Four Columbia Law School Alumni Among Finalists for New York State Appellate Seat

The Four Alumni are Among Seven Finalists Chosen from a Pool of 75 Applicants

New York, December 5, 2012—Four Columbia Law School alumni are among the seven candidates being considered to replace a retiring New York State Court of Appeals judge.

The State of New York Commission on Judicial Nomination picked the finalists after interviewing 36 candidates among 75 applicants for the seat of Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick. Gov. Andrew Cuomo must make his choice by Jan. 15.
The four Columbia Law School alumni being considered are: 
  • Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’77, associate justice, Appellate Division, First Department. Abdus-Salaam was elected as a Supreme Court justice in 1993 and again in 2007. She previously worked as the general counsel of the New York City Office of Labor Services, an assistant state attorney general, and a staff attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services. 
  • Hon. Rolando T. Acosta ’82, associate justice, Appellate Division, First Department. Prior to his time on the bench, Acosta served as commissioner and deputy commissioner for law enforcement on the New York City Commission on Human Rights. He also worked at New York City Legal Aid Society. 
  • Kathy H. Chin ’80, partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Chin practices in health care and real estate litigation. She has been a member of the New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption since 2003 and previously served as a member on the New York City Planning Commission. At the Law School, Chin was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journal of Transactional Law. 
  • Jenny Rivera ’93 LL.M, professor The City University of New York School of Law. Rivera is the founder and director of the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality. She previously worked as a special deputy attorney general for civil rights and served as a commissioner on the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She is a former administrative law judge of the New York State Division of Human Rights. She clerked for then-U.S. Southern District of New York Judge Sonia Sotomayor from 1993 to 1994. She has also held positions at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project. 
Another candidate for the open seat is David A. Schulz, a partner at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz and a lecturer at Columbia Law School, who teaches a course called First Amendment and the Institutional Press.