Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick is the youngest child of Puerto-Rican parents born January 1st, 1942, in the Washington Heights section of New York, NY. She graduated in 1963 with her bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York-Hunter College (all-female school at the time) majoring in History and Political Science. She developed a strong interest in law and attended St. John’s University School of Law as a night student, while working during the day as a social studies and physical education teacher at a Junior High School in Harlem. She was one of eight women in her law school graduating class and only one of three women in the night section.
Upon graduation her first job was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society, Civil Division in the South Bronx. In 1969, she joined the New York State Court System as an Assistant Counsel to the Judicial Conference of the State of New York, the precursor to the Office of Court Administration (OCA). In 1972, she was appointed by Mayor Edward Koch as the Chief Law Assistant for the Criminal Court of the City of New York and for the Supreme Court, Criminal Branch, New York County. In 1974, she served as Counsel to the Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts. In 1978, she was appointed Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York. Then in 1982, she was appointed Judge of New York State Supreme Court. On December 1, 1993, she was appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals, becoming the first Latina appointed to the high court. On November 20, 2007, she was re-appointed to a second term in the New York State Court of Appeals. She retired in 2013.
Judge Ciparick has received numerous awards and held several leadership positions. In January 2010, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Jurist Award from the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. In 2012, she was honored in June with the Judith S. Kaye Access to Justice Award from the Women’s Bar Association. She was also the recipient to the President’s Medal from the New York City Women’s Bar Association. In February 2013, she was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to co-chair the New York Justice Task Force to examine the causes of wrongful convictions. On March 8, 2013 she joined the Board of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Then in November, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal. On July 17, 2014 she was appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio to serve as Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award from the New York County Lawyers Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. In September 2020, she became Chair of the New York State Board of Law Examiners. The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association honored her for Hispanic Heritage Month.
She currently serves as co-chair of the National Appellate Practice Group, Greenberg Traurig, LLP where she advises clients on appellate matters, litigation strategy and mentor’s junior lawyers.