Trailblazer Melnia Cordis raising the bar for efficacious services at CordisLaw PC

Guyanese-born Melnia Cordis, pictured at her practice CordisLaw PC, 440 E 53rd St., Brooklyn. The brilliant, hardworking legal eagle, is an internationally trained attorney who maintains a prominent presence in the Guyanese and Caribbean community.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Melnia Cordis, a pioneering attorney, like many young girls growing up in her small village of Arora on the Essequibo Coast of Guyana, wanted to become an air hostess. She also thought of joining the foreign service as an ambassador.

However, there were other opportunities to explore, such as medicine, or becoming an attorney. The latter would ultimately charter a course for a brilliant career that has led Cordis, a gifted, and hardworking legal eagle to a successful practice, certified in areas of divorce, estate planning, immigration, non-profit formation and tax exemption, guardianship, adoption and brokerage & real estate.

During a recent exclusive interview with Caribbean Life at CordisLaw PC, 440 53rd St., Brooklyn, the attorney, who exudes the Women’s History Month theme – “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, has raised the bar for the past 20 years when her journey in law began, first as a criminal attorney, working primarily on extradition matters.

She also practiced in her homeland from 1998 to 2003 as a general practice attorney with the Georgetown Legal Aid Clinic conducting cases related to domestic violence, custody, adoption, property disputes, to name a few.

Cordis who completed her formal education at Guyana’s prestigious President College, and graduated from the University of Guyana, before being called to the bar at Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad & Tobago in 1997, later migrated to the US in 2003, and was admitted to the New York Bar in 2004.

Cordis said, the mission statement of her practice is to provide a service to our “Caribbean community, not just limited to immigration work, but to other areas of the law to satisfy the needs of all clients.”

She reasoned that back in the day growing up there was the family lawyer who was call upon for any type of legal matter, with the confidence that that person would have your best interest at heart, and would provide the best information that was needed, “so that you can make the correct decision.”

“That is the idea behind my practice. We want to be personable with everyone. We want our clients to know that we have their best interest at heart. We also want them to know if they have a question or any concern, they can call us without thinking that every time I call my attorney, I’m going to be billed for this or that.”

“I have endeavored over the past years that I’ve been in practice to be endearing to all my clients. There are persons that might have issues from time to time but the idea behind the practice of law for me is to be a full-service provider for all clients,” said Cordis who is an internationally trained attorney, with a wealth of experience in the field.

“I want to be able to bring your family to the US, and if your child is getting married, to make sure that you know which immigration papers are needed for a successful completion.”

“If you’re filing for a divorce, we provide efficient service for a smooth process. If you’re buying or selling a house, we also provide real estate services, as well as estate planning. We do offer comprehensive service,” she added.

The practitioner has served as the VP of Services for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and as its director for Community Services. She is the acting director for her alma mater alumni association and provides efficient service with well-known skilled partners.

“The practice also prepares power of attorneys, healthcare proxies and in the event of someone passing, assist with estate administration and probate of the estate and transference of whatever assets from the deceased to the beneficiaries,” she explained.

Cordis, who maintains a prominent presence in the Guyanese and Caribbean community, allocates her time to outreach programs. During the pandemic, she worked with WIADCA to provide the public with basic legal information, such as a presentation she made on the marijuana laws in New York.

Also, a volunteer with Access Justice where she provides free representation to indigent individuals, Cordis additionally offers pro bono consultation on wills and estates to elderly, while staying busy with immigration. Her services include religious petitions, extension of status, adjustment of status, work permit waiver, US citizenship, consular processing, student visa, and abused spouse application.

Her practice was instrumental in helping persons who were stranded in the US during the pandemic, and continues to offer free presentations to organizations and churches on topics of estate planning and immigration. This service is also extended to persons living in New Jersey.

When asked what words of wisdom she would impart to young women and girls working to achieve their dream to become lawyers, Cordis discussed the importance of “finding your passion and working hard towards your goals.”

“You must stay focused. There are a lot of distractions that will come your way as a young individual, it can be financial issues, or social issues, but if it’s something you desire to do, you have to stay focused.”

“My advice is to get some experience working anywhere, it doesn’t have to be at a law firm. Law is very adaptable, you can maneuver in almost any field of business with a law degree but experience in the workforce gives you the ability to read people, and then you can gauge if you have a good sense of individual characteristics, because it will help in trial work. You must be adaptable,” she added.

Cordis who has worked as an associate attorney at the Robert Plan, then as a no-fault trial attorney for Countrywide Insurance Company, said challenges come with various areas of the law. “For everyone out there, whether you are pursuing law or just doing whatever you enjoy doing, the bottom-line is, make sure that you’re happy because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I try to do what I love, to the best of my ability, and present the best of me,” said the internationally trained attorney.

The practice offers free speaking engagements, (when available). For more information, e-mail Call for free consultation (929-610-0074)., and social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook @cordislaw.