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Attorney Richard Rifkin has been named to the position of Legal Director at the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. Rifkin, who most recently served as Special Counsel and Consultant to the New York State Bar Association, brings decades of experience in government to the position.
“Richard Rifkin is enormously talented, and he has devoted his career to working for the public good. He has held a variety of high-ranking positions in New York State government, including serving as Special Counsel to a former governor and heading up a major division in the Attorney General’s Office defending lawsuits in almost every area of state government. His considerable expertise in ethics law, public policy, and government will be a tremendous asset to our institution and our students,” said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette.
“I’m thrilled that Richard will be joining us as Legal Director of the Government Law Center,” said Ava Ayers, Director of the Government Law Center. “He’s long been one of the people who I, and many other people, rely on for his expertise and his excellent judgment, and he will add immeasurably to the Center’s ability to serve our mission and our students.”
As Legal Director, Rifkin will assist the Center in a number of key focus areas, including rural law, aging law, the Warren M. Anderson Legislative Series, and the Government Law Center Fellowship Program.
Rifkin has worked in New York State Government for 40 years. In addition to serving as Special Counsel to former governor Eliot Spitzer, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the State Counsel Division of the Attorney General’s office from 1999–2006. He also worked in the Attorney General’s office from 1979–1994, serving as counsel to the Attorney General and First Assistant Attorney General, among other positions. From 1994–1998, Rifkin was the Executive Director of the New York State Ethics Commission.
Rifkin received a B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College and an LL.B. from Yale Law School. Since 1984, Rifkin has served as a member of the Chief Administrative Judge’s Advisory Committee on Civil Practice, which recommends changes in civil procedure in New York State courts. He was an adjunct professor at Albany Law School teaching government ethics from 2002–2006.
The Government Law Center at Albany Law School helps state and local governments better serve their communities while training the next generation of leaders in public service. We are a diverse and inclusive group of practitioners, students, and scholars working together to produce high-quality, reliable, nonpartisan legal research and analysis.