Paula T. Edgar, Esq.
Chief Diversity Officer, Admissions Specialist
New York Law School
New York City
On Sept. 11, 2001, Paula T. Edgar’s world was simultaneously turned upside down and set on course. She lost her mother, Joan Griffith, in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Interacting with attorneys who provided support to victims’ families opened Edgar’s eyes to a career in law. “I wanted to help people in the same manner in which I had been helped,” she says.
Edgar has built a career as an advocate, first at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and subsequently at the Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program Inc., and Seton Hall University School of Law. Today, she is the chief diversity officer and admissions specialist for New York Law School, to ensure that the school recruits a diverse student body and works with the law school community to help students from underrepresented populations stay on the right course. “The culture of law school can be very intimidating,” says Edgar, a City University of New York School of Law graduate. “I know what it’s like every year when they come in, feeling that fear and excitement.” She hopes the advice she imparts will be as beneficial to her students as the guidance she received from her parents. “My mother was a role model and a mentor. My father is the person I go to whenever I have something going on, to get his thoughts. That balance between the two of them was really beneficial to me,” says Edgar, who has roots in Jamaica and Barbados.
Edgar believes in living life out loud and creating lasting memories. She competed with her best friend on “Wheel of Fortune;” she’s writing a book; and she once was called on stage to dance with Prince. “Tomorrow is not promised,” she says, “so I try to make sure today is fulfilling in some way.”