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AABANY 45 Rockefeller Plaza
20th Floor
New York, NY 10111
Phone/Fax: +1 (718) 228-7206

Tax ID Number: 13-3546484
AABANY is recognized as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit professional organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Payments are not tax deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deductible as a business expense. Please consult your tax professional.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York

The Asian American Bar Association of New York was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian-American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, legal assistants or paralegals and law students. The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian-Americans in the legal profession.

The History of AABANY

In 1988, the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities, headed by noted African American attorney Franklin Hall Williams, examined the treatment of minority litigants and court employees. Following hearings in New York City on June 29th and 30th of that year, Rockwell Chin approached Commissioner Serene K. Nakano to discuss the need for an organization for Asian American attorneys. While Chinese and Korean American lawyer associations existed, there had never been an association of Asian American lawyers in New York. 

Further impetus came when the National Asian American Bar Association (later called NAPABA) Planning Committee invited various attorneys in New York City to Chicago in October 1988. A core group, including Rockwell Chin, Glenn Ikeda, Yat T. Man, Steve Min and Serene K. Nakano, worked to found a formal association of Asian American lawyers: drafting organizational documents, reaching out to New York and nationwide bar groups, and contacting other Asian American attorneys. 

Announcing AABANY’s incorporation on October 20, 1989, the group invited attorneys to an inaugural reception at New York University Law School on November 9, 1989. Among the speakers were Judge Dorothy Chin Brandt, Judge Randall Eng, Judge Peter Tom, past president of the American Immigration Law Association Benjamin Gim, Professor Sharon Hom, AALDEF Program Director Stanley Mark, and former NYPD Deputy Commissioner Hugh Mo. All of the speakers emphasized the unfulfilled need for AABANY. The reception was a resounding success, with over 180 attorneys and law students attending. Before the meeting concluded, over 60 people had joined AABANY.

AABANY, operating under an interim board during its first year, hosted further receptions, including evening social events, as well as a meeting at Brooklyn Law School at which Hoyt Zia, then the first President of NAPABA, spoke. Newly formed committees also sprang into action. The Issues Committee, co-chaired by Rockwell Chin and Marilyn Go, began research on redistricting, assisted lobbying for bias crimes legislation and spoke out against bias incidents. The Business Law Committee, co-chaired by Ken Chin and Marilyn Go, established a speaker series of prominent Asian American attorneys. The Events Committee hosted a Fall picnic. Prompted by concerns raised by law students at the picnic, Chin Fong and James Minamoto established a student mentor program, presenting a job skills workshop to help law students hone interviewing skills. 

On January 12, 1991, AABANY held its first annual meeting, electing Serene Nakano, Doris Ling-Cohan, Steve Min, Glenn Ikeda and Marilyn Go as officers and Rockwell Chin, Sylvia Fung Chin, Merlin Liu, Stanley Mark, Qazi Moid and Judge Peter Tom as directors. 

Now one of the most prominent and active minority bar associations in New York, AABANY has well over 1,400 members, including practicing attorneys in the private and public sectors, in-house lawyers, judges, professors and law students.

Past Presidents of AABANY


Serene K. Nakano


Denny Chin


Sylvia Fung Chin


Ben Q. Limb


Glenn Lau-Kee


John Flock


Paul D.Q. Nguyen


Alec Y. Chang


David Hom


Christopher W. Chan


Andrew T. Hahn


Pui Chi Cheng


Lai Sun Yee


Vincent T. Chang


Yang Chen


James P. Chou

2010 Robert W. Leung
2011 Linda Lin
2012 Jean Lee
2013 Mike Huang
2014 Clara Ohr
2015 William Wang
2016 Susan Shin
2017 Dwight Yoo
 2018 James R. Cho