Levin College of Law

Jonathan R. Cohen

Professor of Law
Affiliate Professor, Center for Jewish Studies

(352) 273-0919


Jonathan R. Cohen is Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Prior to teaching at the University of Florida, Cohen clerked for the Honorable Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, practiced employment litigation at a private law firm in Boston, and served as a Hewlett Fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. The central theme of Cohen’s research is ethical human relations, and his writings, especially concerning apology, have been influential both nationally and internationally in promoting legislative reforms and changes to legal practice. His teaching includes courses in negotiation, reconciliation, the human side of lawyering, law and religion, and Jewish law.


J.D., Harvard Law School
Ph.D., Harvard University
M.A.., Harvard University
A.B., Harvard College

Teaching and Scholarship

Negotiation, Dispute Resolution, Ethics, Evidence, Jewish Law, and Social Justice

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined College of Law faculty in 1999 on staff at the law school’s Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • Harvard Law School: Hewlett Fellow & Lecturer in Law (1997-99)
  • Harvard University: Teaching Fellow (Economics) (1989, 1992-93)
  • Organizations: American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section), Massachusetts Bar, New York Bar


Introduction to Lawyering and the Legal Profession - LAW 5755
  • This course acquaints students with the defining attributes of the legal profession including a code of ethics and assumption of duties to clients, the justice system, and society. Focuses on the evolving nature of legal services, types of law practices, and demographics of the legal profession and the skills required for law practice.
Negotiation - LAW 6385
  • Using simulations and role plays, this course explores negotiation skills lawyers employ in both transactional and dispute resolution contexts.
Jewish Law - LAW 6936
  • This seminar explores the development of Jewish law from Biblical times to modern day. Attention will be paid both to general thematic issues (e.g., the interplay between narrative and law, the concept of obligation, and ritual vs. non-ritual law) as well as to particular topics (e.g., criminal punishment, torts, provision for the poor, conflict resolution, dietary rules, and same-sex marriage). At times, comparisons will be made with the American legal system.



    • “Negative Identity and Conflict”, 35 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 737 (2020).
    • “Lawyers Serving Gods, Visible and Invisible,” 53 Gonzaga Law Review 187-206 (2018).
    • “Developing Communities of Dialogue,” 20 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 105-113 (2018).
    • “Two Directions toward Ethical Peoplehood,” CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly 65-96 (Winter 2018).
    • “A Genesis of Conflict: The Zero-Sum Mindset,” 17 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 427-444 (2016).
    • “Open-Minded Listening,” 5 Charlotte Law Review 139-164 (2014).
    • “Conflicts as Inner Trials: Transitions for Clients, Ideas for Lawyers,” 13 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 393-412 (2012).
    • “Fostering Race-Related Dialogue: Lessons from a Small Seminar,” 22 University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy 407-416 (2012).
    • “The Path between Sebastian’s Hospitals: Fostering Reconciliation after a Tragedy,” 17 Barry Law Review 89-131 (2011.
    • “The Negotiation Within: Outer Ideas on Inner Dialogues,” Harvard Negotiation Law Review (online journal, www.hnlr.org) (March 18, 2010).
    • “Coping with Lasting Social Injustice,” 13 Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 259-283 (2007).
    • “The Culture of Legal Denial,” in The Affective Assistance of Counsel, Marjorie A. Silver, ed. (Carolina Academic Press, 2007). This chapter is based upon “The Culture of Legal Denial,” 84 Nebraska Law Review 247-312 (2005).
    • “Judaism without Ordinary Law: Toward a Broader View of Sanctification,” 71 The Reconstructionist 50-56 (Fall 2006).
    • “In God’s Garden: Creation and Cloning in Jewish Thought,” in Ethical Issues: Western Philosophical and Religious Perspectives, Terrence Reynolds, ed., 480-486 (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006). This article originally appeared in 29 Hastings Center Report 4, 7-12 (1999).
    • “The Culture of Legal Denial,” 84 Nebraska Law Review 247-312 (2005).
    • “A Taxonomy of Dispute Resolution Ethics,” in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution, Michael L. Moffitt & Robert Bordone, eds., 244-253 (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005).
    • “The Immorality of Denial,” 79 Tulane Law Review 903-953 (2005).
    • “Toward Candor after Medical Error: The First Apology Law,” 5 Harvard Health Policy Review 1, 21-24 (Spring 2004). Symposium issue on medical error.
    • “The Ethics of Respect in Negotiation,” in What’s Fair: Ethics for Negotiators, Carrie Menkel-Meadow & Michael Wheeler, eds., 257-263 (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004). This article originally appeared in 18 Negotiation Journal 115-120 (April 2002).
    • “In God’s Garden: Creation and Cloning in Jewish Thought,” in The Human Cloning Debate, 2nd, 3rd & 4th editions, Glenn McGee and Arthur Caplan, eds., (Berkeley: Berkeley Hills Books, 2000, 2002 & 2004). This article originally appeared in 29 Hastings Center Report 4, 7-12 (1999).
    • “Let’s Put Ourselves Out of Business: On Respect, Responsibility and Dialogue in Dispute Resolution,” 108 Penn State Law Review 227-233 (2003). Symposium issue on the routinization of dispute resolution.
    • “Adversaries? Partners? How about Counterparts? On Metaphors in the Practice and Teaching of Negotiation and Dispute Resolution,” 20 Conflict Resolution Quarterly 433-440 (Summer 2003). Symposium issue on dispute resolution pedagogy.
    • “The Ethics of Respect in Negotiation,” 18 Negotiation Journal 115-120 (April 2002).
    • “Legislating Apology: The Pros and Cons,” 70 University of Cincinnati Law Review 819-872 (2002).
    • “When People are the Means: Negotiating with Respect,” 14 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 739802 (2001).
    • “Apology and Organizations: Exploring an Example from Medical Practice,” 27 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1447-1482 (2000). Symposium issue on forgiveness and the law.
    • “Introduction,” with Robert H. Mnookin, to Negotiating on Behalf of Others, Robert H. Mnookin & Lawrence E. Susskind, eds., 1- 20 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1999).
    • “Turning the Tables: Negotiation as the Exogenous Variable,” in Negotiating on Behalf of Others, Robert H. Mnookin & Lawrence E. Susskind, eds., 226-233 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1999).
    • “Advising Clients to Apologize,” 72 Southern California Law Review 1009-1069 (1999).
    • “In God’s Garden: Creation and Cloning in Jewish Thought,” 29 Hastings Center Report 4, 7-12 (1999).
    • “Reasoning Along Different Lines: Some Varied Roles of Rationality in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution,” 3 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 111-122 (1998).
    • “In God’s Garden: Creation and Cloning,” 10 Journal of Progressive Judaism 46-62 (1998).


      • “Why ‘Originalists’ Who Loved Scalia Should Want a Vote on His Replacement,” Washington Post (Op-ed, online, “The Fix”) (Feb. 22, 2106).
      • “The Remarkably Perfect Fit that is Donald Trump’s Last Name,” Washington Post (Op-ed, online, “The Fix”) (Jan. 24, 2106).
      • “Ferguson: Prejudice and Prejudgment,” (Op-ed) Orlando Sentinel (Dec. 7, 2014) at A22.
      • “From Jacob to Israel: On Conflicts and Inner Growth,” The Times of Israel (Feb. 16, 2014) (available at http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/from-jacob-to-israel).