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Attorney Profiles > Debra S. Cohen


Debra S. Cohen resolves civil-rights, open-government, and land-use issues by effectively utilizing litigation, negotiation, media and community-organizing strategies. A graduate of Vassar College and Pace University Law School, where she has been an Adjunct Professor of Civil Rights Law since 2005, Ms. Cohen has served as special counsel to several municipalities and local officials in Westchester County, offering guidance on a myriad of ethical and legal issues.

Following her graduation cum laude from Pace University Law School in 1998, Ms. Cohen co-founded the law school's Social Justice Center, where she was the first staff attorney and then Associate Director. She has served as counsel on a number of civil-rights cases--including representing the family of Charles Campbell, who was shot and killed in 1996 by an off-duty New York City police officer in a dispute over a parking space. The police officer was sentenced to twenty years to life in prison, and a federal jury awarded the family $4.5 million in damages in the civil suit.

Ms. Cohen has represented a wide variety of clients alleging civil-rights violations by police, schools, government officials, and employers, and has assisted both individuals and organizations seeking assistance with open-government and land-use concerns. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Cohen has represented a developer in Yonkers, New York, who obtained approval to build a community-oriented, "smart" development that includes a twenty-five-story residential building, a hydroponic garden, and the preservation and incorporation of historic structures within the project.

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