At the end of the 20th century, Genocide reparations efforts finally broke through the thick haze of post-traumatic desolation because, until then,  the survivors and their children had knuckled down to reconstitute their families, recreate their communities, replenish their confidence, and resurrect their faith in humanity.  It took a generation or two for them to get back on their feet and to stand strong again and, once upright, they fastened on the moral imperative of Genocide recognition.  And now it is the time, none too late,  to turn decidedly towards and work in earnest for Genocide reparations which are the inalienable rights of the injured parties and their heirs.  Criminal and civil claims, which  follow naturally from but are not dependent on recognition, will be pursued to reverse or at least compensate for the harm, albeit incompletely, because our homeland and its people can never truly be made whole again.  The Armenian Bar’s Genocide Reparations Committee will undertake and implement strategic, legal initiatives to account for the loss of indigenous lives, property, rights, and patrimony.

 Please visit our webpage.

Armen K. Hovannisian
Los Angeles, CA

Judge Armen Tamzarian
Los Angeles, CA

The Armenian Rights Watch Committee monitors and takes action on issues affecting Armenians on the local, national and international levels. Members meet with international human rights organizations, raise media awareness of the Armenian Genocide and related issues, and join community task forces to battle discrimination and hate crimes against minorities.

In 2015, the Armenian Bar Association’s Board of Governors amended its mission statement and formally declared that as an organization the Armenian Bar Association recognizes the sovereignty of the Republic of Artsakh and has as a primary organizational purpose to endeavor to bring about recognition of Artsakh’s statehood under international law and to seek to guarantee the territorial integrity and the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination.

With the guidance and leadership of the Honorable Ruben Melikyan, Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender and Ombudsman and an Armenian Bar member, the Association has already implemented and funded two programs in Artsakh:  the first is a pro bono legal clinic in Stepankert in collaboration with Artsakh State University.  The clinic was opened in October, 2017 and has provided legal services free of charge to Artsakh residents who might not otherwise have access to justice, on such issues as navigating administrative regulations, licensing, and general civil and criminal matters.  The second program is the creation of an 8 week internship program at the office of the Artsakh Human Rights Defender, where students enrolled in U.S. law schools will learn and assist Mr. Melikyan and the Human Rights Defender’s office with legal research, evidence gathering and legal document preparation.

At its 29th Annual Meeting held in Shushi, Republic of Artsakh, the Armenian Bar Association’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the establishment of the Artsakh Law Initiative Committee (ALIC meaning “wave” in Armenian).  In addition to providing oversight to the programs set forth above, the Committee will provide coaching and monetary assistance to the moot court team from Artsakh State University, which will participate in a mock trial competition in Nuremberg, Germany.

ALIC is taking affirmative steps to create a judicial exchange program, whereby Artsakh Supreme Court Justices will be brought to the United States to meet their colleagues in the Supreme, appellate and trial courts of the United States.

ALIC will serve in a legal advisory capacity on numerous issues of international law to Artsakh’s Foreign Minister.

ALIC welcomes the participation of all Armenian Bar members in the numerous initiatives currently being implemented and those being developed for the future as we work side-by-side in the nation building process with our Armenian brothers and sisters of Artsakh. 

Judge Amy Ashvanian
Los Angeles, CA

Taline Sahakian 

New York, NY

The DC Region Chapter (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia) of the Armenian Bar Association is the second chapter of the organization.  Formed in 2022, the Chapter is governed by the Chapter Board, which meets on a regular basis to organize events and programs for local members.  If you are interested in becoming more involved with the DC Region Chapter, please contact us.
Chair: Aram A. Gavoor
Secretary: Ani Esenyan
Treasurer: Raffi Teperdjian

The NY-NJ-CT Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association is the first and only chapter of the organization. The Chapter was formed in 2017 to serve the organization’s members located in the tristate area.  The Chapter is governed by the Chapter Board, which meets on a regular basis to organize events and programs for local members. Some events the Chapter has hosted since its inception include (i) the annual Public Servants’ Dinner; (ii) the annual Law Student Reception; (iii) 2018 and 2019 Midyear Meetings; (iv) 2019 Rising Star Awards Dinner; and (v) the annual Holiday Party. If you are interested in becoming more involved with the NY-NJ-CT Chapter, please contact Grant Petrosyan at

Chair: Grant Petrosyan
New York, NY

The Continuing Legal Education Committee sponsors legal seminars for the Association’s members in an effort to promote professional growth.

