Prof. Jenny Rivera to Receive ABA Spirit of Excellence Award

November 27, 2012 | CUNY School of Law

CUNY Law Professor Jenny Rivera has been selected as one of six lawyers to receive the 2013 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. The award recognizes recipients’ significant contributions toward advancing a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession.

Professor Rivera is the founder and director of the Law School’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). CLORE promotes scholarship, public education, and advocacy on issues that impact the Latino Community in the United States.  CLORE’s unique program includes the CLORE High School Law Academy, which helps to build a pipeline to the legal profession for students from underrepresented communities.

Professor Jenny Rivera

Professor Jenny Rivera

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 was the Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

Prior to teaching, Professor Rivera clerked in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Se Law Clerk’s Office and worked for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project. She also worked as an Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (renamed LatinoJustice/PRLDEF), where she helped develop and implement the organization’s women’s rights litigation and advocacy programs.

The awards will be presented Feb. 9 during the 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas.

The mission of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is to promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. It serves as a catalyst for change, so that the profession may more accurately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of society, and better serve society. The Commission takes actions to promote the recruitment, hiring, promotion and advancement of attorneys of color, and works to ensure equal membership and employment opportunities for diverse lawyers in the American Bar Association. The Commission accomplishes these goals through many initiatives, activities and programs, including the Spirit of Excellence Award.

Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. The school trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. PreLaw magazine ranks CUNY Law as the #1 law school in the nation for public interest, and National Jurist ranks the Law School second in the nation for diversity. U.S. News & World Report ranks CUNY fourth in the nation for “Best Clinical Programs,” and the Princeton Review ranks CUNY Law in the top ten in the nation for “Best Law Professors.” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has praised CUNY Law School for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through integrated instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.

Read more about the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award

Contact: Abbi Leman, Acting Director of Communications, 718-340-4472