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AABANY Co-sponsors: Columbia APALSA's 7th Annual Conference
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AABANY Co-sponsors: Columbia APALSA's 7th Annual Conference


When: 02/10/2018
Where: Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School
435 W 116th St
New York, New York  10027
United States

Columbia Law School's APALSA would like to cordially invite you to attend our 7th annual Conference on February 10th, 2018. This year, we want to put the spotlight on APA leaders in the legal community and how we can inspire others to foster APA leadership in this field. Along with our great panelists, we will be honoring Ms. Kathy Hirata Chin as the first recipient of the Hong Yen Chang award for her efforts and leadership in the APA and legal community. We named the award after Mr. Hong Yen Chang, the first Chinese immigrant and Asian attorney licensed to practice law in New York and in the United States.

The Hong Yen Chang Award recognizes the significant contributions to the practice and development of law by a graduate of Columbia Law School. The award is named after Hong Yen Chang, who is reported to be the first Asian American to legally acquire license to practice law in the United States. An immigrant from China, Chang was exempted from the Chinese Exclusion Act because he was a student and not a laborer.  In 1883, Chang began his legal studies at Columbia Law School and graduated in 1886. In 1887, Chang applied for admission to the New York State bar, which required U.S. citizenship to obtain a license. The New York State legislature passed a statute in 1887 that allowed the state bar to waive the citizenship requirement and in 1888, Chang was admitted to the New York State bar.

Soon after, Chang moved to California and sought admission to practice law in the state. In 1890, however, the California State Bar Association denied him admission on the grounds that he was ineligible to practice law because he was not a U.S. citizen.

In 2011, students members of APALSA of the University of California Davis School of Law petitioned the California Supreme Court to grant a posthumous license to Chang, which the court granted in 2015.


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