Ada GeorgeAlumna, Class of ‘14
One of Ada George’s favorite spots to study at CUNY Law was a fifth-floor corner study room, with her papers spread out on the table.
Before law school, the St. Albans, Queens-born George worked for Assemblyman Nelson Castro of the Bronx. As Castro’s legislative director, George saw how attorneys drafted bills and created policy that could change the lives of everyone in New York State. That’s when she realized she wanted to earn a law degree.
“If I really wanted to make a difference, I needed to understand the system better,” she said. Her mentor, Jeanine Johnson, counsel to Assemblyman Keith Wright of Harlem, advised her to apply to CUNY Law. But George wasn’t happy with her LSAT score.
She was accepted to some schools, but not to her top choice, CUNY Law.
“I remember being so devastated,” said George. “If you want to do public interest law, you need to come to CUNY Law.”
George later received a letter from the law school referring her to the Pipeline to Justice program, which offers a second chance at admission to excellent public interest students whose LSAT scores seem incompatible with their achievements.
Through the Pipeline to Justice program, George prepared for the test, took the LSAT again and, this time surpassed the program’s threshold score and got into the law school.
“I really feel like CUNY Law chose me, instead of me choosing the school,” George said of her second chance.
CUNY Law has given her access to all kinds of experiences she didn’t expect. That includes four weeks in Chile and Argentina, where she studied international human rights and comparative family law.
When George returned from her time abroad, she interned at Queens Legal Services. In the organization’s Economic Justice Unit, George conducted client intake interviews and put to use some of the skills she learned at CUNY Law in her first-year lawyering and legal research classes.
“I’m just really grateful to CUNY for this opportunity,” she said of attending the law school. “It’s life-changing. I definitely feel like my eyes have been opened to things I didn’t expect coming into law school. I think it’s changing and shaping me for the better.”
George now works as an attorney for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.