Alvin T. Wong was elected Judge of the State Court of DeKalb County, then Georgia’s second largest county, in 1998. He was the first Asian Pacific American to run for public office in metropolitan Atlanta and the first to be elected judge in the Southeast. Judge Wong was elected in a county where Asians made up less than two percent of registered voters and has served continuously unopposed for over 20 years. In his years of judicial service, he has gained the respect of the entire legal community.
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 State Bar of Georgia’sInvestigative 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. Judge Wong currently serves on the boards of the LifeLine Animal Project, Council of State Court Judges, and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility – Judges Advisory Committee. For years, he served as a Fernbank Museum of Natural History trustee and NAPABA (the National Asian Bar) Law Foundation board member, mentoring future leaders as co-director of its Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition.
He has been recognized multiple times for citizenship, leadership, and trailblazing. In June 2017, he received three top honors: the GeorgiaBar’s Tradition of Excellence Award and its Thomas O. Marshall Professionalism Award, along with the Daily Report’s Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, he was awarded the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta Lifetime Achievement Award and the DeKalb Bar Association’s Legal Pioneer Award. He received the Georgia Bar’s 2002 Excellence in Bar Leadership Award for his work as co- founder of GAPABA (the Georgia Asian Bar) and the architect of its free legal clinics for recent immigrants. In May 2014, GAPABA 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, a creative communications consultant, their three cats, and Coco, a special-needs dachshund mix.