2013 Precedent Setter Award Winner: Sara Cohen

Meet 2013 Precedent Setter Sara Cohen

Sara Cohen
Partner, Fertility Law Canada at D2Law LLP
Called to the bar in 2007

• Guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School and for the Canadian Bar Association; frequent speaker at the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society
• Winner of a 2012 Canadian Law Blog Award (Clawbie)
• Fertility law source for The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, Maclean’s, CBC’s The Current and CTV’s Canada AM

In 2010, Sara Cohen took a risk and left her commercial litigation job at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP to work in a field she’d been passionate about since law school: fertility. A new mother herself, she decided if she was going to spend time away from son Harel, it would be spent helping others become parents. She set up D2Law LLP with her husband, commercial litigator Anatoly Dvorkin (the two are expecting their second child in July).

Working in a still-murky field legislation-wise, Cohen deftly navigates its complexities for clients such as intended parents, surrogates and fertility clinics. She does pro bono work for cancer survivors facing fertility problems and is outspoken about the need for policy reforms — mainly the necessity of having third-party reproduction decriminalized and regulated. “She combines intellect with empathy and a desire to really make a difference,” says Harris Rosen, a partner at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP, and Cohen’s long-time mentor.

Cohen has quickly built a busy full-time practice and established a name for herself. Many lawyers and law students interested in fertility law have approached her for advice and guidance, and despite her packed schedule, she carves out time to be a mentor. “I really like what I do, so I’m happy to talk about it,” she reasons.

Pre-law, Cohen studied to be an Egyptologist, learning to read hieroglyphs for her undergrad degree. “It’s actually been a useful party trick,” she admits. However, “in Egyptology, you don’t have clients; they’re all dead.” Happily, her present work is all about bringing new lives into the world. “I get to help people have a family. I’m lucky.”