Our History

The Missouri Asian American Bar Association (MAABA) was officially formed in October 2001, but the idea of forming an Asian bar association in Missouri had been kicked around by some of the original members of the organization for some years prior. The association’s first president, Diane Yu (now residing in New York City), was also a founding member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). She was instrumental in gathering many of us to the first organizational meeting. As a newcomer to St. Louis and a seasoned bar leader, Diane was instrumental in garnering support and membership for MAABA from other bar organizations, locally and statewide.

Our Founding Members include: Ari Bai, Keith Cheung, Hon. Judy Draper,Tony Gao, Linda Ji, Hee Jun “Jay” Kim, Priscilla Lim, Edgar Lim, Maylin Mahoney, Justin Meehan, James Robinson, Ignatius Yuan, and Diane Yu.

MAABA Mission Statement

  • To represent and advocate on a state level the interests of Asian-American attorneys and communities
  • To foster the exchange of ideas and information among and between its members and other members of the legal profession, the judiciary and the legal community
  • To encourage and promote the professional growth of its members
  • To coordinate legal services to our Asian-American communities on a local and national level
  • To serve as a statewide network of communication among the Asian-American legal community
  • To provide an opportunity for fellowship among its members
  • To facilitate client referrals and to increase opportunities for Asian-American law students, lawyers and judges
  • To present programs of an educational nature aimed at the needs of Asian-American attorneys
  • To encourage cooperation with other organizations of minority attorneys
  • To provide a vehicle and forum for the unified expression of opinions and positions by members upon current social, political, economic, legal or other matters or events of concern to the membership

Enriching the Legal Community

MAABA is extremely serious about mentoring and providing role models and discusses the development of relevant activities at its regular meetings. MAABA has a monthly newsletter, and holds monthly dinners and other activities that allow interested participants to meet each other. MAABA also seeks opportunities to network with other minority bar associations.


MAABA is an affiliate of NAPABA, which is in its seventeenth year of existence and represents over 45,000 attorneys in 47 local Asian Pacific bar associations.



2000-2001 – Diane Yu

2001-2003 – Hon. Judy Draper

2003-2004 – Maylin Wong Mahoney

2004-2006 – Ari Bai

2006-2008Angela S. Yee

2008-2009Daniel Sakaguchi

2009-2010 – Julie Madsen

2010-2011 – Alexander Lee

2011-2012 – Johnny Wang

2012-2013 – James Robinson

2013-2014 – John Mark Hong

2014-2015 – Carol Li

2015-2017 – Richard Juang

2017-2018 – Jessica Courtway

2018-2019 – Justin Moore

2019-2020 – Frances Barbieri