Before her appointment to the bench, Associate Justice Cynthia J. Cohen was a principal of the Boston law firm of Meehan, Boyle & Cohen, P.C. (now known as Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow), where her civil litigation practice emphasized tort, insurance and appellate matters. She served a four-year term on the Board of Bar Overseers, which she chaired in 1998, and was active in the Massachusetts Bar Association, where she served as Secretary, Vice President and Treasurer. Justice Cohen is a fellow and former Trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and an honorary fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. She has taught Appellate Practice as an adjunct faculty member of Suffolk University Law School.
Justice Cohen received her undergraduate degree with honors from Brown University in 1969, a master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1972, and her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1975. Upon her graduation from law school, she joined the Boston law firm of Parker, Coulter, Daley & White, where she was employed, first as an associate and later as a partner, until co-founding Meehan, Boyle & Cohen, P.C. in 1985.
She was appointed to the Appeals Court by Governor Paul Cellucci, and was sworn in on March 8, 2001. She currently serves as Chair of the Supreme Judicial Court Committee to Study the Code of Judicial Conduct, and as a member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission. She retired from the Appeals Court on January 1, 2017.