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Samuel Rivera, J.D.

Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology

Interest and areas of expertise

Criminal Law & Procedure, Trial Advocacy, Pennsylvania & Federal Court Systems, Constitutional Law & the Rights of the Accused, Fourth Amendment: Evidence, Search & Seizure, Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System, Juvenile Justice, Children’s Rights in our Education and Criminal Justice Systems, Racial & Social Inequality


The Dickinson School of Law,
J.D., 1995

Sacred Heart University,
B.A., Political Science, Sociology Minor, 1991

Licensed Attorney in PA & CT

Classes I teach

Social Inequality


Samuel Rivera is a legal professional who has dedicated over two decades to the practice of law, making a profound impact on the lives of many families. He began his legal career as a state and federal criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, where he developed a passion for providing exemplary legal representation to his clients.

In his pursuit of social justice, Samuel Rivera transitioned to civil rights, becoming the Senior Staff Attorney of the Racial Justice Project with the Center for Children's Advocacy, a non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Connecticut School of Law. In this role, he led a team of attorneys who represented disadvantaged youth and advocated for policy changes to address racial inequities in educational services, school discipline, and the criminal justice system.

Samuel Rivera's commitment to justice and equality continued to flourish as he took on the role of Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the state agency charged with enforcing state laws that prohibit discrimination across the Commonwealth. In this position, Samuel Rivera oversaw a team of attorneys and the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws, helping to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender.

Samuel Rivera is a dedicated legal advocate with a passion for justice and equality. His commitment is to use his expertise and experience to inspire students and professionals alike.

He is currently employed at UCP Central PA, an organization dedicated to helping people of diverse abilities live independent and meaningful lives.

Mr. Rivera is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the proud father of a Messiah graduate, Sam Rivera, Jr., Class of '21. He lives in Dauphin County with his wife of over 30 years, three children, and their toy poodle.