge honor and a testament to UT Law’s intellectually curious and engaged student members,” said outgoing ACS President Meredith Kincaid, ’14. ”Our board is always striving to do what we can to contribute to the progressive community at UT Law and beyond—whether that’s bringing speakers on a wide variety of legal issues or providing networking and mentorship opportunities through our relationship with the ACS Austin Lawyer Chapter, for example. As our students grow through law school and graduate into the world, we hope that their time with ACS gets them ready to—in the words of civil rights icon, Representative John Lewis—stand up and get in a little necessary trouble!”

This past year the chapter sponsored a number of events, including presentations on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; a debate about the constitutionality of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act (co-sponsored by the Federalist Society); a career panel on practicing in criminal law; ”Roe v. Wade at 40,” featuring Rebecca Robertson, Legal and Policy Director of the ACLU of Texas; and monthly happy hours with the ACS Austin Lawyer Chapter.

“This is a great honor, and a well-deserved one,” said ACS faculty advisor and Leroy G. Denman Jr. Regents Professor in Real Property Law Lynn Blais. “The University of Texas was one of the first law schools to start a student chapter of ACS after it was founded at Georgetown, and UT’s Chapter has continued to grow in scope and ambition. In the past few years, through their excellent programming, outreach to new students, and cooperative relationship with the Austin Lawyer Chapter of the ACS, the current leadership group has cemented UT Law’s student chapter as an established and enduring presence at the Law School.”

The ACS officers stand with the Honorable Diane Wood, '75, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (third from right).

ACS officers stand with the Honorable Diane Wood, ’75, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (third from right).

UT Law’s ACS chapter is also advised by Associate Dean for Research and Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law William Forbath. Student ACS leaders are Kali Cohn, president; Julie Crocker, vice president of administration; Marie Delahoussaye, vice president of external affairs; and Nora Gay, vice president of membership.

“This is great news,” said Law School Dean Ward Farnsworth. “We also have the country’s largest student chapter of the Federalist Society, ACS’s counterpart on the other side of the political aisle. Taken together, these distinctions really show how lively and engaged our students are.”

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