Samuel helped organize and found a continuing legal outreach and education program in Harlem with Rev. Sharpton’s National Action Network. For this and other efforts in underserved communities, in 2011 Samuel was awarded a U.S. Congressional Citation for outstanding citizenship, as well as similar honors from the New York State Assembly, New York City Council, and the office of the Manhattan Borough President. Samuel also was one of the first attorneys to assist the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, and has been quoted in Vanity Fair and other prestigious publications in relation to activism in New York.
In 2012, Samuel entered into partnership with Wylie Stecklow and David Thompson to form the law office Stecklow Cohen & Thompson. Together, they made headlines and precedent, garnering multiple “Decisions of Interest” featured in the New York Law Journal, and, in 2013, successfully confirming the broad scope of municipal liability for civil rights violations in a precedential decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (Askins v. Doe, 727 F.3d 248 (2d Cir. 2013)). Samuel has organized, taught and moderated numerous continuing legal education programs for attorneys relating to civil rights issues, and has been an invited lecturer at CLE programs, symposia and other events.
Samuel B. Cohen has been named as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in New York for 2014 and 2015, and was awarded the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s inaugural “Rising Leader of the Bar” Award in 2014. He co-chairs NYCLA’s Civil Rights and Liberties Committee, serves on the NYCLA Justice Center Advisory Board, and is an Alternate Delegate to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates.