2019 Inaugural HABA LSAT Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Mai Tong Yang!

Mai Tong Yang ​graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a B.A. in Political Science with a  concentration in International Relations. She was named one of five national finalists for the Boys &  Girls Club of America Annual Youth of the Year award and was invited to the White House to  speak with President Barack Obama on expanding education opportunities for inner city youth. She  has been an advocate for youth accessibility to international education and diplomacy. Currently, she is finishing up her 3rd grant year as a Fulbright in South Korea where she teaches English, runs a debate club, and coordinates volunteer opportunities with North Korean defectors through the local HANA Center in Jeonju.
Congratulations Mai Tong!  And thank you to all of the impressive applicants who took the time and made the effort to apply for our scholarship.

Star Tribune Article: Minnesota adds two new Hmong-American judges to the bench

In case you missed it, the StarTribune by Chao Xiong profiled Judge Adam Yang and Judge Paul Yang with a quote from HABA.  We consider it a great honor that previous to their judicial appointments and elections, all three of the Minnesota judges were active members and past officers of HABA.

2017-2018 Board Member: Adam Yang
2015-2016 Board Member: Adam Yang
2013-2014 President: Adam Yang
2011-2012 Vice President: Adam Yang, Secretary: Paul Yang, Board Member: Sophia Vuelo

Congratulations! Two HABA members and Hmong American Judges elected to the Bench

Two newly elected judges in Ramsey County are of Hmong descent:

Adam Tswj Cai Yang, Second Judicial District Court (Ramsey County), Seat 11.

Pao Paul Yang, Second Judicial District Court (Ramsey County), Seat 20.

Click here for the article from the Pioneer Press


They join the small but growing number of judges who are of Hmong descent, including Judge Paul Lo (CA), Judge Kristy Yang (WI), Judge Sophia Vuelo (MN), and newly elected Judge Thai Vang (SC).

Governor Dayton Appoints Sophia Y. Vuelo to Fill Second Judicial District Vacancy

Republished from the Office of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton:


Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Sophia Vuelo as a District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. Ms. Vuelo will replace the Honorable Margaret M. Marrinan, and will be chambered at St. Paul in Ramsey County.

“Ms. Sophia Vuelo has dedicated her career to pursuing justice for all Minnesotans, through her work with Minnesota courts, charities, and in her own private practice,” said Governor Dayton. “Ms. Vuelo’s commitment to public service has prepared her well for this important new role, as District Court Judge for Minnesota’s Second Judicial District.”

Ms. Vuelo is a solo practitioner at Vuelo Law, where she manages a high volume caseload in juvenile protection, family, and criminal matters. Previously, she was a Special Assistant Ramsey County Attorney, Assistant Public Defender in the Second Judicial District, Assistant Rochester City Attorney, and Managing Attorney at Catholic Charities. Ms. Vuelo received her BA from the University of Minnesota and her JD from Hamline University School of Law.

She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Community Law Initiative, an active volunteer at Weaver Elementary School in Maplewood, and the former Vice-President of the Hmong American Bar Association.

Ms. Vuelo will be the first judge of Hmong descent to serve in Minnesota, and the second to be appointed in the nation.