A Chinese lawyer who graduated from Columbia Law School 125 years ago and was denied admission to the California State Bar because of his race has been finally granted his law license, reports KQED.
The California Supreme Court posthumously granted Hong Yen Chang his law license yesterday.
Chang was originally admitted to the New York State Bar in 1888, but the State Supreme Court refused to allow him to practice in California when he arrived in San Francisco in 1890. Despite having a certificate of naturalization from the state of New York, Chang was denied his law license in California on the grounds he was not a US citizen and could never be one.
In its ruling yesterday, the court said “it is past time to acknowledge that the discriminatory exclusion of Chang from the State Bar of California was a grievous wrong. It denied Chang equal protection of the laws; apart from his citizenship, he was by all accounts qualified for admission to the bar.”
Chang is now the third member of his family to join the California State Bar. You can read about that on KQED.
You can read about how students at UC Davis were instrumental in getting Chang his law license in California in the related story below.