Michael S. Cohen is an Associate in the firm’s Government, Litigation, and Elections practice groups. He has experience assisting with advice and litigation relating to constitutional and statutory issues involving free speech, ballot access, voter initiatives, redistricting, campaign finance, and other civil rights matters.
As a Law Clerk at RPLG, Mr. Cohen provided legal support for the municipal redistricting process. Prior to joining RPLG, Mr. Cohen pursued voting rights work as a Legal Fellow at the UCLA Voting Rights Project. He helped litigate on behalf of voting rights plaintiffs and collaborate with state and federal government officials to facilitate compliance with election laws and expand access to the voting franchise. He also served as a judicial extern in the chambers of Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert at the California Court of Appeals. Throughout law school, Mr. Cohen pursued work advancing accessibility to social services and public benefits, including leading a legal aid clinic through Public Counsel. His legislative work has supported voting rights and wildfire policy at the state and federal level.
Mr. Cohen was an Associate Editor on the UCLA Law Review and a Chief Production Editor on the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. He was Class President on the Student Bar Association and led the Voting Rights & Political Law Society and the UCLA student chapter of the American Constitution Society. He graduated with Moot Court Honors and a Masin Family Academic Silver Award in Land Use and Urban Planning.
- Michael S. Cohen, Adult Court for 14-and 15-Year Olds?: A Conceptual Roadmap to the SB 1391 Litigation, UCLA L. REV. DISC. (Jan. 25, 2020).
- Matt Barreto, Michael S. Cohen, Chad W. Dunn & Sonni Waknin, Protecting Democracy: Implementing Equal and Safe Access to the Ballot Box During A Global Pandemic, UCLA LATINO POL’Y & POL. INITIATIVE (Mar. 23, 2020).
- Sonni Waknin, Michael S. Cohen, Chad W. Dunn & Matt Barreto, Vote-By-Mail Can Save Our Democracy, But Reforms are Needed, NW. UNIV. L. REV. OF NOTE (Apr. 30, 2020).
- Chad W. Dunn, Matt A. Barreto, Michael Cohen, Mindy Acevedo & Sonni Waknin, Legal Theories to Compel Vote-by-Mail in Federal Court, CAL. L. REV. CIRCUIT (May 13, 2020).
- Ryan McGinley-Stempel & Michael S. Cohen, COVID-19, the Census Delay, and Local Redistricting, PUBLICCEO (June 25, 2020).
- Mindy Acevedo, Michael Cohen & Sonni Waknin, Can President Trump Withhold Funds When States Expand Mail Voting?, NW. UNIV. L. REV. OF NOTE (Aug. 5, 2020).
- Mindy Acevedo, Matt Barreto, Michael S. Cohen, Chad W. Dunn & Sonni Waknin, Ensuring Equal Access to the Mail-in Ballot Box, UCLA L. REV. DISCOURSE (Aug. 31, 2020).
- Matt Barreto, Michael S. Cohen & Sonni Waknin, California Election Law and Policy: Emergency Measures and Future Reforms, in CALIFORNIA POLICY OPTIONS 2021 (2021).
- Leeza Arbatman, Michael S. Cohen & Shawna Strecker, New California Bills Provide Pathway for Local Wildfire Risk Reduction in Southern California, LEGAL PLANET (Apr. 15, 2021).
- Matt Barreto, Michael S. Cohen, Loren Collingwood, Chad W. Dunn & Sonni Waknin, A Novel Method for Showing Racially Polarized Voting: Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding, NYU REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE (forthcoming 2022).
- Leeza Arbatman, Michael S. Cohen, Julia Stein & Shawna Strecker, Strategies for Optimizing Regional Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation in Southern California, in CALIFORNIA POLICY OPTIONS 2022 (forthcoming 2022).
- Renne Public Law Group Summer Fellowship, 2021 – Guest Lecturer: “California Redistricting”
- Orcutt Academy High School, 2021 – Guest Lecturer: “Helping Others Vote”
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, California State University – Guest Lecturer: “Voting Rights Today”
- UCLA School of Law, J.D.
- University College London, M.A., Distinction
- University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A., magna cum laude