Jennifer currently works for Ostroff Associates lobbying on behalf of school districts, colleges and universities, and women and minority owned businesses. She was previously the Deputy Director for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State Legislative Affairs Office. Her portfolio included Education, Health, Mental Health, Social Services, Immigrant Affairs, Law Department, Technology, and Procurement.
Jennifer helped negotiate aspects of the Mayor’s legislative and budget positions with legislators and the Governor’s Office, in addition to monitoring and tracking legislation and writing briefings and testimony. She also served as a member of the board of directors for the New York State Conference of Mayors, the New York State Association of Counties representing New York City, and was a liaison between the mayor and the other Big Five City mayors in New York State.
During her tenure at the Mayor’s Office, she assisted in the passage of several major pieces of legislation including universal pre-k, mayoral control, dog licenses, immunizations, and streamlining the public assistance conciliation process for cash assistance recipients in NYC.
Previously, she worked for the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Syracuse City School District. As the Director of State Legislative Affairs for the DOE, she advocated in the New York State Legislature on behalf of the 1.1 million New York City school children. She assisted in drafting legislation and facilitated the passage of mandatory Pre-K in New York City, Electronic Access to Individualized Education Programs, and Opt-in Requirements for Parent Members. As Deputy Director for the Office of Talent Management in the Syracuse City School District, she managed over a dozen union contracts, implemented the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan, negotiated principal and teacher APPR plans, and headed the school district’s labor relations department.
Jennifer also has rulemaking experience from her position as an Assistant Counsel at the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform, where she assisted all executive branch agencies with the rulemaking process by helping to craft rules and implement legislative mandates. These agencies included the former Banking Department and the former Insurance Department (which are now consolidated into the Department of Financial Services) and the Departments of State and Labor. She analyzed rules for compliance with the State Administrative Procedure Act. She also worked with city agencies on rulemakings to ensure compliance with certain state laws passed.
Additionally, she brings labor relations, arbitration, and dispute resolution experience gained from her tenure working at the New York State Public Employees Federation, one of the largest white collar unions in the state, and from clerking for the Connecticut Superior Court.
Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has a JD from Albany Law School and is admitted to practice in New York. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations.
Senior Attorney, New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG)
Queens native and the first lawyer in her family, Ricja Rice is currently senior attorney for Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Previously she was the Legislative Director and Counsel for New York State Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn, NY. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Africana Studies with a minor is Sociology, from Union College in Schenectady, NY. She obtained her law degree from Albany Law School, Union University and she is also a 2004 Center for Women and Public Policy Fellow, of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy.
Like many successful attorneys, Ms. Rice’s humble beginnings started at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York where she represented clients in landlord/tenant, small claims, elder law and disability matters. Her love for helping those who need it most is evident in her representation of hundreds of indigent clients in the Capital District.
Ricja Rice has served as a co-chair of the Diversity and Gender Fairness Committee for the Capital District Women’s Bar Association for the past five years and currently sits as the CDWBA corresponding secretary. In her capacity as co-chair she had orchestrated and participated in the annual diversity program held at Albany Law School on increasing diversity on the bench and bar. Ricja is also the chair of the Judicial Task Force committee assigned to the task of encouraging diversity on the bench to delegates and party affiliates.
Practicing in the courts, meeting with many advocacy groups from around New York State, and participating in community service, Ricja tirelessly works on breaking barriers based on poverty, language, race, sex, gender and disability.
 I. Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt? Patere tua consilia non sentis, constrictam iam horum omnium scientia teneri coniurationem tuam non vides? Quid proxima, quid superiore nocte egeris, ubi fueris, quos convocaveris, quid consilii ceperis, quem nostrum ignorare arbitraris?  O tempora, o mores! Senatus haec intellegit. Consul videt; hic tamen vivit. Vivit? immo vero etiam in senatum venit, fit publici consilii particeps, notat et designat oculis ad caedem unum quemque nostrum. Nos autem fortes viri satis facere rei publicae videmur, si istius furorem ac tela vitemus. Ad mortem te, Catilina, duci iussu consulis iam pridem oportebat, in te conferri pestem, quam tu in nos [omnes iam diu] machinaris.
 An vero vir amplissumus, P. Scipio, pontifex maximus, Ti. Gracchum mediocriter labefactantem statum rei publicae privatus interfecit; Catilinam orbem terrae caede atque incendiis vastare cupientem nos consules perferemus? Nam illa nimis antiqua praetereo, quod C. Servilius Ahala Sp. Maelium novis rebus studentem manu sua occidit. Fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus, ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent. Habemus senatus consultum in te, Catilina, vehemens et grave, non deest rei publicae consilium neque auctoritas huius ordinis; nos, nos, dico aperte, consules desumus.
Jorge is an Assistant Attorney General with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, where he focuses on affirmative civil litigation on behalf of the State of New York, its agencies and authorities. Before joining the New York State Attorney General, Jorge was an associate at the Albany law firm of Deily & Glastetter, LLP, where he practiced litigation in the areas of creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, retail collections and provisional remedies. Jorge started his legal career at the New York City law firm of Mahoney & Keane, LLP, where he practiced in the areas of maritime law and insurance defense.
Jorge has a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University. He is admitted to practice law in Federal and State courts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Honorable Richard Rivera, J.F.C., who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Judge Rivera received a BA dual degree in Spanish Literature and Latin American studies from Colgate University and in 1991 earned a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. On November 4, 2014, Judge Rivera became the first person of color elected to a Countywide bench in Albany County, first person of color elected to Albany County Family Court and the first Hispanic Judge elected at any level in Albany County and perhaps the entire 3rd Judicial District.
Prior to his election Judge Rivera served as an Alternate Public Defender, an Assistant County Attorney prosecuting Juvenile Delinquents and PINs, and most recently as a Child Support Magistrate in Albany County Family Court.
Margie A. Soehl is a graduate of Espiritu Santo University in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Albany Law School, she is admitted to practice in New York, Ecuador and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Western Districts of New York. Ms. Soehl is one of Albany, New York’s few bilingual English-Spanish speaking attorneys. Ms. Soehl is an appointed member of the Committee on Character and Fitness of the Appellate Division, Third Department and serves on the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Third Judicial District. She is a Board Member of the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association and of the New York Central Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Academy, the Albany County Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, the New York State Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. While practicing in Ecuador, Margie served as a member of the legal advisory team of Ecuadorian President Gustavo Noboa.
Ms. Soehl devotes the majority of her practice to representing persons who have been seriously injured as the result of medical malpractice and negligence.
Margie A. Soehl