Participant: The American Judges Association


The American Judges Association ( is an organization of judges only.   We are independent of any governmental entity or court organization. We are highly motivated by the idea that judicial excellence increases respect for and enhances the legitimacy of the courts and judicial organizations we serve. Our business is making better judges.


AJA works to promote and improve the effective administration of justice AND maintain the status and independence of the judiciary by acting to assure that courts:  always have due process, are fair, are just and accessible to all.  AJA provides the highest quality of continuing professional development for judges and provides multiple models for the peer mentoring for our judicial colleague.  AJA also provides a variety of platforms and strategies for the exchange of new ideas among all judges and encourages the role of judges as teachers so that the public is informed about the place and value of courts in the Democratic societies where they live.


AJA is the largest independent organization of judges, for judges only.  Our non-profit organization is housed at the National Center for State Courts.  It is not part of any larger, hierarchical group.  AJA does not divide itself into sections.  We welcome judges from all jurisdictions and levels of courts throughout the United States and Canada.  AJA addresses and is preeminent when it comes to concerns of interest to all judges.  AJA has strong ties with other major judicial organizations.  AJA has a strong, proven commitment to enhance diversity.  Our annual dues are low.


The American Judges Association was originally founded as the National Association of Municipal Judges (NAMJ) in 1959 at Colorado Springs, Colorado, by 30 municipal court judges. As the association’s membership grew to include judges from other types of courts and from a wider geographical area, its name was changed to the American Judges Association in 1973.


Currently, AJA is the largest independent, judge only, member driven organization in North America.  We include present and former judges of courts of all jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and The Virgin Islands. We are inclusive and diverse.  Some of us speak Spanish and French as well as English.  We are a rainbow of colors, ethnicity, cultures and sexual orientation. We are bench officers in all sorts of courts: Tribal, Administrative, Municipal, State, Provincial, and Federal.  Many of us hold administrative positions in our courts.  We have found our way to judicial office by merit selection, appointment and by election.  Many of us are retained in our office by some sort of political process.  Diversity is our strength.   Diversity drives and increases our value in speaking more robustly and more clearly as the Voice of the Judiciary and in using our peer mentoring models to Make Better Judges.


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