Shaylyn Cochran is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the firm’s Civil Rights & Employment Litigation practice. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Ms. Cochran was a Relman Civil Rights Fellow, litigating federal fair housing and employment discrimination matters.

Ms. Cochran focuses on employment and civil right class actions involving discrimination claims, including age, gender, race, and/or disability discrimination.

Ms. Cochran has been named to Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers” (2020) and has been repeatedly recognized by the legal industry for her exceptional work for an attorney under the age of 40, including being named to Law360’s “Rising Stars – Employment” (2020), Legal 500’s “Rising Stars – Employment Disputes” (2019, 2020), and Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars – Employment & Labor” (2017-2020).

Ms. Cochran’s current cases include:

  • Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (A.A.A.; S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein represents a putative class of more than 69,000 female employees of Sterling Jewelers, one of the nation's largest jewelry chains, in a nationwide Title VII gender discrimination and Equal Pay Act case. Plaintiffs claim they were subjected to a pattern of pay and promotions discrimination.  
  • Estle, et al. v. IBM (S.D.N.Y.):  Cohen Milstein represents former employees of IBM Corporation in a putative age discrimination class action against the tech giant. Plaintiffs were terminated by IBM beginning in 2016 via systematic layoffs. All the plaintiffs were over the age of 40 at the time.
  • Breen v. Chao (D.D.C.): Cohen Milstein represents hundreds of Flight Services Controllers who were terminated by the FAA through a reduction in force in 2005 in a multi-party age discrimination lawsuit.
  • Temporary Employment Staffing Agency Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Cohen Milstein is involved in a series of race-based discrimination class actions in Chicago, representing African-American laborers who allege that their temporary staffing agencies and their factory-clients engaged in a repeated and collusive practice of excluding African Americans from temporary laborer positions. 

Ms. Cochran’s recent successes include:

  • National Association of the Deaf v. Harvard & MIT (D. Mass.): In February 2020 and July 2020, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel successfully settled two groundbreaking class actions on behalf of deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. The landmark settlements are historic because they require two of the most lauded academic research institutions in the world to include closed captioning on all content, including videos and podcasts, available to the public online, establishing a precedent for academia and business worldwide.
  • Stanley, et al. v. BarBri, Inc. (N.D. Tex.): In January 2018, Cohen Milstein clients, blind law students, successfully settled a disability discrimination class action against BarBri, Inc. – host of the country’s largest attorney bar exam prep course. Plaintiffs alleged that BarBri’s test prep offerings, including its mobile application, website and course materials, were inaccessible to visually impaired students in violation of the Americans with Disability Act and a similar Texas state law.
  • Equal Rights Center v. Equity Residential (D. Md.): In March 2016, the Court ruled in favor of the Equal Rights Center, the Plaintiff, on the parties’ cross summary judgment motions in a Fair Housing Act design-and-construction case involving more than 300 multi-family housing properties across the United States developed by Equity Residential. In November 2014, the U. S. Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in support of the Equal Rights Center. 

Ms. Cochran is on the Board of Directors for Equal Rights Advocates and a member of other prestigious legal organizations. She is frequently invited by the National Employment Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, American Constitution Society, and other organizations to speak on legal challenges and strategies in addressing discrimination claims, as well as class, arbitration, and injunctive relief.

Ms. Cochran earned her B.S. and B.A. from Ohio University, graduating summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Valedictorian, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she received the Dean’s Award for Community Leadership. While a law student, Ms. Cochran served as a litigation intern at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Disability Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. For two years during law school, Ms. Cochran also was a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she represented indigent clients on family law matters. She also served as president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association.


  • Litigation Intern, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, 2010
  • Litigation Intern, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 2009
  • Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, 2009-2011
  • Board of Directors, Equal Rights Advocates
  • Member, National Employment Lawyers' Association
  • Member, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section