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Albany County DA’s Office Law Associate Wins Albany Law School Award

Albany County District Attorney David Soares



Press Release

June 30, 2020



  Albany County DA’s Office Law Associate


Wins Albany Law School Award

ALBANY, NY – District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that Kayla Potter was the recipient of Albany Law School’s “Jay H. Milstein Award” for her participation in the field placement program of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.

This honor is awarded from a fund established by family and friends in memory of Jay H. Milstein, Class of 1949, to the student who demonstrates leadership, professionalism, ethical judgment, strong problem-solving skills, and advocacy, through participation in Albany Law School's Field Placement Clinic.

Kayla started as a field placement intern in the Fall of 2018. She assisted in trial preparation for the Street Crimes Bureau which culminated in “second seating” jury selection in a serious felony drug trial. Kayla continued with the Field Placement Program in the Spring of 2019 in the Colonie Justice Court. Kayla’s clinic experience concluded with a semester of the Pro Bono Scholars program during the 2020 pandemic. Kayla assisted with diversion initiatives aimed at giving largely overrepresented populations in the criminal justice system alternatives to criminal convictions. She also assisted the program through mentorship and case management. Her work focused on improving access for mentally ill, addicted, and impoverished offenders and improving systems for positive change in the trajectory of their lives through Drug Court, Felony Youth Diversion, and Clemency Applications. She also assisted with the LEAD Program, an initiative to refrain from charging low level crimes or ultimately dismissing low level crimes through a harm reduction philosophy of diversion, aimed at accepting a person where they are and connecting them with services ending in the improvement of their overall well- being and reverse trajectory out of the criminal justice system.

Throughout all these pursuits, Kayla showed professionalism in the complex weighing of equities in all cases and proposing and advising courses of action that ultimately would benefit all parties involved. Her advocacy and leadership ability to “do the right thing” in all cases showed a wisdom and compassion beyond her years. Kayla graduated from Albany Law School this Spring, was admitted to the New York State Bar this month and will be appointed as an Assistant District Attorney as soon as County Clerk operations allow.

In addition to Ms. Potter, this award was bestowed on then-law student Michael Wetmore in 2014. Mr. Wetmore now works as an Assistant District Attorney in the DA’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit.

Information about internship and employment opportunities at the Albany County DA’s Office can be found here on our website.

For more information please contact Cecilia Walsh at (518) 275-4710 or [email protected]