Jenny Rivera is a Professor of Law at the City University of New York School of Law in New York and the Founder and Director of the Law School's Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). CLORE promotes law reform scholarship, public education, and litigation in support of expanded civil rights, and focuses on issues impacting the Latino community in the United States. Professor Rivera is a former Administrative Law Judge of the New York State Division of Human Rights, a former member of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and served as the Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. As Special Deputy Attorney General she assisted in the development and implementation of the Attorney General's civil rights agenda, supervised the Civil Rights Bureau and organized and held statewide outreach sessions on civil rights issues.
In 1993 Professor Rivera clerked for then District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. After the President nominated Justice Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, Professor Rivera's analysis of the confirmation process and the Justice's judicial record was featured in national venues including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Newsweek, Latino USA, among other major outlets. During the confirmation process, Professor Rivera organized and served as lead author of a law professors' review of Justice Sotomayor's judicial record for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). The report was included with the HNBA's testimony and submitted into the Congressional record.
Prior to teaching, Professor Rivera clerked in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Se Law Clerk's office. She was also a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society's Homeless Family Rights Project where she represented homeless families in federal and state class actions and administrative hearings, and served as an Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she worked on education and employment discrimination, equity and testing issues, gender equality and language rights discrimination.
Hispanic Business named Professor Rivera one of the Elite Women of 2005, and El Diario/La Prensa named Professor Rivera one of the outstanding Latinas of 2000. In 2009 the HNBA awarded Professor Rivera a Presidential Advocacy Award.
Professor Rivera currently serves on the HNBA Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession, and served as lead author of the Commission's report, "La Voz de La Abogada Latina: Challenges and Rewards in Serving the Public Interest," published in 2010. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Housing Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Grand Street Settlement.
Professor Rivera teaches administrative law, civil procedure, property, legal writing and courses on antidiscrimination and Latinas/os and the Law. She has authored several articles on civil and women's rights and her scholarship has been published in legal journals and anthologies. Her scholarship includes, "An Equal Protection Standard for National Origin Subclassifications: The Context that Matters," "Extra! Extra! Read All About It: What a Plaintiff Knows Or Should Know Based On Officials' Statements and Media Coverage of Police Misconduct for Notice of a § 1983 Municipal Liability Claim," "The Violence Against Women Act and the Construction of Multiple Consciousness in the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements," "Domestic Violence Against Latinas by Latino Males: an Analysis of Race, National Origin, and Gender Differentials," and "Puerto Rico's Domestic Violence and Intervention Law and the United States Violence Against Women Act of 1994: The Limitations of Legislative Responses." She is also the author of a 1997 study and a 2003 follow up study on the availability of domestic violence services for Latinas in New York State.
Professor Rivera graduated from Princeton University and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an editor for the Annual Survey of American Law, a Root Tilden Scholar, and co-chair of the Latino Law Students Association. In 1993, Professor Rivera received her LL.M. from Columbia University School of Law, where she concentrated on Constitutional and Feminist Theory. Professor Rivera is a member of the Bars of the State of New York, the Supreme Court of the United States, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the district courts for the Southern District and Eastern District of New York.
Professor Rivera is the recipient of the New York State Bar Association 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award.
Why I Teach at CUNY Law?
"I teach at CUNY Law School because I am honored to be part of an educational institution committed to teaching our next generation of public interest lawyers, lawyers who will represent the poor, those without access to legal services, those who challenge violations of constitutional rights, and those who seek justice under the law. I am both instructor and student in the classroom and strive to create a learning environment that is challenging academically and that allows students to develop their professional skills."