UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- What does tennis have to do with practicing law? If you ask Penn State men’s tennis alum Taylor Cohen, the two go hand in hand.
A 2012 graduate, Cohen transferred from Clemson University to Penn State as a sophomore and credits coming to Happy Valley as one of the best decisions he has ever made. During his time at Penn State, Cohen enjoyed a successful tennis career, serving as a team captain with notable victories against Princeton and Virginia Tech. He also aced his academic career, majoring in Labor and Employment Relations, before going on to earn a Master of Science in Human Resources and Employment Relations.
Following his graduation from Penn State, like many athletes upon completion of their collegiate careers, Cohen was left missing the competition and comradery.
“My favorite memories are ones where we were all together. I especially loved away matches because of the togetherness as a team on the bus.”
Inspired by his coursework at Penn State, Cohen’s next step was the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, where he graduated with honors. He explained that practicing law isn’t so different from playing tennis.
“Tennis is an individual and team sport. On the tennis court, you are fighting for your team; in the courtroom, you are fighting for your client with the support of your firm.”
Cohen often reflects on his Penn State men’s tennis experience. He remembers head coach Jeff Zinn frequently saying, “You don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when you’re done,” which continues to hold true for Cohen in his work, and drives him in and out of the courtroom.
Coach Zinn, who came to Penn State during the 2011-12 year, remembers Cohen fondly as a critical member of the first team he coached at Penn State. Zinn describes the decision to choose Cohen as captain as an easy one, knowing he could count on Cohen to be a “second voice” and the other players respected their fellow teammate.
“As captain, Taylor was very vocal. He not only talked the talk, but he could back it up. He knew he had to put the team on his back and carry them to wins. He got the most out of his teammates by his work ethic, his personality, and showing them that if he could do it then anyone could.”
Now, Cohen practices Workers’ Compensation law in Philadelphia as a partner of Stern & Cohen. Motivated by his clients’ lives, Cohen has accumulated multiple accomplishments, such as being named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star. He was also given the opportunity to teach Workers’ Compensation at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law as their youngest adjunct law professor.
Cohen’s Penn State career may be over, but he credits his time as a student-athlete for honing his time management, leadership, and public speaking skills. Today, you can find Cohen in Philadelphia winning in the courtroom, just like he won on the tennis court in the Blue and White.