The Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association is a voluntary organization that was incorporated on October 19, 2009 to represent the interests of Asian American attorneys, law students, and other legal professionals in the Greater Orlando area.
The genesis of GOAABA began several years ago, when attorneys Jessica Hew and Stephen Chong discussed the idea and the need for Orlando’s first-ever Asian American bar association. Other attorneys, including Sunny Hillary, Glenn Leong and Kim Nguyen, similarly raised the idea.
In March, 2009, Glenn Leong called up an informal planning meeting with Jessica Hew, Kim Nguyen and Sunny Hillary at Dexter’s in Winter Park. Our Planning Committee identified unmet legal needs within the many and diverse Asian American communities and discussed obstacles, including language barriers, cultural wariness, and other impediments to full legal assistance and access to the courts. The Committee noted the existence of the Hispanic Bar Association, serving Hispanic attorneys in Central Florida, and the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, serving African-American attorneys in Central Florida. But no voice or organization unified Orlando’s growing Asian American legal community.
After much research, GOAABA developed an email distribution list of over 40 (and still growing) potential interested parties. The first organizational meeting was held on May 19, 2009, at the Orlando law offices of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., where 15 members participated.
After a long, hot summer of planning and additional meetings, GOAABA was officially incorporated on October 19, 2009. GOAABA is a voluntary, non-profit organization which represents the interests of Asian American attorneys, law students and other legal professionals in the Greater Orlando area.
GOAABA has an Affiliation Agreement with the National Asian Pacific Americ
an Bar Association (NAPABA) and is the fourth affiliated chapter in Florida. (The other three chapters are located in Miami/South Florida, Tampa and Jacksonville.) However, GOAABA is completely autonomous and serves our local community.
GOAABA Bylaws welcomes members who are licensed attorneys in good standing, as well as members of the judiciary and law students, from any jurisdiction, regardless of ethnic, national, or geographic origin and regardless of race, religion, gender, creed or sexual orientation. Annual dues ($75.00 for attorneys and $30.00 for students) support GOAABA’s mission during each fiscal year beginning July 1st of every year.