Rolando T. Acosta

Judge, New York State Supreme Court

  • Columbia College, B.A., 1979
  • Columbia, J.D., 1982

Rolando T. Acosta was elected the New York State Supreme Court in New York County in 2002 and appointed to the Court’s Appellate Division, First Department in 2008. Justice Acosta is a 1979 graduate of Columbia College and a 1982 graduate of Columbia University School of Law.   He received the University’s Medal for Excellence at Commencement in 2000 and the Law School’s 2013 Wein Prize for Social Responsibility.

Prior to being elected to the Bench, Justice Acosta held various posts with the Legal Aid Society, including attorney-in-charge of their largest civil trial office and director of government, where he was responsible for developing the Society’s legislative agenda.  Acosta also served in Mayor David Dinkins’ administration as the Human Rights Commission’s Deputy Commissioner for Law Enforcement and, in 1993, was appointed by Mayor Dinkins as a Commissioner of Human Rights.
Since his College days, Justice Acosta has been active in the development of the Washington Heights/Inwood social service infrastructure.  He co-founded the Latino Commission on AIDS, served as legal adviser to the founding board of Alianza Dominicana, and as treasurer and Chair of the Policy Committee of the Hispanic Federation.  He has been a member of Community Planning Board 12 and President of Community School Board 6.  Acosta is also a founding board member of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (EZ).  He served on the EZ’s Executive Committee and chaired its Human Capital Development Committee, which he led in considering and recommending to the EZ Board all human capital and quality of life proposals.

Justice Acosta was the starting pitcher for the Lions and received every athletic prize awarded to a pitcher by the Ivy League and the Intercollegiate Baseball League during four years of varsity play.  In 1979, he was named one of the best student-athletes in the country by the NCAA, and, rather than play professional baseball, chose to attend Columbia Law School.  He was inducted to the Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. 

He continues to reside in Northern Manhattan with his family.