Based on random sampling of NACBA’s membership, the Member Profile strives to answer the question: Who are Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys? It looks at a variety of economic and demographic characteristics, as well as, business practices and “war stories.” NACBA is and always will be your “Your Practice Partner!”
Allow us to introduce, our “Practice Partner,” Attorney Joshua Cohen of Vermont, NACBA Member since January 2012.
Joshua Cohen is a solo practitioner whose practice is based in West Dover, Vermont. A graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law, Josh spent two years as a law clerk at the Consumer Law Group, a private law firm dedicated to consumer issues. There Josh worked on FDCPA and FCRA issues. During law school, Josh interned at Connecticut Legal Services working on the Consumer Law Project for Elders. In November 2008, Josh went solo, starting his own consumer law firm, which included working on student loan issues. Within a year, Josh had a unique focus on student loan law and within 18 months nearly 90% of his cases involved student loans. Josh has given numerous trainings on student loan law, including CLE and webinar courses for NACBA, NACA, NCLC, and bar associations in Connecticut and Oklahoma as well as legal aid in New Jersey and Vermont. Demand for student loan law is so high that Josh now runs a Workshop to teach consumer attorneys how to help clients with student loan issues. Josh has filed numerous cases, both individual and class actions, against the student loan industry, including companies like Sallie Mae, Citibank, General Revenue Corporation, Van Ru, Enterprise Recovery Systems, Immediate Credit Recovery and GC Services. Josh holds a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Connecticut and Vermont State Bars, as well as, the Federal Districts of Connecticut and Vermont.
Most challenging case:
My most challenging case was early on in my legal career, having been retained just 3 months after being admitted to the bar. It was a student loan issue. My client was denied a forbearance when she should not have been which led to her loan defaulting and a huge domino effect. It took three years, but resolution was finally reached. It was a claim based on State law. The challenge was dealing with the preemption argument brought by the Defendant – did the Higher Education Act preempt my client’s State law claim. In the end, no it did not. That one decision has paved the way for me and other attorneys working on student loan issues.
Best advice you received from the national listserv:
No such thing. It’s all so helpful, and sometimes daunting to see the amount of information that can be gained on any particular subject.
The NACBA benefit you couldn’t live without:
The listserv. A constant resource for anything and everything that could be needed regarding bankruptcy.
How many years have you been practicing?
I’ve been in practice for six (6) years.
Who is your mentor – who do you look up to professionally?
A variety of folks. I find different mentors for different things. Some know 7’s well, others know 13’s better. Some have great marketing ideas.
What is your favorite part of being a consumer bankruptcy attorney?
Funny question for me. I am just starting to do bankruptcy work, mostly to bring student loan discharge cases. Someone has to do it, why not me?
Name an area of the law that you’d like to learn more about:
Bankruptcy in general. I think it is near impossible to know it all. But the listserve makes it unnecessary as there is always a few experts in different areas that can help.