Shepard Broad Law Center
Making Starry Success
Bradford Cohen was just another South Florida criminal lawyer until five years ago when he appeared on The Apprentice and Donald Trump fired him.
Cohen’s firing stuck in the memories of viewers because it was so shocking. He did an admirable job, but was booted because Trump said he was “stupid” to give up the immunity earned as the leader of the winning team.
Since then, Cohen, a 1997 graduate from NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center, has become one of the celebrity lawyers asked to weigh in on legal issues for TV programs including Nancy Grace, Dr. Phil, and the Today show, and on CNBC. He was also one of the producers of the independent film Red, which had its South Florida premiere at NSU last fall. The 43-minute short stars Nick Warnock, another Apprentice cast member.
Those who knew Cohen in law school, such as adjunct professor Charles Morton, are not surprised that the 38-year old Fort Lauderdale lawyer has made a name for himself in law and entertainment. “You could see Brad had the potential to be an excellent trial lawyer,” Morton said. “His personality was outgoing. He was easy to talk to, communicated well, and was a natural born entertainer. You can tell from his passion and emotion that he takes what he does seriously and wants to do it well.”
“I have never been short on confidence,” Cohen said, sitting behind his office desk.
Cohen credits the Law Center and Morton, who is also the chief assistant state attorney for Broward County, with contributing to his success. Professors such as Morton helped him perfect his courtroom persona. Graduating from the Law Center was also a great networking tool, he said, because many Broward County judges are also NSU graduates.
Morton was significant because he encouraged him not to change his style. During a moot court oral argument, law student Cohen held back on his personality because some people told him his style was too aggressive.
“I will never forget [Morton’s] advice,” Cohen said. “He told me that not every lawyer is going to be the everyman. If you change your style, you will come across as phony, and the jury will know.”
It’s no surprise that Cohen, who has always been a movie buff, is now getting into film production. He met his film’s leading man, Warnock, who was on the first season of The Apprentice, at Hollywood parties, and they made appearances together.
Warnock introduced Cohen to filmmakers, directors, and screenwriters. After premiering at NSU, Red was shown in Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong.
Scheduling TV appearances and creating publicity for the film became too much for Cohen with his law practice, so he teamed up with Vanessa Prieto, another Law Center graduate who practices civil and commercial litigation, and established an in-house public relations firm, Molten Honey Public Relations, LLC.
Cohen admits he is infected with the showbiz bug, but don’t expect him to shutter his law practice anytime soon. “I love what I do,” he said. “I can’t see giving it up.”