Although it had been meeting since 1871 as a voluntary association, in 1934 the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act designating the Kentucky State Bar Association (KSBA) as a mandatory bar association made up of all attorneys licensed to practice in the state. This made the KSBA a quasi-governmental body and impressed its officials with a solemn responsibility to promote legal reform. The KSBA became a major intellectual force pushing for statute reform and, as a result, the 1936 statute revision act required half of the eight-member revision committee be appointed by the group. (The other half--all lawyers--were appointed by the governor). The KSBA Journal served as an official gazette for the bar and when committee member Harry B. Mackoy--a former bar president--published the account of the committees' work, it was seen as an official document.
The "New Kentucky Statutes" was a nine-part series written by Harry B. Mackoy of the Statutes Revision Committee and Robert K. Cullen, the director of the Statutes Revision Commission, the agency set up to do the work of revision. The first seven articles were by Mackoy; the last two by Cullen.