Mount Made: An Astonishing Attorney—Bar None
Alumna Admitted to NYS Bar Association, Begins Civil Practice in NYC
Cynthia Ramos ’14 is setting the bar high for herself as a newly practicing attorney in civil defense—bar none. Get it? Bar, like the Bar Exam? Okay okay, enough of the cheesy law puns…
All jokes aside, Cynthia’s currently putting her argumentative skills to the test as a staff attorney for Legal Services NYC, the nation’s largest civil legal services provider. Legal Services NYC is a citywide force of over 500 staff who help more than 110,000 low-income New Yorkers annually—talk about leaving a tremendous impact on our city! The work of this organization spans far and wide across crisis areas in NYC, including preventing evictions and preserving living arrangements; advocating for access to essential human rights, such as high-quality education, healthcare, and economic security; providing support to survivors of domestic violence and immigrants; and fighting for the dignity and respect of all New Yorkers—including LGBTQ+ communities, those with disabilities, and people of color.
Cynthia’s litigating within the housing unit, where she’s at the forefront of the fight to prevent evictions, preserve affordable housing, and ensure that her clients’ apartments are safe and secure. She’s been with Legal Services NYC since October 2020—where she got her start with the organization as a law graduate and worked her way up the ropes to a staff attorney after having been successfully admitted to the NYS Bar Association this past October!
A Bronx native, Cynthia knew she wanted to attend college close to home, but still get that authentic campus experience. That made Mount Saint Vincent the perfect fit—the Right Place on the River without a doubt. She studied psychology and was involved in a gamut of activities both within and beyond the classroom.
“I can proudly say that I took advantage of all the clubs and opportunities available to me at the Mount,” Cynthia reflected. “I participated in and held executive board positions in several organizations, including both Dolphin Dolls and FLAVA dance teams and FLOW spoken word club. I worked as a resident assistant in both Spellman and Marillac Halls. I welcomed new Dolphins as an orientation leader for three years. And then, during my senior year, I took all the knowledge and skills I gained from these past leadership experiences and served as administrative vice president of the Student Government Association.”
Although she set high standards for herself, getting to where she is today wasn’t always a straight path. In fact, Cynthia spent most of her undergraduate career determined to become a speech language pathologist. However, during her last semester as a student at the Mount, a conversation with Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology Alfred D’Anca nudged Cynthia down a different road.
“I had always been interested in the law, but never quite considered it to be a career,” mentioned Cynthia. “Yet, I began to contemplate it more and more after I met with Dr. D’Anca. The stars seemed to shift, and my passion went right along with it. That’s when I promised myself I’d become a lawyer.”
So, after graduation, Cynthia studied hard, took the LSAT, was accepted into several law schools, and completed her Juris Doctor degree from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro College on Long Island.
At last, she had found her niche and launched her dream career.
But, prior to landing her position with Legal Services NYC, Cynthia held several internships throughout her law studies at Touro—including her favorite internship (by far!) under the Honorable Judge Fernando Camacho in the Suffolk County Criminal Court and Suffolk County Felony Youth Part (read more about that particular program here). Under Judge Camacho’s guidance, Cynthia was able to observe legal proceedings against juveniles who violated some aspect of the law. Now, that’s certainly no easy job—especially considering scientific evidence citing that adolescent brains are often not matured enough to fully understand their crimes. But, Cynthia enjoyed learning more and more about the legal process and helping struggling youth find a way to play a more productive role in society.
“The internship I held under Judge Camacho was one of my most treasured law school experiences,” recalled Cynthia. “I was able to witness what happens when justice and empathy work hand-in-hand to create community among a vulnerable group of individuals.”
In her current role, Cynthia’s days are far from typical. Landlord-tenant law practice is not only important, but it’s emotional. Cynthia’s working with clients who are at risk for eviction or losing their homes.
And that’s a key word there—homes.
For so many of the individuals and families who sit next to Cynthia on the courtroom floor, fear strikes them as they come to the realization that they may lose the apartment where their children grew up or the first house they purchased with their spouse—or the only place they’ve ever felt safe. That’s why Cynthia’s job spans far beyond that of a defender of the law. She’s also a listening ear, a motivator, and an instiller of hope.
“My primary responsibilities are to speak directly to my clients, draft motions, appear in court, and strategize individually for each case I’m given,” Cynthia described. “I’m also constantly researching the law—because, let’s face it, it changes every second—to make sure I’m abreast of the best ways to advocate for my clients.”
And her favorite part of her job as a staff attorney? Well that’s solving problems for each of her clients and getting their cases resolved. But, you probably could have guessed that!
Mount Saint Vincent is a catalyst for change and a place where students realize their potentials and follow their dreams. Cynthia was able to transfer the skills she learned in the classroom to the courtroom—and has her mentors and professors to thank for that.
“My classes taught me substantive knowledge I would need to move forward in life,” said Cynthia. “But, beyond the classroom, I must say that my participation in clubs and activities did wonders for my confidence, emotional intelligence, and ability to multitask.”
Still need more proof that we’re the Right Place on the River? Probably not…
Cynthia also gained a group of lifelong friends during her days at the Mount—and those friends have turned into family. They’ve celebrated countless milestones alongside each other since meeting in 2011, including graduation from the Mount, Cynthia’s acceptance and graduation from law school, and—most recently—her admission to the Bar.
“The path to a legal career is by no means easy, but my friends made sure to encourage me every step of the way.”
We promised no more law puns, but Cynthia certainly raised the bar for success at the Mount and beyond—and we know she’s not stopping here.
“My Mount experience is a direct result of my confidence to put myself out there and try new things,” Cynthia explained. “If I had once piece of advice for current or prospective students, it would be to do just that.”
Are you Mount Made? Do you know other alums living out the mission of the College? Let us know—we’d love to show how the Mount helped launch your career. Contact us to be featured!
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.