Susan is a nationally recognized immigration lawyer. As Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, she works with corporate clients to address their immigration challenges. Susan is very active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and has contributed to federal and state immigration regulations. She is frequently quoted in the media. She is also an editor of Mintz’s Immigration Law blog and has been recognized as a “Top Author” by JD Supra. Susan helped to lead a Mintz team that worked with the ACLU of Massachusetts and others to obtain a temporary restraining order on the 2017 Travel Ban. Through her pro bono work, she has helped many immigrants obtain asylum.
Recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most highly regarded immigration lawyers in the legal profession and the recipient of dozens of awards by prominent organizations, Susan Cohen brings more than 30 years of experience and a deep well of knowledge to her practice.
With her team of 35 attorneys, specialists, and assistants in the Mintz immigration department she founded and chairs, Susan collaborates with corporate and individual clients to address the array of immigration challenges they encounter every day. She helps companies navigate around immigration obstacles, enabling them to bring in the creative international talent they need, grow their market share by seizing opportunities, and do what they do best: run their businesses, provide good jobs, and enhance their communities.
Susan closely monitors proposed modifications to the ever-evolving regulatory framework governing immigration. This enables her to foresee changes coming, prepare for them, and then move quickly to advise and protect her clients when measures and decisions by the executive branch, Congress, or the judiciary alter the immigration landscape.
Active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Susan often plays an instrumental role in shaping federal and state regulations and other government activity. For example, in 2020 she led a Mintz team that represented hundreds of thousands of foreign students in litigation which overturned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial and dangerous COVID-related student visa policy and in 2017 she helped lead a Mintz team that worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and others to obtain a temporary restraining order on the 2017 Travel Ban. She also contributed significant input into such legislation as:
- The US Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations implementing the Immigration Act of 1990;
- Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing changes to the H-1 B visa category as a result of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998;
- DOL labor certification regulations (PERM) issued in 2004.
Susan also advised the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in drafting the legislation that resulted in the Massachusetts Global Entrepreneur in Residence program.
Taking a lead in the firm’s steadfast commitment to community service and pro bono work, Susan has helped many immigrants obtain asylum. Often this requires her to collaborate closely with asylum candidates to gather and organize voluminous evidence for their cases; reach out to government officials and others with whom she has cultivated strong working relationships; and use her strong persuasive communications skills to craft airtight cases to present to judges and other immigration decision makers.
Susan has won awards for her political asylum work from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the Rian Immigrant Center, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and Mintz.
Frequently quoted in the media, Susan also accepts many invitations to speak to a variety of audiences at public events. She regularly writes on immigration law topics and serves on the Editorial Board of Law360. She also serves as an editor of Mintz’s Immigration Law blog and has been recognized as a “Top Author” by JD Supra.
Susan chaired and co-chaired a wide range of American Bar Association (ABA) and AILA committees, including the National Planning Committee for AILA’s Annual Immigration Law Conference. She also has served on the review board for AILA periodicals and as the ABA’s liaison to the Department of Labor on immigration-related issues. A frequent panelist at immigration-related conferences, she also contributes thought leadership to immigration publications and the popular press.
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (JD)
- Brandeis University (BA)
Recognition & Awards
- Recipient of Pair's (The Political Asylum/ Immigration Representation Project) "Mentor of the Year" Award (2020)
- The National Law Review: Recognized as a “Go-To Thought Leader” for Immigration Law (2019)
- Recipient of the Irish International Immigrant Center's Solas Award (2014)
- The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel: Woman Leader in The Law (2019)
- Who’s Who Legal: Recognized as “Thought Leader” for Corporate Immigration (2019)
- The Global Business Magazine and the Professional Sector Network Global Awards: Immigration Adviser of the Year – Boston, USA (2018)
- Chambers Global Guide: Immigration: Business (2015 – 2020)
- Named to the National Law Journal’s list of Immigration Trailblazers (2018)
- International Advisory Experts Award: Immigration Lawyer of the Year in Massachusetts (2018 – 2019)
- Legal 500 Hall of Fame: Immigration (2018, 2020)
- Lawyer Monthly – Women in Law Award: Immigration Law (2017)
- JD Supra: Top Author, Readers' Choice Awards – Immigration (2017)
- Chambers USA: Nationwide – Immigration (2013 – 2020)
- Recommended as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 United States for Labor and Employment: Immigration (2013 – 2020)
- Finance Monthly Global Awards: Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year USA (2017 – 2018)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
- Best Lawyers in America: Immigration Law (2007 – 2020)
- Named to the Short List for Corporate Immigration - USA by Finance Monthly (2014)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Circle of Excellence Award (2013)
- International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2002 – 2014, 2016 – 2019)
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Immigration (2004, 2008 – 2013)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Women of Justice Award (2008)
- Co-chair, Immigration Subcommittee, ABA International Law and Practice Section
- President, Board of Directors, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project
- Frequent Guest Lecturer, MIT
- Member, Immigration Editorial Advisory Board, Law 360
- Past chair, Immigration Committee, Boston Bar Association International Section
News & Press
Department of Homeland Security Lifts Suspension of Trusted Traveler Enrollment for New York Residents
July 27, 2020 | Blog | By Susan Cohen, Colleen DiNicola
Travel Ban Restricts Entry to the U.S. of Certain Foreign Nationals in the H, L and J Visa Categories
June 23, 2020 | Alert | By John Quill, Susan Cohen, Angel Feng
June 22, 2020 | Blog | By Susan Cohen, Juan Steevens
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Trump Administration's Rescission of DACA in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California
June 18, 2020 | Alert | By Susan Cohen, Juan Steevens
President Trump Issues Proclamation Targeting Certain Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers Seeking to Study or Conduct Research in the U.S.
June 4, 2020 | Blog | By Susan Cohen
April 23, 2020 | Alert | By Susan Cohen, John Quill
April 22, 2020 | Advisory | By William Coffman, Susan Cohen, John Quill
April 21, 2020 | Blog | By Susan Cohen
March 16, 2020 | Alert | By Susan Cohen
News & Press
CNN Business Perspectives: By Blocking Visas for Foreign Workers, Trump is Further Hurting the U.S. Economy
June 26, 2020
June 24, 2020
June 23, 2020
Mintz Practice Groups and Attorneys Garner Top Rankings in 2020 Edition of The Legal 500 United States
June 12, 2020
May 26, 2020
May 22, 2020
May 11, 2020
April 10, 2020
April 6, 2020
March 27, 2020
March 20, 2020
March 5, 2020
January 29, 2020
The first-of-its-kind class action lawsuit, Pereira Brito v. Barr, was filed in June on behalf of immigrants who were jailed due to flawed detention hearings in which the detainee was required to bear the burden of proof as to not being a flight risk or a danger to the community. The latest ruling holds that the class of immigrants are entitled to bond hearings at which the government bears the burden of justifying an immigrant’s detention, and at which the immigration court must consider someone’s ability to pay when setting a bond amount.
The Mintz pro bono team representing the plaintiffs in this case includes Members Susan Finegan and Susan Cohen, Special Counsel Andrew Nathanson, and Associates Mathilda McGee-Tubb, Jennifer Mather McCarthy, and Ryan Dougherty.
November 6, 2019
October 31, 2019
September 19, 2019
Mintz Member and Founding Chair of the Immigration Practice Susan Cohen Featured on Candy O’Terry’s “The Story Behind Her Success” Podcast
September 12, 2019
August 6, 2019
June 19, 2019
In Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee Susan Finegan and Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen discuss the purpose of the lawsuit and the legal challenges facing detained immigrants in Massachusetts and beyond.
To view the full press release on this lawsuit, please click here.