CUNY Law Students Graduate May 17th

April 26, 2013 | CUNY School of Law

More than 130 Lawyers Ready to Serve the Public Interest
New York State Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera is Commencement Speaker

NEW YORK–More than 130 CUNY School of Law students will receive their Juris Doctor degrees at a May 17 graduation ceremony. “We are immensely proud of our 2013 graduates.  Their experience, intelligence, and passion will make them excellent advocates for their communities,” said CUNY Law Dean Michelle J. Anderson. CUNY sends the largest number of graduates into public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation.

Since CUNY Law’s founding in 1983, the school’s motto, “Law in the Service of Human Needs,” has continued to guide its dual mission of graduating outstanding public interest attorneys and diversifying the legal profession. PreLaw magazine ranks CUNY Law as the #1 law school in the nation for public interest. The Law School’s clinical education program consistently ranks among the top five in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. National Jurist has recognized CUNY Law as the second most diverse law school in the nation and one of country’s “Best Value” law schools. The Princeton Review ranks CUNY Law in the top ten for “Best Law Professors.”

This year’s graduation ceremony will feature New York Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera as the 2013 commencement speaker.  Lucas Guttentag, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and professor at Yale Law School, and Beth E. Richie, professor of criminal justice and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will receive honorary degrees. “We are pleased to celebrate these leaders, whose commitment to justice will inspire our graduates as they go forward in their public interest careers,” added Anderson

The Honorable Jenny Rivera was appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals in February 2013. She is the second Latina to sit on that bench. Until her recent appointment, Judge Rivera served on the faculty at CUNY Law School since 1997, teaching property, administrative law, civil procedure, lawyering, and civil rights. She is the founder of the Law School’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, Reporter for the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, and a former member of the National Board of Bar Examiners Diversity Issues Committee. She served as a law clerk to then-District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. She has also served as an administrative law judge, a Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and a Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for then New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. She was a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project and served as an Associate Counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Rivera has a JD from New York University School of Law and an LLM from Columbia Law School. Among her many awards and recognitions are the 2013 Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the New York State Bar Association 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lucas Guttentag is senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and teaches at Yale Law School. He has argued important constitutional cases involving immigrants before the Supreme Court and various United States Courts of Appeals. He is in the forefront of the fight against laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070 and anti-immigrant laws in states including Georgia and Alabama.

Beth E. Richie is professor of criminal justice and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a graduate of the CUNY Graduate and University Center, where she received her Ph.D. in sociology in 1992. Currently Dr. Richie is leading a multimillion dollar research project sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation researching women and youth issues at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. She was the recipient of three major awards: the National Advocacy Award by the Department of Health and Health and Human Services, Office of Violence Prevention; the Audre Lorde Legacy Award of the Union Institute stemming from her work with the National Network for Women in Prison; and the Visionary Award of the Violence Intervention Project.

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Graduation will be held on Friday, May 17, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Colden Auditorium, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY. 

Contact: Abbi Leman, 718-340-4472, abbi.leman@law.cuny.edu