Talar Iskanian-Hashasian
New York, NY

Domestic Violence Committee

The Domestic Violence Committee was formed to address the scourge of domestic violence in Armenia and the diaspora.  The Committee seeks to increase access to justice for victims of domestic violence of Armenian descent internationally, strengthen the existing domestic violence law in Armenia to better protect victims of domestic violence, including children, and provide support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profit organizations and other activists in Armenia on campaigns and projects to educate the citizens of Armenia on the deleterious impact of domestic violence. The Committee will also raise awareness about domestic violence in diasporan communities.

Anahid Ugurlayan
New York, NY


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The Intellectual Property and Information Technology Committee seeks to establish, grow and mutually benefit from the collaborative and business relationship among legal, education, business (including startups and science) professionals and companies in Armenia and Artsakh with those in other countries, facilitate an exchange of knowledge between and among Armenia, Artsakh and other countries in the management of Intellectual Property, including prosecution and protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights and related transactional and litigation matters, provide a conduit of access to IP practitioners and academicians in the Diaspora, facilitate the development and implementation of a more robust IP protection and enforcement framework in Armenia and Artsakh, become key advisor, partner and sponsor of the Armenian Global Innovation Hub, educate fellow attorneys as well as business people and community at large about IP/IT and its impact/importance, and assist students and new attorneys to break into the IP/IT field professionally.The Armenian Bar Association, in conjunction with Armenia’s Ministry of High-Tech Industry and Orion Worldwide Innovations, LLC, organized an IP & Corporate Law Summit that took place in Yerevan, Armenia, in October 2019.  At the Summit, the IT/IP Committee presented its expert conclusions and recommendations that included an analysis of IP protection and corporate law issues in Armenia.  Armenian Bar members who participated in person in the Summit included the organizers of the Summit, Emma Arakelyan and Armen Morian, as well as Lana Akopyan, Ara Babaian, Ovsanna Takvoryan, Karén Tonoyan, Vartan Vartanyan, and Narek Zohrabyan.  Other contributing ArmenBar members who joined the Summit remotely included Ray Aghaian, Tamar Donikyan, Levon Golendukhin, and Mark Kachigian.  The Summit was attended by Hakob Arshakyan, Minister of High Tech Industry of Armenia; Gayane Serobyan, Advisor to the Minister; Ara Khzmalyan and Hasmik Movsesyan from Adwise Consulting Law Firm; Kristine Hambaryan, AIPA leader; and 80+ Parliament members and other government officials, business, tech representatives and educators. The report may be found here.

Denise Darmandian
New York, NY

Karen Tonoyan
New York, NY

The Association’s Newsletter Committee publishes the Newsletter, which apprises members of the Association’s activities and informs them of events in the Armenian world community which warrant the Association’s attention.  It also features articles of human interest. The Newsletter is published on a quarterly basis.Co-Chairs:
Armen K. Hovannisian
Los Angeles, CA

 Steve GokberkNew York,

The principal responsibility of the Nominations Committee is to determine the nominees for election to the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association. The Board is composed of 17 members, divided into three classes of six, six and five members, each member serving a three-year term. The activities and affairs of the Association are managed by or under the direction of the Board of Governors.The Executive Committee, appointed by the Board, manages day-today affairs. In recent years, as the status of the Armenian Bar Association has grown, the desirability of holding a Board position has grown commensurately. Accordingly, there is no shortage of qualified candidates from whom the Nominations Committee must choose.

Throughout the year, the co-chairs of the Committee communicate with other Armenian Bar members in their quest to obtain valuable nominee information. Prior to any final determination as to a candidate, the co-chairs will interview the possible nominee.

