Welcome to the Finnish American Lawyers' Association
In the summer of 2003, The Honorable John Pessala, a Family Court Judge in
Nassau County New York, now Executive Director, together with Robert Alan
Saasto, Esq., now President, announced the formation of the Finnish American
Lawyers Association (FALA) and actively engaged upon a campaign of seeking
members. The only requirement was that the member be a lawyer, have some Finnish
blood, and be willing to add his/her name to this distinguished group. There
would be no dues or committees. Attendance at membership meetings would not be
mandatory, however, attendance was strongly recommended because the meetings
would take place at a restaurant or other appropriate facility where comradery,
food and drink would be the order of business.
At the Finlandia Foundation Annual Dinner Dance, the then Consul General in New
York, Jukka Leino, an attorney, was "ensnarled". The Honorary Consuls of
Connecticut, Louisiana and New Jersey soon followed as they encountered the
aggressive but heart warming appeals to add their names to the "cause". The
initial "recruits" were several young recent Finnish law grads attending the
major top law schools in New York pursuing their masters of law degrees, as well
as young Finnish lawyers working at the top Wall Street law firms.
Over the ensuing months gatherings took place at different locales including a
dinner boat trip around Manhattan on The World Yacht (owned by a Finn), a Vappu
dinner/dance in Shelter Island NY, (celebrity lawyer Dominic Barbara being the
main speaker), and a dinner at the renowned Palm Restaurant in NYC wherein an
award was presented to Appellate Justice John Lahtinen and wherein former Mayor
of New York Rudy Giuliani made a guest appearance, having been appropriately
spotted and recruited for the occasion by Justice Pessala.
In August of 2004 the FALA celebrated it's first year of existence at the home
of Robert Alan Saasto, Esq. In Long Island, New York. Attending were
representatives from The Consulate General of Finland in New York, The Finnish
Masonic Sibelius Lodge, Finnair, Imatra Foundation, Finnish American Chamber of
Commerce, the Finnish Church and Finland Center Foundation.
We welcome you to our gatherings, and when appropriate, please add your name
(and link) to our new membership page.
Robert Alan Saasto, Esq.
I invite you to contact me for
referral to an attorney who can help you. My personal mission is to
point you in the right direction so that your particular personal
situation can be resolved successfully.