Tuesday, February 12, 2013
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ALBANY - The New York Senate has confirmed Jenny Rivera to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. Professor Rivera has taught at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law since 1997. She was nominated by Governor Cuomo on January 15.
Professor Rivera, a longtime Bronx resident and New York native, has had a long and distinguished career in public service. She has held many varied positions, as a staff attorney at Legal Aid Society of New York City, as an Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (renamed Latino Justice PRLDEF), and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights from 2002 to 2007. In 2007 she joined the Office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights.
"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. “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. I congratulate Professor Rivera on her confirmation.”
Professor Rivera said, "I am deeply honored to have been confirmed as the next Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for nominating me, but for also demonstrating a true commitment to promoting diversity on the bench and throughout government. He has transformed New York State by promoting public service and the ideals of fairness and equality. 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.”
This year, Professor Rivera received the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2012, she received the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 received the NYSBA Kay Crawford Murray Award. She is a graduate of Princeton University, and received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law and her LL.M, from Columbia University School of Law.