The American Judicature Society was a national and international organization that counted, at its peak, over 50,000 lawyers, judges, and layman from all 50 states, Canada, and 43 other countries as members. Founded on July 15, 1913, to promote the efficient administration of justice, it was the original “fair courts” citizen organization. An outgrowth of Progressivism, it represented a response to demands for law reform that had been building for a number of years. For 101 years, AJS worked nationally to protect the integrity of the American justice system through research, publications, education and advocacy for judicial selection reform. The Society’s work has led to modernized administrative structures, stronger judicial ethics codes, and merit-based systems of selecting judges in many states. It has served as a voice for the public’s interest in effective courts, promoting greater transparency in judicial proceedings, and enhancing access to justice for all. Among its notable accomplishments are the development of the “Missouri Plan” for judicial selection, the creation of state judicial conduct commissions and judicial nominating committees and publication of its award winning peer-reviewed journal, Judicature. The AJS Board voted to dissolve the organization on September 26, 2014.
The American Judicature Society archives are housed at South Texas College of Law and consist of approximately 70 linear feet of correspondence, historic material, organizational records, meeting materials, photographs and audio/visual media, publications, and press materials. There is also a large amount of digital material, in PDF/A format, thanks to Thomson Reuters. The digital material will be added here first, as efforts are made to digitize the print collection.