Justices of the Court

Associate Justice Tanya R Kennedy

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in July 2020. Prior to her appointment, Justice Kennedy served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County, commencing in January 2016, after election in November 2015. She was elected to Civil Court in November 2005 and thereafter served in Criminal Court (January 2006-September 2008), Civil Court (September 2008-December 2009), Family Court (January 2010-December 2010), as Acting Supreme Court Justice (January 2011-December 2012) and as Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County (January 2014-December 2015). She is also a former Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, where she taught a Juvenile Justice seminar for ten years.

Before her election to Civil Court, Justice Kennedy served as Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Barry A. Cozier when he was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (March 2001-December 2005) and when he was a Justice in the Commercial Division, New York County (May 1999-March 2001). Prior to her clerkship with Justice Cozier, Justice Kennedy served in the Office of the Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department, as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Bronx Family Court Division (August 1992-August 1994) and in the Bronx Tort Division (August 1994-August 1997), where she was promoted to Tort Trial Specialist and later to Assistant Deputy Chief.

Justice Kennedy is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Association and past chair of the organization’s Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Women in Law Section of the New York State Bar Association; member of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York; member of the Board of Overseers of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she received her law degree; and an Advisory Board Member of Penn State Law. Justice Kennedy is also the Past President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ).

As a result of her commitment to increasing the pipeline of underrepresented communities to the legal profession, Justice Kennedy participates in the Role Model Program of the founding chapter of the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and hosts summer interns from the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program and from the Law and Society Major Internship Program of the Brooklyn Technical High School, which is her alma mater. She is also committed to the pursuit of higher education and serves as a mentor through her visits to various churches, schools, and other organizations as a motivational speaker.

She is a frequent speaker at various conferences whose numerous honors include the 2019 Igniting Change Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys; the Inaugural Women of Distinction Award from Cardozo Women’s Law Initiative of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; the 2018 Brooklyn Technical High School Hall of Fame Designation; the 2017 Diversity Leadership Award from Penn State Law; the 2015 Alumni of the Year Award from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; the 2014 Award from the New York County Lawyers’ Association Civil Court Practice Section; and the 2012 Pat Irvin Personal Service Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys.