True Redemption! Judge Gives Troubled Teen A Second Chance, And Many Years Later She’s Graduated Law School

Judge Charles Dortch and Carmen Allen Day

In a moving tale of redemption, Carmen Allen Day’s journey from a troubled teenager to a prospective lawyer lends credence to the power of second chances in the legal system.

Now 34 years old, Day graduated from Rutgers Law School in 2020, a feat made possible by the compassion of a judge who saw her potential.

Seventeen years ago, as a 17-year-old facing probation for a juvenile offense, Day stood before New Jersey Superior Court Judge Charles Dortch.

Expressing her remorse and aspirations for the future, she pleaded for leniency, vowing to pursue a career in law if given the opportunity.

Moved by her sincerity, Judge Dortch reduced her probation sentence from 18 months to just 6.

Today, Day reflects on that pivotal moment as the catalyst for her transformation. In 2019, she visited the same courtroom where her fate was decided, she reunited with Judge Dortch, now the presiding judge of the family division.

For Dortch, seeing Day’s progress reaffirmed his belief in the capacity of the justice system to inspire positive change.

Day’s path to law school was not without its challenges. Despite setbacks and obstacles, including dropping out of college twice, she persevered.

In 2015, she graduated with a double major in political science and criminal justice, laying the foundation for her legal aspirations.

However, the road to law school proved arduous.

After initially struggling with the Law School Admission Test in 2017, Day faced another setback. Yet, when a conditional acceptance offer from Rutgers arose, she seized the opportunity, even if it meant enduring a two-hour commute each day.

Throughout her journey, Day remained steadfast in her determination to fulfill the promise she made to herself and Judge Dortch.

Her story serves as a reminder that redemption is possible, regardless of past mistakes or circumstances.

As she prepares to embark on her legal career, Day’s message resonates:

“You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become.”