Justice Ariel E. Belen graduated from Brooklyn College in 1978 and earned his J.D. with a specialization in International Legal Affairs from Cornell Law School in 1981. Prior to joining the bench, he practiced criminal law and held the position of Supervising Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of New York. He was also employed at the City of New York Law Department, where he rose to become Chief of the Bronx Borough Office.
Belen became a Justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on January 3, 1995. He later served as a Justice of the Commercial Division of the State Supreme Court from 2002 until 2005 and as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts from 2005 until 2008. In 2007, Justice Belen was appointed as Administrative Judge of the Supreme Court, Civil Term in Kings County. He held this position until January 2008, when he was designated as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. In 2012, Justice Belen announced his retirement from the bench in order to accept a position in alternative dispute resolution at JAMS.
Additionally, he served as an instructor for the New York State Judicial Institute, as Vice Chair for the Administrative Board of Cornell University Council and as Vice Chair of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Committee on Minorities. Belen was a co-author of the New York Trial Notebook, published in 2005
Caher, John. "Justice Ariel Belen, Citing 'Too Little, Too Late' Pay Raise, Is Leaving the Bench." New York Law Journal 15 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2012.
"Hon. Ariel E. Belen Appointed Administrative Judge of Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term." New York State Unified Court System, 23 Feb. 2007. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.
"Justices of the Court: Hon. Ariel E. Belen." Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. New York State Unified Court System. Web. 15 Aug. 2012. http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/justice_belen.shtml