The Committee considers a number of criteria in making its determinations. One critical factor is the past contributions to the Armenian Bar made by the candidate, as well as anticipated future contributions. Related are the nominee’s accomplishments outside of the Armenian Bar.

Balance is also sought in terms of geography and gender. With respect to geography, Board membership currently covers the west coast, east coast, middle America and Canada. Board members are also encouraged to donate financially to the Armenian Bar. The Nominations Committee is further charged with balancing the re-nomination of productive incumbents with the desirability of bringing on new members with fresh ideas.

After the Nominations Committee determines a suggested slate, it is generally distributed to the membership before the Annual Meeting. While there is desirability for the number of persons on the slate to be equal to the number of positions open, it is possible that there will be more nominees than openings. The Bylaws also allow for nominations from the Annual Meeting floor and such nominations have been made over the last several years. At the Annual Meeting, all nominees are provided an opportunity to make a statement of intent and interest to the membership. Thereafter a membership vote is held, and those persons receiving the most votes, up to the number of vacancies, are elected.

The goal of the Nominations Committee is to work all year to help put together a Board of Governors that will continue to allow the organization to achieve the highest levels of contribution to the community.

Armen K. Hovannisian
Los Angeles, CA

Elizabeth Mirza Al-Dajani
Evanston, IL

Gary T. Moomjian
Jericho, NY

The Pro Bono Committee of the Armenian Bar Association is a standing committee which facilitates access to basic legal services for those in need and apprises Armenian immigrants of their rights and responsibilities. The committee maintains close working relationships with prominent legal and social service agencies and state bar associations. The mission of the Committee is to ensure access to justice through the expansion and enhancement of the delivery of legal and other law-related services to the underserved through volunteer efforts of legal professionals nationwide. The Committee fosters the development of pro bono programs and activities by law firms, law schools, and other community service organization.In the past, the Committee has published Know-Your-Rights pamphlets in Armenian for dissemination to the Armenian Community. It has also co-sponsored legal clinics with the Armenian National Committee of Glendale and Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County, where community members were given the opportunity to consult with attorneys regarding a wide range of legal issues.

These clinics have provided community members an opportunity to receive guidance from attorneys in various areas of law including immigration, landlord/tenant, civil, small claims, family law, criminal matters, trusts, will and estates. After the intake process is completed, individuals are assigned to meet with and discuss their issue with an attorney on a one on one basis. The attorneys offer information and assistance only.

Brigitte Malatjalian
Los Angeles, CA

Mesrop Khoudaghoulian
Van Nuys, CA

The Grants Committee seeks and applies for governmental and privately endowed grants to fund its activities, such as the rule of law projects in Armenia, domestic legal assistance programs and exchange programs. The Scholarship Committee raises funds to support meritorious students of Armenian descent attending, or accepted for admission to, an approved law school in the United States, Armenia or elsewhere.Chair:
Christine Engustian
East Providence, RI

Next Generation cultivates and helps advance the careers of law students by offering periodic seminars and lectures, and by involving law students in the Association and its activities.Co-Chairs:
Malvina Mardirosyan
New York, NY

Zepur SimonianLos Angeles, CA

The Armenian Bar’s United Nations Initiative works with and supports the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations.  Members of the Initiative regularly prepare and submit reports to various U.N. constituent bodies.  The broad scope and contemporary nature of these official communications emanate from the necessity to set the historical record straight and to promote diplomatic intercessions on matters related to the Armenian Genocide, the 44-Day War, and the sovereign rights of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh, as well as the inviolable human and civil rights of their citizens. The continuity of the Initiative’s engagement with the Permanent Mission has recently been solidified with the launch of the Armenian Bar’s internship program with the Mission at its New York offices.


Ovsanna Takvoryan

Los Angeles, CA

The Young Lawyers Committee is comprised of representatives from across the country and their efforts are aimed at encouraging young lawyers and students to join the association and become active and engaged in its various committees, groups and initiatives and to put together community programs, seminars and workshops.

Giselle Davidian
Toronto, Canada

Varty Hindoyan
Los Angeles, CA

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