First Asian Pacific American attorney in New York
We hope that you have been enjoying APA Heritage Month! This month commemorates a number of important events, one of which is May 17, the day that New York State granted admission to the bar to Hong Yen Chang – reportedly the first Asian American attorney admitted to the bar in New York. While having passed the bar examination, he was first denied admission because of his lack of U.S. citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. A special act of the New York Legislature (N.Y. L.1887 c. 249) allowed his admission despite this bar, and Chang was finally admitted in 1888.
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we honor the first Asian Pacific American member of the bar in New York, and reportedly anywhere in the United States. In May 2014, AABANY was also proud to grant him a posthumous membership.
Have a thoughtful rest of May, and check out our Calendar to see what upcoming events you can attend to celebrate Asian American history!