Getting a Law Degree, Even If It Kills Me: Law Students Petition to Award Posthumous License

Hong Yen Chan, believed to be the first Chinese-born, American-trained lawyer.
Hong Yen Chan, believed to be the first Chinese-born, American-trained lawyer.
We've heard of posthumous awards, but what about posthumous licenses? Students in California are petitioning the State Bar of California to award Hong Yen Chang a license he was denied because he was Chinese…back in 1890. Chang is credited as being the first Chinese immigrant to become an American lawyer, as he was able to pass the bar (due to special state legislation) in New York, but was later denied that same right in California.

Since the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943, California has tried to make up for its acts of bigotry by un-doing many of the offenses orchestrated by the anti-Chinese and anti-Asian acts in our country. This particular case of discrimination has been studied in law classrooms around the country, but hopefully the work of University of California, Davis students can make it right. Awarding the license posthumously has some precedent, as licenses have been awarded in Ohio and Washington to other deceased lawyers who were denied because of racial discrimination.

What do you think? Will California award the license to Chang?

Find out more about Hong Yen Chang and the case to award his license here.


  1. Kristina Palmer

    I also support this petition, even though I studied law only in the first year. If you need help writing a page, then on this site you can read reviews and choose the best service to save your money. I always support students because hoe is it hard to study.

  2. Arslan

    Challenges of 2022 students will face
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