LatinoJustice PRLDEF Alum Jenny Rivera Nominated to NY State’s Court of Appeals

CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or

Former LatinoJustice PRLDEF staff attorney Jenny Rivera has been nominated to sit on the New York State Court of Appeals by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Gov. Cuomo made the announcement today, saying that Rivera, most recently a Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law in New York, had “…worked to defend the legal rights of all New Yorkers and make our state a fairer, more just place to live."

"As a Judge on the Court of Appeals, Professor Rivera's legal expertise and passion for social justice will serve all New Yorkers well, and I am proud to send her nomination to the Senate today," said Governor Cuomo.

Professor Rivera said, "I am deeply honored to be nominated by Governor Cuomo to serve on our Court of Appeals. As a lifetime New Yorker, this nomination is a special opportunity for me to continue to serve the people of New York. As a member of the Court of Appeals, I will work each day to uphold the laws of the state and advocate for fairness and justice, and I thank the Governor for this opportunity."

Rivera worked as a staff attorney at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in the early 90s. At PRLDEF she worked on education and employment discrimination, equity and testing issues, gender equality and language rights discrimination.

In 1993, Rivera clerked for then District Judge Sonia Sotomayor, once a PRLDEF board member who is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

“Years ago Jenny Rivera was a talented Puerto Rican attorney who led a civil rights docket at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund that addressed the rights of marginalized Latinas in the country,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Today, Governor Cuomo deposited his faith, and the faith of all New Yorkers that the great State of New York will benefit from the wisdom of Professor Rivera as she takes a seat on the New York Court of Appeals. We applaud the Governor and we share his enthusiasm for what will surely be a great judicial legacy for Judge Jenny Rivera.”

Rivera is also Founder and Director of the Law School's Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). She is a former Administrative Law Judge, a former member of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and served as the Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights when Governor Cuomo was Attorney General.

She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her LL.M. from Columbia Law School. She graduated from Princeton University.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, established in 1972, has won landmark civil rights cases in education, housing, voting, migrant, immigrant, employment and other civil rights. Through the efforts of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Latino voters have been critical players in ensuring fair and bilingual election systems and fair redistricting opportunities for the nation’s largest minority.

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