AJS Membership Has Its Privileges (and Its Responsibilities and Opportunities)
Johnston, William D., Judicature
I've been a member of the American Judicature Society for close to 30 years - - since 1983. I was fortunate to receive a complimentary membership from the judge for whom I was clerking at the time, and I have maintained the membership ever since.
This President's Report has me pausing to reflect on the benefits - and the responsibilities and opportunities - associated with AJS membership. The topic is a vitally important one, since AJS is a broadlybased membership organization of citizens (judges, lawyers, and nonlawyers) concerned with improving our nation's justice system.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of AJS membership is that each of us, as a member, is part of an organization that focuses on improving the administration of justice for all. As a corollary, each of us is presented with a responsibility and an opportunity. As observed by AJS Board member The Honorable Delissa Ridgwày of the U.S. Court of International Trade: "AJS is not liberal, and it's not conservative; it's not pro-defense or pro-prosecution or pro-plaintiff. It is committed to fundamental fairness, and to enhancing the administration of justice."
AJS Past President Robert M. Kaufman (a partner with Proskauer Rose LLP in New York City) echoes Judge Ridgway's sentiment: "To me, the single most important benefit of membership is being a participant in the work of improving the administration of justice nationally. All the other things - publications and periodicals, etc. - are nice, but the participation in actual improvements is great." And former AJS Board Member and current Member of the AJS National Advisory Council Momi Cazimero, a graphic designer (non-lawyer) in Honolulu, Hawaii, comments: "The word I have used to describe AJS* mission is 'vigilance.' Especially at a time when we feel besieged - now - it is easiest to bypass and ignore doing the 'right thing' or remaining 'vigilant' because we feel overwhelmed. That is when we are the most vulnerable."
The other benefits of AJS membership are many. The most obvious include receipt of this bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal, Judicature, published continuously since 1917. All judicial members of AJS also receive the quarterly Judicial Conduct Reporter, a one-of-a-kind resource for the latest on judicial ethics and discipline. And many of our members receive the Society's electronic newsletter, Judicatories. (If you are not currently receiving Judicatories, please send a message to membership@ajs. …