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Vanessa Potkin

Senior Staff Attorney

Vanessa joined the Innocence Project in 2000 as its first Staff Attorney. She litigates in state and federal courts nationwide on behalf of convicted people seeking DNA testing to prove their innocence. As an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she assists in teaching and supervising students of the legal clinic. She is also active in issues involving life after exoneration, and she helped found the Northeast Council of the Wrongfully Convicted.

Prior to joining the Project, Ms. Potkin was a Civil Rights Intern at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck, working on behalf of victims of police brutality. She has also served as a Research Assistant at the Center for Violence Research and Prevention at Columbia’s School of Public Health, and a Court Advocate for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) in the Bronx. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Ms. Potkin advocated for children in foster care in New York City. She has also contributed to a pilot program on job and life skills for youth at the Office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters in Los Angeles.

Ms. Potkin graduated from Columbia Law School in 2000 where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, as well as a Lowenstein Fellow. For her work on Godschalk v. Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, she was a Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist in 2002.

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Vanessa Potkin

Senior Staff Attorney

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