On June 1, 2003, the American Judicature Society moved its headquarters to Des Moines, Iowa to establish an affiliation with Drake University. With the support of Dwight D. Opperman, AJS moved from Chicago to establish the affiliation with Drake. The move aligns two independent research organizations together for their mutual benefit.
AJS is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to improve the administration of justice. AJS conducts research and provides information regarding the judicial system. It was founded in 1913 by Herbert Harley, a Michigan newspaper publisher. Mr. Harley's vision was to improve and modernize the nation's courts. Harley believed this was possible by creating a national organization that would conduct research and issue proposals for reform. Today current AJS membership is approximately 6,000 judges, lawyers, and other citizens. AJS distributes several publications such as Judicial Conduct Reporter
and the bimonthly journal Judicature
AJS operates four special centers: The Elmo B. Hunter Citizens Center for Judicial Selection
, which promotes judicial selection reform; the Center for Judicial Ethics
, which assists state judicial conduct commissions and publishes material on judicial conduct and ethics; the Center for Judicial Independence
, which promotes a judiciary that is free to render fair and just rulings according to law; and the National Jury Center
, which facilitates jury research and innovation.
The first collaboration between AJS and Drake occurred in August at the Iowa Judicial Institute which was held at Drake. AJS president Larry Hammond and Executive Director Allan Sobel teamed with Drake law professor Bob Rigg and Associate Dean David McCord to discuss methods for judges to reduce wrongful convictions. Professor Rigg then traveled to San Francisco to participate at the AJS Annual Board Meeting. Future collaborations are already in the planning.
American Judicature Society website: http://www.ajs.org/ AJS and Drake CollaborationsAJS Strategic Planning Concepts