Meet MoFo’s Investigations + White-Collar Defense Lawyers: Carrie H. Cohen

Carrie H. Cohen is a litigation partner in MoFo’s New York office. Her practice focuses on advising and representing corporations, boards, and c-suite executives in sensitive government‑facing investigative and regulatory matters. Carrie has been frequently recognized for her extensive trial experience and success in high-stakes, white-collar defense and securities matters.

Before joining the firm, Carrie served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and tried public corruption, investment fraud, and securities cases. More recently, she was appointed by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York as Counsel to the Court’s Grievance Committee.  Prior to serving as a federal prosecutor, Carrie was an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office where she was Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for outstanding service.

As part of her active practice, Carrie is co-chair of the firm’s Workplace Misconduct Investigations Task Force and serves on multiple bar committees and task forces dedicated to criminal justice reform, including as Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s (“NYSBA”) Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes, serving on the NYSBA’s Racial Injustice and Police Reform Task Force and its Task Force on Wrongful Convictions.  Carrie also is a Board Member of Volunteers of Legal Service and the Federal Bar Council as well as serving on the Federal-State Judicial Advisory Council.  In addition, Carrie is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she teaches a seminar on Public Corruption and the Law.

Carrie is an active proponent for the advancement of women in the legal profession, both inside and outside of the firm. As co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Strategy Committee, she works with firm leaders to ensure the advancement of women remains a strategic priority. Carrie also spearheads a professional development program for women attorneys in Latin America and South Africa as a member of the New York City Bar’s Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice.

What was it that initially drew you to this area of law?   

Investigations and white-collar criminal defense allows me to put my legal and analytical skills to the best possible use helping corporations and individuals navigate extremely high-stakes and complex government inquiries. Being able to apply my former experience in the government to helping my clients is extremely rewarding and satisfying.

Do you have any examples of interesting work you’ve performed in this space? 

As Special Counsel to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, I reviewed overtime policies and procedures in order to help the MTA and the Board reduce overtime and institute reform of related policies and procedures. In addition, my work on behalf of the New York City Council investigating allegations of misconduct by sitting Council Members and representing the Council at related disciplinary proceedings has been extremely interesting, especially as my work has helped inform the public of certain misconduct of its elected officials.

Is there any evidence that you’ve seen indicating that diversity and inclusion is becoming more of a priority in your practice group, or do you have suggestions on how it can do so in the future? 

General Counsels and heads of investigation and litigation groups within corporate in-house legal departments are laser focused on diversity. It no longer is sufficient to pitch with a diverse team or have a diverse team work on a matter. In-house counsel are demanding that diverse attorneys perform meaningful work on their matters, which I believe will greatly help move the needle forward.

Could you tell us about someone who was a role model to you, either personally or professionally, and why? 

Judith P. Vladeck was one of my role models. She was a pioneering women attorney who dedicated her legal career to fighting for the rights of workers and especially for women in the workplace. I was fortunate to have worked with her as a young associate and she taught me how to be tough but fair, compassionate but practical, and how to exercise my best judgment and trust my instinct.

Learn more about MoFo’s commitment to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse attorneys here.