Noelia Rivera-Calderón

Practice Professor of Law and the Director of the Temple Law and Public Policy Program

Noelia Rivera-Calderón (she/they) is a Practice Professor of Law and the Director of the Temple Law and Public Policy Program. Having started their career in policy as a student in this same program, Professor Rivera-Calderón now supports students in building their own skills as policy strategists. Professor Rivera-Calderón’s practice interests include the civil rights of K-12 students, school discipline and policing, and school mental health through an abolitionist lens.

Professor Rivera-Calderón started their career as a middle school social studies teacher in North Philadelphia, which sparked their interest in education policy. In law school, they served as Program Director of the School Discipline Advocacy Service, a student organization through which students serve as advocates to K-12 students in school discipline hearings in Philadelphia. They supplemented their studies through internships at the Gault Center (formerly the National Juvenile Defender Center), Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia City Council, and the National Women’s Law Center.

In 2019, while still a student interning at the National Women’s Law Center, Professor Rivera-Calderón published a report with student co-authors, “We Are Not Invisible: Latina Girls, Mental Health, and Philadelphia Schools,” which inspired policy change efforts at the national, state, and local levels. In recognition of their law school work, Professor Rivera-Calderón was recognized as a National Jurist Law School Student of the Year Finalist and a Temple University Alumni Association 30 Under 30. Following law school, Professor Rivera-Calderón continued at the National Women’s Law Center through a Pride Law Fund fellowship, through which they focused on the educational experiences of LGBTQ+ students of color. Through this fellowship, they published an LGBTQ+ advocacy curriculum, “Brick by Brick,” which has been a resource to students nationwide.

Following a clerkship in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Professor Rivera-Calderón joined civil rights organization Advancement Project in 2021 as the Right to Education Fellow and Staff Attorney. Through this role, Professor Rivera-Calderón focused on supporting youth organizing groups in developing a vision for the liberatory education students need today. Professor Rivera-Calderón developed a timeline, “From Control Toward Liberation: The Fight for Education Rights,” which has contributed to the organizing work of youth leaders nationwide. Professor Rivera-Calderón also contributed to the National Campaign for Police Free Schools’ work on abolitionist mental health in schools. During this time, they also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Temple. Professor Rivera-Calderón maintains an active volunteer and pro bono practice.