A City University of New York School of Law professor has been honored by the American Bar Association for promoting a more ethnically and racially diverse legal profession. Jenny Rivera, director and founder of CUNY Law's Center on Latino and Latina Rights, was named one of six recipients of the ABA's Spirit of Excellence Award by its Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
The CUNY center promotes public education, litigation and law reform scholarship to support expanded civil rights. Rivera also started an academy for high school students from diverse communities interested in law. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the New York State Bar Association's 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 Presidential Advocacy Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association.
In a letter recommending Rivera for the ABA award, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor called Rivera a "change maker" with a "deep and abiding commitment to social justice."
Rivera earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her LL.M. from Columbia Law School. She will receive the award at the ABA's Mid-Year Meeting in Dallas on Feb. 9.