Zach Gan, a second-year student at Michigan Law, is one of 23 law students nationwide chosen by the American Constitution Society for its Next Generation Leaders program.

Launched in 2007, the Next Generation Leaders program recognizes and supports law students who have shown exceptional leadership in their work with their ACS student chapters. The program offers opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills and make a long-lasting impact in their communities.

“We are confronting existential challenges to our democracy, and we need young leaders who are committed to promoting a vision of the law that is inclusive, equitable, and just,” ACS President Russ Feingold said. “Our Next Generation Leaders program identifies and develops future progressive lawyers, judges, and policymakers who will work toward ensuring that the law is a force for vindicating our fundamental freedoms and securing the promise of a multiracial democracy.”

The selection committee for the program seeks students who demonstrate strong legal skills, a commitment to public service, and a track record of leadership and community engagement. Each year, 20 to 30 law students are chosen.

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected as a 2023 ACS Next Generation Leader,” Gan said. “It has been a privilege serving as co-president of Michigan Law’s ACS student chapter this year, and I have really enjoyed helping ACS grow on campus as a centralized hub for progressive law students. I am extremely grateful for all of the hard work by our chapter’s amazing executive board and my co-president, Alex Woodin. 

“At the beginning of the year, our board selected three key issues for our chapter to focus on: defending democracy, protecting reproductive rights, and safeguarding the right to vote. Since then, we have provided the Law School with a rich array of speakers and events on these important topics. I look forward to continuing to contribute to ACS’s mission as an NGL and in the future as a practicing lawyer.”

Professor from Practice Barbara McQuade, ’91, faculty adviser of the Michigan ACS chapter, said, “Zach‘s leadership within our student chapter of the American Constitution Society has been impressive. He has helped organize a number of events to address some of the most important legal issues of our times.”

A native of Kensington, Maryland, Gan first came to the University of Michigan to earn his BA in political science and Spanish. He worked as a strategy consultant in Washington, DC, before law school. This summer, he will be a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP in New York. After graduation he hopes to practice as a trial lawyer, with a particular interest in civil rights litigation. 

The ACS is an organization that interprets the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, ACS strives to uphold the Constitution by ensuring that law is a force for protecting democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives.