Michelle Cohen is Partner at Ifrah PLLC. She spent 20 years in big law before joining Jeff Ifrah, a former colleague and friend, at Ifrah Law, where she has practiced for 12 years. Ifrah Law is a Chambers-ranked boutique specializing in gaming, government investigations, and litigation. She chairs the Privacy and Data Protection Practice and is heavily involved in the firm’s gaming practice.

Michelle serves on the Board and Chair of the Governance Committee of Aspire! Afterschool, an Arlington, VA based nonprofit that provides after school land summer programming to underserved elementary and middle school kids in Arlington, VA.

She previously served on the Board of the National Woman’s Party, where she oversaw the legal agreements to transfer the NWP’s historic headquarters and artifacts from the suffrage movement to the National Park Service and the Library of Congress. She negotiated the agreement for the “Women Vote” Forever Stamp, celebrating 100 years of women’s right to vote.

When did you join the WBA?
A long time ago! 2005?

Why did you join the WBA?
To connect with DC area women attorneys, to gain knowledge from programming, and to participate in a supportive community where I can share my experience and mentor and also learn from others.

What committees/forums have you been involved in?
I’ve assisted on the oral history projects, interviewing certain of our trailblazing members.

What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
While it is wonderful to have work colleagues, and other professional contacts, being able to have a network of women attorneys in our local legality community is invaluable to your professional and personal growth. Whether you are a new attorney or decades in, there’s programming and initiatives and a network to support you, whether through referrals, career guidance, or continuing education.

How has being a parent enhanced your career?
I am a mother to two young adult sons. I would say it’s taught me to be efficient, and also to juggle (a lot!) and to employ patience and negotiating skills when dealing with difficult personalities.

What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
It’s important to get out of the office and build your network. This includes joining groups such as WBA, as well as community-focused groups, staying in touch with your classmates/friends from college, law school, etc. (yes, I really do have friends from first grade!) Every one of us can be a mentor/helper in some way.

What is the best advice you have received?
“Make the Ask” – you don’t get what you don’t ask for (this applies broadly and can include things like specific types of work you might want; raises; career advancement; opportunities.