Jenny Rivera (judge)

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Jenny Rivera
Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Assumed office
Appointed by Andrew Cuomo
Preceded by Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick
Personal details
Born December 1960
New York City
Alma mater Princeton University
New York University School of Law
Columbia University School of Law

Jenny Rivera (born December 1960) is a judge on the New York State Court of Appeals. Judge Rivera was appointed to the court by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013 for a 14-year term. Her current term expires in 2027. She is the second Hispanic woman to serve on New York's highest court.


Rivera was born in December 1960 in New York City.[1] She graduated from Princeton University in 1982. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law three years later, and a Master of Laws from Columbia University School of Law in 1993.

Legal experience[edit]

After obtaining her J.D. in 1985, Rivera spent a year clerking at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's Pro Se Law Clerk's office. She spent the next year as a staff attorney for the New York City Legal Aid Society in the Homeless Family Rights Project before joining the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she remained as associate counsel until 1992. In 1992, Rivera served as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights.

In 1993, after completing her LL.M., Rivera served as a law clerk to then-U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the Southern District of New York; Sotomayor was later elevated to the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Following the completion of that clerkship, Rivera taught for three years at Suffolk University Law School.

Rivera joined the faculty of the City University of New York School of Law in 1997. She would teach there nearly continuously until her appointment to the New York Court of Appeals in 2013. From 2007 to 2008 Rivera was Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights in the New York Attorney General's office and in 2011 she was a visiting professor at American University Washington College of Law.

Her selection to New York's highest court was controversial.[2] Rivera was the first nominee in history to be advanced out of the New York State Senate's Judiciary Committee without recommendation.[3] Nevertheless, she was confirmed by the full Senate on February 11, 2013.[4]


  1. ^ Hon. Jenny Rivera at NY Court System
  2. ^ Caher, John (2/5/2013). "Without Recommendation, COA Nominee Advances". New York Law Journal. Retrieved 5/10/2013. 
  3. ^ Caher, John (2/5/2013). "Without Recommendation, COA Nominee Advances". New York Law Journal. Retrieved 5/10/2013. 
  4. ^ Nahmias, Laura (2/11/2013). "Lawmakers Confirm Rivera to State’s Highest Court". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5/10/2013.