Jenny RiveraOn February 11, the New York State Senate voted to confirm Jenny Rivera ’85 to the New York State Court of Appeals. Rivera, who was nominated last month by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will be the second Hispanic judge in the history of the court.

"Professor Rivera has dedicated her career to public service and defending the rights of all New Yorkers, and today she joins the judges of the State’s highest court—the New York Court of Appeals,” said Governor Cuomo at her confirmation ceremony on Monday night. “Her extensive experience in civil rights law and her passion for making our state a fairer and more just place will greatly benefit New York.”

Rivera, a professor of law at the CUNY School of Law, joins the court with an extensive background in public service. She is the founder and director of the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE) at CUNY School of Law, and she has served as an administrative law judge of the New York State Division of Human Rights, as well as for a term as the special deputy attorney general for civil rights. Rivera has also worked at organizations including the Legal Aid Society and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, and clerked for Sonia Sotomayor when the current Supreme Court Justice was a district court judge in the Southern District of New York. This year, Rivera has been honored with the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. She is also the 2012 recipient of the Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Bar Association.

"I am deeply honored to have been confirmed as the next associate judge of the New York State Court of Appeals,” said Rivera. “I look forward to joining my colleagues on the bench, and am eager to begin the work of faithfully upholding our state’s laws and Constitution.”

While at NYU Law, Rivera was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, and also served as an articles editor of the Annual Survey of American Law and a co-chair of the Latino Law Students Association.  “I am thrilled by the Senate’s confirmation of Professor Jenny Rivera to the New York State Court of Appeals,” said NYU President John Sexton in a press release from the New York State Governor’s office. “I have known Professor Rivera since her days as a student at NYU, and I have witnessed her grow to be a distinguished member of the bar and a defender of civil rights and social justice. She is a deeply intelligent and compassionate individual – traits that I am sure she will bring to the bench as an associate judge and public servant. In her new role, she will serve New Yorkers fairly in the Court and enhance our system of justice.”

Posted February 12, 2013