Nearly 200 judges and attorneys gathered at NYU Law on Thursday, September 27 for the 27th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards Dinner, an event honoring Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, senior associate judge for the New York State Court of Appeals. The dinner was sponsored by the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage and the Law School’s Bickel & Brewer Latino Institute for Human Rights. Dean Richard Revesz welcomed the group and Judge Lizbeth Gonzalez ’79, president of the association, moderated the event.

In his keynote address, former New York governor Mario Cuomo highlighted the importance of women judges in the courts. Cuomo noted that in his 1982 gubernatorial campaign, he made a promise to his constituents: “I will do everything I can to get a woman on the Court of Appeals, our greatest court,” Cuomo said. He appointed Ciparick on December 1, 1993.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a former adjunct professor at NYU School of Law, addressed the association by video, describing Judge Ciparick as a person and a judge who has epitomized the best values and aspirations of the Hispanic community. “When I began my career as a lawyer in New York, you were already a role model. I drew hope for my own future from your election in 1982 to the New York State Supreme Court.” said Justice Sotomayor, adding that she even took salsa lessons after watching Judge Ciparick dance at countless events.

“I always knew that if I tried to emulate your gold standard of conscientiousness and commitment,” said Justice Sotomayor, “I would have a better chance of success in my own work.”

Additional speakers included: Michael Simons, dean of St. John’s University School of Law; Jonathan Lippman ‘68, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; and Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick.

Posted on October 9, 2012.