Law and Civics

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About Us

The Law and Civics Community serves those working to preserve and promote legal and court history around the nation in history organizations of all types and sizes. Its members include university faculty, state and federal court historians and educators, law librarians/archivists/researchers, judicial assistants, a U.S. Supreme Court curator, and independent historical societies affiliated with courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society and the Historical Society of the New York Courts.

A valuable function of our group is the development of a network of professionals working in comparable fields and sharing similar focused interests. Through our activities we strive to develop a group of professionals who share a focused interest and common background. Our group hopes to help curators and educators at museums and other historic venues learn how to incorporate legal sources and resources into their exhibits and programming.

The Law and Civics Affinity Community has met informally at the annual meeting of AASLH for more than a decade. In 2012, we became an officially recognized affinity community of AASLH and in 2015 changed our name to the Legal History Affinity Group. The AASLH meetings have been held in locations across and nation and in each city our group has been privileged to have a private tour at a federal or state courthouse.

The Law and Civics Community is run by the following committee:

Rachael L. Drenovsky, Chair (2012-2020)
Michigan Supreme Court, Lansing, MI

Doria Lynch (2019-2021)
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN

Marilyn Marcus (2012-2020)
Historical Society of the New York Courts, White Plains, NY

Elizabeth Osborn (2012-2020)
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Carrie Sampson (2017-2020)
Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, Lansing, MI

Kerry Sautner (2019-2021)
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

Kathleen Shurtleff (2012-2020)
Supreme Court Historical Society, Washington, D.C.

AASLH Staff Contact

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Looking for more? Browse through Legal History resources in the AASLH Resource Library.

How to Join AASLH Affinity Communities

Can I join an AASLH affinity community using my current account?

Everyone will need an individual AASLH account to join one of the communities. This includes active AASLH individual members, those who have staff accounts at active institutional members, academic student and faculty accounts at active Academic programs, and even nonmember accounts.

Institutional members, including partners, must create staff profiles for their employees, volunteers, and board members if you want them to be able to join and participate in AASLH communities. There is no charge for creating staff profiles and no cap on how many staff profiles can be attached to your institution.

Please refer to the Creating Staff Members Flyer for information on how to add these profiles

Academic Programs can refer to the Creating Faculty and Student Profiles Flyer to create profiles for people in their programs

Lapsed AASLH members or people who have never had an AASLH account are welcome to create a nonmember account from the Membership Center page. There is no charge for creating a nonmember account.

Signing in to the AASLH Membership Center

To sign in to your individual account, go to to login to the Membership Center. Links to reset your password or join AASLH are also available at that page. If you do not remember your username please email

Once logged in, choose the Communities tab to navigate to the community you would like to join. There is no limit to how many Affinity Communities you join. A community showing 0 registered members will still have members, this message appears because AASLH does not share members’ contact information with other members in the Membership Center.

To join the group, select Join Group at the top of the page. You will then be able to participate in the forum discussions. Even if you do not plan on participating in the forums, we recommend you join the Community so you don’t miss out on important community announcements

At each AASLH annual meeting, our community hosts tours at a courthouse that include architectural tours, library tours, and meetings with judges. We follow our tour with a group meeting where we discuss topics of mutual interest, such as web site development, public programming, how to utilize materials in exhibits and similar topics. At this meeting participants exchange ideas, information and other pertinent materials.

Our group also sponsors and plans a general session open to all conference attendees. Our most recent program considered “An Untapped Resource: How to Locate and Use Legal Cases at Historic Sites.”

Through these activities we strive to develop a group of professionals who share a focused interest and common background. Some of the presentations at these meetings have been given by outside presenters, and others by members of our own group.