In 2012, June Lee, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, had a vision. "I saw the growing number of young Korean American attorneys and law students in Georgia and wished they could have the mentorship that I lacked growing up in big law firms." Going through her rolodex, she approached her friends, including two other Korean American big law partners: Han Choi, the first Asian American Managing Partner of a major law firm in Atlanta (Ballard Spahr), and Sun Choy (Freeman, Mathis & Gary). She also leveraged the energy and creativity of Sara Hamilton (Thompson Hine LLP) and the selfless devotion of Helen Kim Ho, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, the first Asian American non-profit legal advocacy center in Georgia. These five founding members became the original KABA-GA Board. Towery recalls, "I will never forget the bright eyes of the 30+ young Korean Americans gathered at our inaugural event. From then on, the rest of you just took it to a level I never dreamed we could reach in such a short time. It is proof that we were all hungry for a place to gather, to give and receive support to achieve the greatest heights and fulfillment in our chosen career path. As they say, the rest is history--and all of you are making it happen."
The Korean American Bar Association of Georgia (KABA-GA) was founded in Aug. 2012 by a dedicated group of lawyers with the purpose of elevating the visibility of Korean American attorneys and law students within the Georgia legal community and to advance our professional development through mentorship programs, training, and community involvement.
As of 2020, we have 198 members consisting of elected officials, judges, partners and associates, in-house attorneys, non-profit attorneys, law students, and solo/small firm practitioners. KABA-GA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, operates thanks to contributions from volunteer Committees, and is funded largely by membership dues and sponsorships.
KABA-GA is a welcoming group and endeavors to be the friendliest bar association in Georgia. We are a professional association open to lawyers and law students of all backgrounds who share our goal of connecting, serving, and having fun. Each year, we host 5 to 10 events, usually consisting of social gatherings, professional panels, community seminars, and community service events. Individual committees also host committee-specific events throughout the year.
KABA-GA also maintains language and Korean legal resources, the most comprehensive database of Korean lawyers in Georgia, and information on other Georgia bar associations and KABA chapters. We are an affiliate of the International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL), a worldwide network of lawyers and legal professionals of Korean descent. KABA-GA proudly hosted the IAKL conference in September 2018 in Atlanta, GA, which brought together over 400 lawyers from 4 continents and a dozen countries.
JOIN US NOW and help us build Georgia's Korean-American Legal Community!