Hoboken Spotlight: George A. Ortiz
Here’s some good news to report.
Hoboken Lawyer sworn into State Bars
George A. Ortiz, Esq., Hoboken born and bred resident will be sworn into the Bar of the State of New Jersey (and New York) tomorrow. The ceremony will take place Friday 1/11 at 4pm over at the Justice William J. Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City. Congratulations on passing both bar exams, George!
Still happy to call Hoboken his home, he currently lives in the 1st Ward (originally from the 4th Ward), and his family’s roots spans many decades in the Mile Square City.
“I am proud of Hoboken’s tenacity and it’s rich culture and history,” George says, adding this about the current state of the city: “One of the things that have always concerned me is the heightened divisiveness that exists within the community. I have always felt the “us versus them” mentality is the greatest barrier we face. As a young student in Hoboken High School, I helped to organize students and the community into action when students were the victims of the crossfire of warring factions of Old Hoboken and New Hoboken. I still recall my days writing letters to the editor to advocate for that cause and warning of the detriment of such nativism, which seems to be engulfing the country as of late too. But during that time, I established relationships with many people who had strong and passionately held feelings about the future course of the community.”
Read more of the conversation with George, as well as see his diverse biography after the jump.
More on Hoboken
George continues, by saying “Unfortunately, in Hoboken, there are factions who would rather divide than find ways to forge common ground on issues. In the spirit of full disclosure, I myself have been guilty of it when I’ve taken on a leadership role in past political campaigns. But I have always believed, it is one thing to stand your ground on principle, but it’s another when instead it is forged on sheer personalities, egos and a lack of substance.
One of the things that concerns me most is the feeling that I have heard from so many young people who have moved to Hoboken with a sincere desire to call it home. There is this sense by many of not feeling a sense of warmth and a welcoming community and it is not the Hoboken I know and was proud to grow up in as a child. It’s a telling and sobering sign when you find yourself saying “when I was a kid,” but when I was young people knew who you were in town. Hoboken always had a small town feel to it and you were greeted warmly by your neighbors. People took the time to express interest in the happenings of your life and your family. And the reason it concerns me so much is that I believe that strong and open communities matter both in good times as well as bad. Certainly they provide a way of helping one another.
Communities give us an important sense of belonging, which is a compelling need in all of us. We all enjoy moments of great happiness and suffer times of profound sadness; the happiness is heightened, the sadness softened when it is shared. It’s certainly one of the best life lessons I have learned over the years. And in a way I’m glad because despite the fact that I have had to overcome many obstacles in life, I have gained a genuine appreciation for how other people feel when they are burdened by something that embarrasses them. It has taught me empathy, a characteristic that quite frankly, in the practice of law, will allow me to stand before others and understand how they feel. But every single time great things have happened in my life, they have been on the heels of a struggle.”
Now and the future
Ortiz is currently employed by Boca Raton, FL based National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) as their Senior Legal Analyst stationed at their Hoboken office. He says he’s learned a lot working for this company, and hopes to use his experience in years to come. As far as the future, he says “I’m keeping all of my options open with regards to my future. When I was a student at Cornell University, I majored in government and pre-law because I believed strongly in public service. After working in Washington, DC, and the rough and tumble of Hudson County politics, I decided to pursue a career that allowed me to expand on my passion for public policy, advocacy and learning.”
During his education, he was drawn to the “intellectual honesty” of Justice William Brennan (whom the JC court he’s getting sworn in at is named after). “Brennan once said, “There are not menial jobs, only menial attitudes” and that’s really had a profound influence on my thinking. So while I cannot say with absolute certainty what my next steps will be, I work hard to ensure nothing I do is ever menial. But I’m exploring all options regarding the future. Stay tuned.”
Born & raised in the City of Hoboken, New Jersey George Anthony Ortiz has been active in the civic affairs of his community since the age of nine and has been determined to succeed and has achieved many firsts along the way. Among his achievements, he was the first student to serve as a member of the Hoboken Board of Education. Recipient of the New York Times “Young Citizen Award,” he attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. At Cornell, he majored in Government and Pre-Law and was a Student Government leader and member of the University’s Judicial Disciplinary Board. For his countless efforts and many leadership and academic accomplishments at Cornell and in his community, he was recognized by several national organizations, including the Univision Television Network, who bestowed upon him their “Distinguished Citizen Award” and the National Puerto Rican Coalition who presented him with their “Future Lifetime Achievement Award.”
After graduating from Cornell in 1998, he had the extraordinary opportunity to serve as Press Secretary to then United States Senator Robert G. Torricelli (D-NJ). Determined to pursue a career in law, he enrolled at Seton Hall University’s School of law as a part-time student while working full-time during the day. He has a diverse and wide variety of legal experiences drawing from his background in government, including serving as a Paralegal at a major national law firm, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, LLP., and serving as a Law Clerk with the Office of the General Counsel of the New Jersey Intergovernmental Insurance Fund.
He also had the distinct privilege of a judicial clerk-internship with the Chambers of Superior Court Judge Edward T. O’Connor, Jr. A member of the Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity, George A. Ortiz has realized his dream of being an Attorney At Law having successfully passed the bar examinations of both the State of New Jersey and the State of New York
Congratulations again, and best of luck in your career, George! (Maybe you want to run for council one day???)