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Our Mission

Launched in 2006, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) is the legal arm of the American Humanist Association. The AHLC’s team of attorneys, through trial and appellate litigation, amicus activity, and other legal work, provide the zealous advocacy that humanists and others need to defend constitutional rights and strengthen the wall of separation between church and state.

Our legal staff includes senior staff attorney Katie McKerall paralegal Stephanie Hansen, plus a network of volunteer attorneys from around the country, including humanist luminaries such as Jim McCollum, Wendy Kaminer, and Michael Newdow. Guidance and funding for the center come from Louis Appignani.


Our Staff

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center is constantly growing. Our legal team includes staff attorney Katie McKerall, paralegal Stephanie Hansen, as well as a network of dozens of volunteer attorneys from around the country. Guidance and funding for the center come from Louis Appignani.


Louis Appignani

Louis Appignani is a successful entrepreneur from Miami, a longtime Humanist and member of the AHA, and the founder of the Appignani Foundation. Through the foundation, Appignani and others encourage the spread of humanistic values through secular organizations and activities- thus contributing to the growth of the Humanist movement. He earned a BBA in accounting from CUNY-Baruch and an MS in finance from Columbia University. He attended postgraduate studies in economics at Indiana University.


Katie McKerall

Katie McKerall is Senior Staff Attorney with the American Humanist Association. Prior to joining AHA she worked as the Staff Attorney for the Commissioner of Accounts in Fairfax, Virginia and as a grant writer for Rappahannock Goodwill Industries in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Originally from Gulf Shores, Alabama, Katie is passionate about protecting and fostering a free and open society through the First Amendment and worked in the Free Speech Clinic while attending law school at George Mason University. Katie also holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of South Alabama.


Stephanie Hansen

Stephanie Hansen is a Paralegal with the American Humanist Association. Originally from Wisconsin, she holds a BA in Political Science and History as well as a minor in Women and Gender Studies.

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