Touro Law Center Appoints Hon. Mark D. Cohen (ret.) as Distinguished Jurist in Residence

April 22, 2021

Touro Law Center Dean Elena Langan has announced the appointment of Hon. Mark D. Cohen (Ret.) as the Law Center’s Distinguished Jurist in Residence. Judge Cohen is only the second such appointment in this role at the law center, a position previously held by the Hon. Leonard Wexler.

“Judge Cohen’s appointment is in recognition of his almost three-decade long commitment to the Law Center,” stated Dean Elena Langan. “He is a highly-regarded teacher and is dedicated to our students and our efforts to collaborate with members of the bench and the bar.”

As Touro Law’s Distinguished Jurist in Residence, Judge Cohen will continue his role in the classroom teaching in, among other areas, criminal procedure, trial practice, ethics, and evidence. He will be a major presence at the Law Center to mentor law students as they train for and begin their legal careers, while enhancing the law center’s robust collaborative court programs.

Touro Law Center has distinguished itself as the only law school in the country with a fully integrated collaborative court curriculum. The program includes a court observation program for all first-year students in both of the state courthouses, the one adjacent to the Law Center and the court complex in Riverhead, NY. Upper level law students have an option to further their experiential education through a partnership with the courts that integrates the law school classroom with the state courtrooms, rotating students throughout the diverse courts and correlating those rotations with academic and practical educational components. This program, in which Judge Cohen has played a significant role, in terms of both its creation and implementation, bridges the gap between doctrinal law classes, skills development classes and actual practice classes such as clinics and externships. Judge Cohen will continue his efforts to ensure that the program continues and is enhanced with new opportunities as they arise.

Judge Cohen stated, “I am humbled and honored to accept this appointment which will allow me to continue my long association with Touro Law Center and the extraordinary work of its students and faculty.”  He continued, “I have always believed that Touro Law has the best program for teaching law students and is number one in the nation for training students to be outstanding lawyers in real life settings.”

Judge Cohen has been a judge of the New York State Court of Claims, and an Acting Supreme Court Justice for the last fourteen years until his retirement at the end of 2020. Until then, he was the supervising judge of the felony courts for the 10th judicial district (Suffolk). During his judicial career, he presided over thousands of criminal, matrimonial and civil matters. Judge Cohen has been long recognized as a leading scholar in criminal justice matters and, as a result, he lectures extensively for New York State’s Judicial Institute, for Continuing Education Programs throughout the state and for numerous bar and professional organizations.

During his extraordinary 45-year career in public service, Judge Cohen also served as deputy director, acting director and chief counsel for the New York State Office of Homeland Security. He served in that capacity for almost five years during its initial formation following the September 11th attacks. He also was a prosecutor for more than 25 years and chief assistant district attorney for two elected district attorneys for the Suffolk County, New York District Attorneys Office.

Judge Cohen has been an adjunct law professor at the Touro Law Center since 1993. In 2004, Touro named him Distinguished Public Interest Attorney in Residence. In 2009, the law school honored him as its Adjunct Professor of the Year. In 2013, he received Touro’s Annual Award “In Recognition of Devoted Service to the Ideals and Purpose of Legal Education,” which in the past, had been reserved only for full-time faculty. During that same year, Touro Law’s Moot Court Honors Board presented him with the Annual Hon. George C. Pratt Award in Appellate Advocacy in recognition of his work with the law school’s competitive moot court teams. In 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019, Judge Cohen was voted Touro’s Best Adjunct Professor by the law school’s Student Bar Association.

 In 2016, New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore named Judge Cohen as a member of the State Judicial Advisory Committee on Evidence and in 2018, she designated him as a member of the State’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board. Also, in 2018, the Suffolk Criminal Bar Association honored Judge Cohen as “Judge of the Year.” In 2019, he was named a member of the court system’s statewide New Criminal Legislation Implementation Committee.



Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning experience for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law is dedicated to providing hands-on learning that enables students to gain experience while offering much-needed legal services in the community.


Touro Law, which has an alumni base of more than 6,500, offers full- and part-time JD programs where students can earn a degree in 2, 3 or 4 years and provides four areas of concentration Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime JD Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

The Touro College and University System

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For more information, visit

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