Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 39

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Michelle Cohen: Serving
Outside Her Comfort Zone
By Jeff Ifrah
C
ompanies today must be
hypervigilant in how they
collect, use, and share
personal data; protect their
data systems against security
breaches; and be transparent about
their policies in these areas, lest
they lose credibility, customers, or
both.
Because there is no federal regulation that universally
addresses data privacy, organizations
turn to attorneys like Michelle Cohen, a leading
data privacy and cybersecurity expert, for help
navigating potential pitfalls.
Cohen draws on her experience defending
individual lawsuits and class actions in the
consumer protection context, including dozens
of Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases,
to help clients avoid civil litigation. It's fair to
say she may be an expert in her field but
somewhat unfamiliar with other areas, such
as family law and immigration. This hasn't
stopped her, though, from contributing
more than 100 hours in 2020 alone doing volunteer
work on non-privacy issues, earning her
a spot on the D.C. Courts' Capital Pro Bono
Honor Roll.
Cohen's pro bono work serves as a shining
example of how attorneys can step outside
their comfort zones to serve the community.
Cohen says that attorneys should remember
they have more tools in their legal toolbelt
than what they practice on a day-to-day basis.
One of them is the training all attorneys
received to be diligent, careful, thoughtful, and
creative in problem solving. Another is simply
the legal basics learned in law school and
applied to every project, contract, negotiation,
and transaction that attorneys handle.
At Ifrah Law, where she's been a member since
2012, Cohen creates digital policies and practices
for clients' online terms and conditions,
sweepstakes and contests, social media, and
customer communications. She also handles
state-level data regulations, including breach
notifications; assists clients with the European
Union's General Data Protection Regulation
compliance; and advises clients facing enforcement
proceedings by the Federal Trade
Commission, the Federal Communications
Commission, or state agencies.
Outside of her busy legal practice, Cohen volunteers
at organizations such as the National
Woman's Party [NWP] and Aspire!, an afterschool
program for underserved students
in Arlington, Virginia. " I recently worked pro
bono for the National Woman's Party to help
transfer its assets to the American people, and
for Aspire! . . . [which] needed special licenses
to assist children during the COVID-19
pandemic, " Cohen says.
Cohen served for five years as secretary and
vice president for legal at NWP, which was
formed in 1913 under a different name by suffragist
leaders Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. In
2020, to honor the centennial of women's
suffrage granted by the 19th Amendment,
NWP donated its collection of artifacts to the
public through agreements Cohen negotiated
with the National Park Service and the Library
of Congress. Among the artifacts were historical
documents, bonnets, sashes, Susan B.
Anthony's desk, and even a set of jailhouse keys
from when the suffragists were incarcerated.
" While guiding NWP through the entire
process, I often found myself faced with questions
outside of my usual practice, such as can
this portrait that was on loan to NWP be
donated, and [since] the owner has died, where
do we get permission? " Cohen says. " Also,
when working with federal government
agencies, there are many layers of approvals,
creating complex conversations that reached
high levels of leadership. These discussions
were regarding more than a hundred artifacts
and documents that were generally a century
old, which brought its own set of unique
issues. "
At the same time, Cohen represented NWP
in negotiations with the U.S. Postal Service
for a " forever " stamp in honor of the 19th
Amendment using NWP imagery and colors.
Separately, Cohen was also working pro bono
on the board of Aspire!, whose program is
focused on helping third, fourth, and fifth
graders with reading. When the pandemic hit,
" it became clear the students in the program
needed more, and Aspire! had to quickly pivot
to address the digital divide of online school by
offering full-day programs that also included
math. This required obtaining special licenses
from the state, a process on which I advised, "
she says.
continued on page 40
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021
* WASHINGTON LAWYER 39
Ifrah Law

Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Letter to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Taking the Stand
ABA Delegate’s Corner
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 4
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Letter to Members
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 18
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 26
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - ABA Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 52
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 55
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover4
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