The Honorable Tanya R. Kennedy was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County in 2015 and is the former Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County. After her election to Civil Court in 2005, Justice Kennedy presided in the Criminal and Civil Courts of the City of New York, as well as the Family and Supreme Courts of the State of New York.
Prior to joining the judiciary, Justice Kennedy served as Principal Law Clerk to former Associate Justice Barry A. Cozier in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. She also served as Principal Law Clerk to Justice Cozier in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Justice Kennedy commenced her legal career at the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she worked in both the Bronx Family Court and Bronx Tort Divisions and was promoted to Deputy Assistant Chief while assigned to the Tort Division.
Justice Kennedy is the Immediate Past President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ). She has also served as President-Elect, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, Vice President of Publications, Vice President of Districts, Secretary and New Judges’ Committee Chair of NAWJ. In August 2017, she was appointed Chair of the New York City Bar Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, and as an Advisory Board Member of Penn State Law. She previously served as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law for ten years.
She received her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1992 and was elected to Cardozo’s Board of Overseers in June 2017. Justice Kennedy previously served for fifteen years as a member of Cardozo’s Alumni Executive Committee, where she served as Corresponding Secretary and Activities Committee Chair.
As a demonstration of her commitment to increasing the pipeline of minority students to the legal profession, Justice Kennedy 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 youth motivational speaker. Her greatest pride and joy was the speakers’ bureau she founded and ran from 2011 to 2014 targeting at-risk youth where she invited guests to discuss their past mistakes and difficult life stories, as well as to provide advice to the youngsters on how to avoid the same pitfalls the guests previously encountered in their young lives.
Justice Kennedy further promotes the advancement and empowerment of women through her membership in the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Omega Chapter. In addition, Justice Kennedy is a life member and board member of the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch, a board member of the Helene Fuld College of Nursing in Harlem, New York, and a member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Her numerous honors include 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; the 2014 NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch Outstanding Community Service Award; the 2013 Brooklyn Technical High School Alumni Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient; and the 2012 Pat Irvin Personal Service Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys.
She is a Bronx native and a proud Harlem resident who enjoys the arts, reading, travel and fashion.