She’s a rising political star by day and a law student by night.
And now, according to The National Jurist, Kayla Santosuosso 3L is one of the country’s most impressive law students. In its spring 2020 issue, the magazine named Santosuosso one of six finalists for its annual “Law Students of the Year” honor.
Before attending NYLS, Santosuosso—who has a B.A. from New York University in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies—was Deputy Director of a social service agency for Arab immigrants, the Arab American Association of New York. There, she built the Association’s first-ever immigration legal department, an experience that drove home the value of a law degree in pursuing social justice. Santosuosso also co-founded a nonprofit to empower underrepresented voters in Brooklyn. She’s been quoted extensively in local and national press and has presented at numerous political and public policy events.
It was at one such event in November 2016—“The Presidential Election and the Muslim Community”—that she first visited NYLS to serve as a panelist on behalf of the Arab American Association of New York. The visit started a conversation that led to her 2017 enrollment.
Currently, Santosuosso is Deputy Chief of Staff to New York City Council Member Justin Brannan in Brooklyn, where she lives. In that role, she researches and proposes new legislation, oversees communications projects, and fields numerous requests from Brooklyn constituents. She balances her job with evening courses at NYLS.
Santosuosso is affiliated with NYLS’s Center for New York City Law and recently took Dean Anthony W. Crowell’s State and Local Government Law course to deepen her understanding of her chosen field.
She’s also a member of the Trial Competition Team, a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council, and a recent intern with the New York City Law Department.
Midway through her 3L year, Santosuosso shows no signs of slowing down. Earlier this year, she was selected as a National Delegate Candidate for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.