168th Commencement: Watch Live
The Hon. Christina Ryba '01 is blazing a trail as the first justice of color in the Third Department of the New York State Supreme Court.
Judge Ryba, a member of the Albany Law School Board of Trustees, was sworn in on Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Albany County Courthouse. During the ceremony, City Court Judge Rachel Kretser said Judge Ryba’s historic election to the 3rd Judicial District sends “a message to those in our community who have long felt marginalized,” according to the Albany Times Union.
Historic day. For the first time EVER in the Third Dept., a judge of color is on the Sup Crt bench: Christina Ryba. pic.twitter.com/yhY270aWpt— NYCourts (@NYSCourtsNews) January 1, 2016
Historic day. For the first time EVER in the Third Dept., a judge of color is on the Sup Crt bench: Christina Ryba. pic.twitter.com/yhY270aWpt
Judge Ryba will serve the district comprised of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties, which is part of the 28-county Third Department.
"Now that I've been sworn in, what next?" she said, according to the Times Union. "Well, the oath of office I just took I take seriously. I am honored that the people of New York state elected me and am humbled by the responsibilities they have entrusted in me. Now it is my job to be the best judge possible."
Judge Ryba, an attorney with the NYS Appellate Division, Third Department, was previously the special projects counsel for Presiding Justice Karen K. Peters of the Third Department. She was an associate with Nixon Peabody in the Labor & Employment practice group and also worked as an assistant attorney general in the Litigation Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
Judge Ryba was named to Albany Law’s Board of Trustees in 2011 and is past president of the school’s National Alumni Assocation. She was a panelist for the Diversity Day program in 2011.
Judge Ryba formally donned the robe in front of a standing-room-only crowd of family, friends and colleagues, including the Hon. Randolph Treece '76, himself a groundbreaker and vice chairman of the Albany Law School Board of Trustees.
"I know that she is prepared for this moment and I know that she will succeed," Judge Treece said, according to the Times Union. "So with the election behind her, not only will Christina become a New York State Supreme Court justice but she will be a pioneer."