Jenny Rivera '85Governor Andrew Cuomo has nominated Jenny Rivera ’85 to the New York State Court of Appeals. If confirmed by the New York State Senate, which will hold confirmation within one month of the governor's nomination, Rivera will be the second Hispanic judge in the history of the court.

Rivera is currently a professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law, where she is the founder and director of the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). Previously, Rivera was an administrative law judge of the New York State Division of Human Rights. She also served for a term as the Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights during Andrew Cuomo’s stint as New York State Attorney General. In 2012, Rivera was honored with the Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Bar Association. Rivera has also been named a recipient of the 2013 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. She will receive the award, along with five other awardees, from the ABA in February. 

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. In the years after her graduation, Rivera worked at organizations including the Legal Aid Society and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund. In 1993 and 1994, Rivera was a clerk for Sonia Sotomayor, who was at the time a district court judge in the Southern District of New York.

In a statement released by the Governor’s office, New York University President John Sexton commended the selection of Rivera for this seat. “I have known Jenny since her time at NYU.... Back then, Professor Rivera was an impressive student who possessed a first rate intellect and a deep sense of compassion,” Sexton said. “Since her graduation from law school, Professor Rivera has been a distinguished member of the bar, a champion of civil rights and social justice, and at various times a dedicated public servant. If confirmed, her addition to the New York Court of Appeal as an Associate Justice will benefit all the people of this State as well as those who look to our courts for justice.”

Posted January 22, 2013