BusinessBlack attorney Cohen ascends to global management at Dechert LLP

Black attorney Cohen ascends to global management at Dechert LLP

It is rare for a Black attorney to reach the level of upper management in a large law firm but Vincent H. Cohen Jr. has done that at Dechert LLP, as the global managing partner, leading his organization on a worldwide basis.

“I run the day-to-day operations of our firm,” said Cohen, who works out of the District office, one of 21 globally. “I implement the policies and vision of our firm and it is my job to see that we are profitable and able to provide the best representation and service to our clients.”

Cohen, one of the few Black attorneys managing a major law firm, is a member of the African American Managing Partner and General Counsel Networks. The organization, founded in 2010, is a network of more than 40 Black lawyers in the U.S. who currently manage or have managed a top 200 law firm or one of its offices. 

The small number of managing Black lawyers in elite law firms is compounded by low numbers of African Americans employed in that sector, with the National Association for Law Placement reporting in 2023 that only 2.4% of partners in those firms are Black.

“We are unicorns,” Cohen, a graduate of Syracuse University and its law school, said. “I am happy that the AAMPGC allows us to get together and network. It is a safe network to talk among us.”

Dechert, founded in 1875 in Philadelphia, has offices in such cities as Austin, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The firm has1,000 lawyers employed, 330 as partners. Cohen is the global managing partner in the U.S. with Sabina Comis leading the Paris office. Cohen was promoted to the position in July 2023 and sits on the influential 14-member policy committee that provides direction to the firm.

The firm practices in such fields as antitrust, private equity, real estate, tax, life sciences, international trade and regulation and privacy/cybersecurity. In addition to his management duties, Cohen also practices law as the firm’s regional chair of the U.S. white collar practice and focuses on litigation on behalf of individuals and corporations. A seasoned trial lawyer and investigator, Cohen represents clients in sensitive government and internal investigations, government enforcement matters and complex civil and criminal litigation domestically and internationally.

“It is very challenging to do but I have a good group of people here in the Washington office that are supportive of lawyers,” he said. “My management and practice schedule are never 50/50 and at times it fluctuates.”

Cohen is a former acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, serving in that capacity from April 1, 2015, to October 19, 2015, after a five-year stint as the principal assistant U.S. attorney under U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. As the principal assistant U.S. attorney, Cohen said he managed the daily affairs of the District’s office, which has the largest staff in the country.

“It’s like a lot of Cabinet agencies,” Cohen, 53, said. “The Secretary is the face of the agency, but it is the deputy that actually manages things.”

Cohen said even though the number of Black people managing major law firms is low, opportunities exist. He said anyone who wants to assume a position like what he has must be prepared. Cohen said he remembers the advice his late father—Vincent H. Cohen Sr., the first Black partner at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) in the 1980s– gave him.

“My father told me ‘Learn what no one else can take from you,’” he said. “Get a skill set that someone will always want you for.”

Source: Washington Informer

Myeshia Mizuno Makes History as First Black Woman to Run a Primetime Game Show

Nationwide — Myeshia Mizuno has made history as the first Black woman to lead a prime-time game show, taking the reins at Family Feud....

Black Teacher Wins NYC Housing Lottery, Pays $881 a Month For 1-Bedroom Apartment

Nationwide — Nahjae Olin, a 26-year-old African American woman from the Bronx, New York, has won a spot in the NYC housing lottery and...

Miracle Baby Given 1% Chance to Live After Birth Turns One Year Old

Nationwide — Tripp Abney, an African American baby from Chickasaw, Alabama born at just 21 weeks, recently marked his first birthday. He was initially...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

Newsletter

Don't miss

Myeshia Mizuno Makes History as First Black Woman to Run a Primetime Game Show

Nationwide — Myeshia Mizuno has made history as the...

Black Teacher Wins NYC Housing Lottery, Pays $881 a Month For 1-Bedroom Apartment

Nationwide — Nahjae Olin, a 26-year-old African American woman...

Miracle Baby Given 1% Chance to Live After Birth Turns One Year Old

Nationwide — Tripp Abney, an African American baby from...