The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) celebrates the California Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to grant Hong Yen Chang posthumous admission as an attorney in all courts of the State of California. In a nine-page decision issued on Monday, the California Supreme Court reversed its 1890 decision denying Chang admission to the state bar because of his race. In a “candid reckoning with a sordid chapter of our state and national history,” the Court declared, “it is past time to acknowledge that the discriminatory exclusion of Chang from the State Bar of California was a grievous wrong.”
“Through its decision, the California Supreme Court has repaired a grave injustice,” stated Eumi K. Lee, the President of AABA. “Hong Yen Chang earned the right to practice law in California 125 years ago and has long deserved to have that right recognized by this state.”
Chang was the first lawyer of Chinese descent licensed to practice law in the United States. He emigrated from China in 1872, and attended Yale University and Columbia Law School. He first applied for a law license in New York, but his application was rejected because he was not a citizen. A New York judge later issued Chang a certification of naturalization, and the New York Legislature passed legislation allowing him to reapply. While he was admitted to the New York bar in 1888, he was denied admission to the California bar on the ground that he was “a person of Mongolian nativity.” While the California Supreme Court observed in its 1890 decision that Chang’s motion for admission to the bar was “made in due form” and “his moral character duly vouched for,” it found that his certificate of naturalization was void because the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited naturalization to any native of China. In its ruling on Monday, the California Supreme Court acknowledged that the exclusion of Chang from the state bar denied him equal protection of the laws and “was a loss to our communities and to society as a whole, which denied itself the full talents of its people and the important benefits of a diverse legal profession.”
Last year, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) at the University of California, Davis School of Law, with the support of Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin, the UC Davis School of Law Supreme Court Clinic, and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, petitioned the State Bar of California and the California Supreme Court on Chang’s behalf. AABA, which submitted a letter to the California State Bar in support of Chang’s application for posthumous admission, congratulates Chang’s descendants and the UC Davis APALSA on this momentous occasion.
The California Supreme Court’s decision can be found here.
AABA is one of the largest Asian American bar associations in the nation and one of the largest minority bar associations in the State of California. From its inception in 1976, AABA and its attorneys have been actively involved in civil rights issues, community service, and efforts to advocate for diversity in the legal profession.
The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (“AABA”) is offering one or more grants to help fund qualified summer law clerk(s) to work on legal projects that provide free legal services to the Asian American community. Applicants must be sponsored by a non-profit legal organization that has agreed to supervise the applicant for the summer of 2015. The grant will be funded by the AABA Law Foundation through the Community Services Committee of AABA. To view the requirements and submit an application, click HERE.
On March 12, 2015 AABA hosted its 38th Annual Installation Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco.
Award recipients included:
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach – Nassiri & Jung / AABA Public Interest Grant
Ray Buenaventura, Mayor of Daly City – Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy
AABA celebrated the contributions of the award recipients and welcomed the new AABA Board. Incoming President Eumi K. Lee closed the evening’s program by honoring her 14 female predecessors.
Photos coming soon.
1.0 Hour of Elimination of Bias MCLE Credit
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
425 Market Street, San Francisco CA 94105
The Asian American Bar Association Public Law / Public Service Committee presents an evening discussion of our speakers’ experiences in representing public agencies. Reception to follow.
Ben Reyes, Principal, Meyers Nave (Moderator)
Stan Yamamoto, District Counsel, Santa Clara Valley Water District
Ken Moy, Legal Counsel, Association of Bay Area Governments
Madeline Chun, Partner, Hanson Bridgett
Danny Chou, Assistant County Counsel, Santa Clara County
Wade Chow, Chief of the Brady, Appellate, and Training Division, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office
Danny Wan, Port Attorney, Port of Oakland
$10 for sponsoring organization members | $20 for non-members
*If space becomes limited, priority will be given to government/non-profit attorneys & judges who are members of sponsoring organizations.
All Fees may be paid at the door.
Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California
Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
California Minority Counsel Program
Thursday, April 2, 2015
5:30 -8:00 pm
One Market/Spear Street Tower Plaza, San Francisco
Schiff Harden LLP has generously offered to sponsor an AABA team in the San Francisco Ferry Bocce League (http://www.ferrybocce.com). The team will play games Thursday nights for an hour at the bocce ball courts between the Ferry Building and One Market Towers. The league is well-organized and does not require any prior experience. The league also provides free beer and wine during the games. The season starts April 9 and goes through May 21. You do not have to attend every game. This is a great way to have fun networking with AABA members and other young professionals in San Francisco. If you are interested in playing in the league, please email Steven Hong.
Even if you are not interested in joining the league, you are invited to attend the Ferry Bocce League’s opening party on April 2 at One Market/Spear Street Tower Plaza from 5:30-8pm. This should be a fantastic networking opportunity with other young professionals. You can register for the opening party HERE.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (partial shifts available)
OMI Child Development Center
1111 Junipero Serra Boulevard, San Francisco
AABA Community Services Committee is excited to partner again with Union Bank for their Spring Rebuilding Project! We will be painting and beautifying the OMI Child Development Center, which is a part of the Wu Yee Children’s Services development program. Wu Yee was founded in 1977 by social workers and parents who were concerned about the challenges faced by new immigrants in SF Chinatown. It has grown to a city-scale agency providing family services to diverse communities, and is now the city’s largest provider of Early Head Start. Come join us for this fun and meaningful volunteer event!
Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/SpringUB2015.
For questions, please contact CSC Co-Chair Lisa Mak at email@example.com.
1.0 Hour of General CLE Credit offered
Tuesday, May 5
One Market, San Francisco CA 94105
Join AABA and Morgan Lewis for a CLE Presentation on Cyber-Security.
Featuring panelists Waqas Durrani, Associate General Counsel for esurance, and Mark Krotoski, partner at Morgan Lewis and former national coordinator for the Department of Justice’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program, this program will provide ideas and suggestions for companies to protect themselves against potential data breaches, as well as strategic considerations if a breach were to occur.
Come learn what you should be thinking about to protect your company and clients’ digital assets!
SAVE THE DATE!
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Please save the date for Tuesday, July 7, 2015 for AABA Baseball Night at AT&T Ballpark. The Giants will be playing the New York Mets, and it will be Bruce Lee’s 75th Birthday Celebration! More details to follow.
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