About Mary Sevandal Cohen

Attorney Mary Sevandal Cohen is a first-generation daughter of Filipino-American immigrants. She has dedicated her entire 18-year legal career to working in the public sector, initially serving as a bilingual legal-intern for the Chicago Legal Clinic in Pilsen and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, then as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Dekalb County, and currently serving as in-house legal counsel for a public transit agency, Pace, the Suburban Bus Division of the RTA.

Attorney Sevandal Cohen is qualified to serve on the bench based on her extensive legal skills, personal background, and prior life experiences. As a prosecutor, Attorney Sevandal Cohen prosecuted traffic, misdemeanor-criminal and DUI cases. As in-house legal counsel for a public transit agency, Attorney Sevandal Cohen represents Pace Bus in civil litigation cases in Cook County courts, the collar counties, and other administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Illinois Department of Human Rights, City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, and the Cook County Commission on Human Rights.  Attorney Sevandal Cohen is highly experienced in both civil and criminal litigation and has tried over one-hundred bench and jury trials in her legal career.  The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening have all rated Attorney Sevandal Cohen as “Qualified” and “Recommended” to serve as a Circuit Court Judge and LAGBAC has rated Attorney Cohen “Highly Recommended” to serve as Judge.

Attorney Sevandal Cohen is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Iowa, College of Law. Being raised in a bilingual household inspired Attorney Sevandal Cohen to major in Spanish in addition to Political Science. She studied abroad in Mexico and then southern Spain, which in turn inspired her to study the Arabic language as well.  Having studied multiple languages and being immersed in many different cultures, Attorney Sevandal Cohen has a unique appreciation and an affinity to many of the various communities that the judiciary serves.  Attorney Sevandal Cohen is also a strong and outspoken proponent of diversity and inclusion and was an active member of Pace’s first Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Attorney Sevandal Cohen is a member of numerous Bar Associations including the Asian-American Bar Association, the Filipino-American Lawyers Association, the Northwest Suburban Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, the St. Ignatius Law Society, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.  Attorney Sevandal Cohen supports various many charitable organizations including the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Archdiocese of Chicago, Wellness House (for people living with Cancer), American Society for Suicide Prevention, Together We Rise, UNICEF USA, Catholic Relief Services, The United Negro College Fund, Global Impact, Philippine Children’s Shelter, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, the American Red Cross, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Along with her family, Attorney Sevandal Cohen avidly supports the American Cancer Society’s Strides Against Breast Cancer and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Step Up for Kids by participating in fundraiser walks and races.  She also enjoys volunteering for non-profit organizations including Women Everywhere (an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for women and children in need through education and community service), and Feed My Starving Children, an organization that packs and provides meals to malnourished children all over the world.  

For the last 12 years Attorney Sevandal Cohen has made her home in the northwest suburbs of Cook County where she resides with her husband, Todd, their 3 boys, Sam (9), Eli (7), and Zac (3), and their English bulldog, Ozzie Guillen Cohen.  Attorney Sevandal Cohen spends her free time reading, running, practicing yoga, swimming as well as participating in many PTO and school-related activities for her children, including serving as room mom, planning classroom parties, and volunteering at the school library.