Jill Paperno

Kelly Kmcbride October 18, 2022

Jill Paperno is the Chief Strategy Officer, overseeing the implementation of Empire Justice Center’s 360-degree approach, developing proactive strategies and communicating them externally.  Before joining Empire Justice she spent 35 years as a Public Defender, most recently as First Assistant Public Defender.  She has represented clients in all stages and types of criminal cases, and handled numerous felony trials.  Jill has presented Continuing Legal Education programs for over 25 years, and currently teaches a class on jury selection at Syracuse Law School.  She has participated in mentoring programs for attorneys in Schuyler and Onondaga counties.  Her book, Representing the Accused – A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense, was published in 2012.

She has been awarded the GRAWA Hanna Cohn Award in 2022, the Monroe County Bar Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2018, the New York State Defenders Association Wilfred R. O’Connor Award in 2017, the GRAWA President’s Award in 2017, the Daily Record Nathaniel Award in 2011, The Daily Record Leaders in Law Award in 2011 and the Monroe County Public Defender’s Jeffrey A. Jacobs Memorial Award in 2010.  She has served as President of the Monroe County Bar Association and Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, and is a Board member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Ms. Paperno received her J.D. at the University of Buffalo School of Law and her B.S.W. at SUNY Albany School of Social Welfare.