The following article was originally published by Daily Business Review on November 14, 2018:
Two public sector attorneys, Diana Cohn and Dwight Slater, have launched a boutique family and administrative law firm in Tallahassee called Cohn Slater.
The two crossed paths while working at the Florida Department of Children and Families, where Slater served as regional appellate counsel until last year and Cohn worked as managing attorney until August.
The duo hopes that their three practice specialties — family, administrative and appellate law — will make them an all-encompassing firm for their clients and help distinguish the firm from other family law practices.
“The idea to help people in need with their professional and personal lives — that’s where the family law and administrative law come together,” Cohn said.
Slater is also a board-certified appellate specialist. He most recently served as chief appellate counsel for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
“We offer both the trial and appellate experience. Full service in that respect, with the ability to carry that case from start to finish,” Slater said.
After several years in the public sector, both felt ready for a new challenge. The two-attorney firm has relied on a network of referrals and contacts built up over years of legal work. So far, private practice has been a refreshing change of pace, Slater said.
“The amount of freedom and the diversity of work on our desk is exciting in a lot of ways,” he said. “There are a lot of political and administrative factors that aren’t present in the private sector.”
But the public sector streak still runs through their firm, Cohn and Slater said. They often answer questions pro bono and have their eyes set on opening a child advocacy center sometime down the road.
“We understand that everyone isn’t able to pay,” Cohn said. “We know there’s still a need for less expensive legal work.”
Based in Tallahassee, Cohn Slater will provide representation to clients in Leon, Wakulla, Gadsden, Franklin, Jefferson, and Liberty County civil court cases. The firm will also represent clients before the Division of Administrative Hearings, Florida’s District Courts of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court.