The objective and purpose of the Association is: to promote and improve the effective administration of justice; to maintain the status and independence of the judiciary; to provide a forum for the continuing education of its members and the general public; and for the exchange of new ideas among all judges.
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 has a membership exceeding 3,000 members, which includes both present and former judges of courts of all jurisdictions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and The Virgin Islands. Its Board of Governors is composed of representatives from fourteen districts.
The AJA's impact on judicial education has been effective in a number of ways. In 1970, the Association cooperated with the American Judicature Society in organizing the American Academy of Judicial Education, the first such institute to sponsor formal, in-residence training programs for judges of courts of first jurisdiction. AJA has sponsored more than 30 annual conferences, bringing together leading jurists, legal scholars and law enforcement officers to discuss matters of importance affecting the judiciary.
With almost fifty years of service and commitment to the judiciary, AJA continues to exemplify excellence in judicial education.