State Court of Dekalb Co., Georgia
Alvin T. Wong was elected Judge of the State Court of DeKalb County (GA) in 1998 in a grassroots campaign that galvanized the Asian Pacific American (APA) community like never before. He was the first APA to run for public office in metro Atlanta and the first to be elected judge in the Southeast. He was elected in a county where Asians made up less than two percent of registered voters and has served continuously unopposed for 23 years.
A former partner at Gambrell and Stolz (now Baker Donelson), Judge Wong had 21 years of experience as a corporate and trial attorney before running for office. He chaired the Georgia Bar’s Investigative Panel for disciplinary action against unethical practices by Georgia attorneys. In 2004, he created – and continues to preside over – a DUI Court to treat chronic alcohol addiction.
His heart is in the community. He currently serves on the boards of the LifeLine Animal Project, Council of State Court Judges (President-Elect), and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility – Judges Advisory Committee. Before that, he was a Fernbank Museum of Natural History trustee and NAPABA Law Foundation board member, mentoring future leaders as co-director of its Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition.
Over the years, he has received multiple awards for citizenship, leadership, and trailblazing, including the State Bar’s Tradition of Excellence Award and its Thomas O. Marshall Professionalism Award, plus the Daily Report’s Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, GAPABA – the Georgia Asian Bar which he co-founded – established its highest award, the Judge Alvin T. Wong Pioneer Award, in his honor.
Al Wong immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong at age 14. He lives in Brookhaven with wife Jeannie Lin, their three cats, and Coco, a special-needs dachshund mix.