Incorporated in 1999, The Arkansas Supreme Court Historical Society, Inc. is a member-based, non-profit, public benefit corporation. By its declared educational and charitable purposes, the Society will operate "to preserve the history of the state courts of Arkansas by fostering and promoting the availability of that history to the legal community and to the public, and educating the citizens of Arkansas as to the significance of the courts and their role in the history of this state[.]” The Society is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service.
To promote its goals, the Society sponsors a series of articles published by the Arkansas Bar Association in its publication, The Arkansas Lawyer. Beginning in 2005, this continuing series includes histories of important Arkansas Supreme Court decisions and biographical sketches of Arkansas Supreme Court justices.
At supreme court ceremonies, the Society has received portraits of retired Arkansas Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice W. H. “Dub” Arnold, Chief Justice Jack Holt, Jr., Justice Robert L. Brown, Justice Robert H. Dudley, Justice John Fogleman, Justice Tom Glaze, Justice Steele Hays, Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber and Justice Ray Thornton. The portraits are displayed within the Justice Building. Further, the Society has cooperated with the Justice Building exhibits program to develop conferences on law-related historical topics including Racial Justice (2004), Women and the Law (2005), Arkansas Constitutions (2006), American Courthouses (2007), and the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Civil War (2012).
In January, 2012, journalist Ernie Dumas began conducting and recording in-person interviews with nearly all of the retired justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court, using recording equipment provided by the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History. The interviews were transcribed by the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts, with final editing and approval by the interviewee, and added to this website in 2015. From time to time, interviews with more retired justices will be added.
The Society is governed by the board of directors elected by its dues-paying membership. Membership in the Society is open to anyone with an interest in Arkansas legal history. Individual annual dues are $25. Partnership, corporation or company annual dues are $500, which entitles the firm to name up to 10 individual members. Special rates are provided for students ($10 annual dues), and non-profit organizations or educational institutions ($75 annual dues, which entitles the organization or institution to name up to 3 individual members). Lifetime memberships are also available.
You may also support the Society by purchasing a copy of On the Courthouse Square in Arkansas, a 138-page photographic documentary about Arkansas’s county and federal courthouses, self-published by authors John P. Gill and Marjem Jackson Gill, who combined their knowledge of law, Arkansas history and architecture (copyright 1980, Library of Congress Card Number 80-65253). For each copy ordered through the Society, the authors generously donate a portion of the proceeds.
For membership information or other questions, please contact Ava M. Hicks, ASCHS Secretary/Treasurer, 625 Marshall, Suite 1500, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, phone 501-682-2147, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Frances Mitchell Ross, Past President