Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer Cody Cofer is devoted entirely to defending people accused of crimes.
Cofer, the managing attorney at Cofer Law PC, became a criminal trial lawyer after graduating from Texas Tech University School of Law. He received the law school’s J. Hadley Edgar Excellence Award for his skills in trial advocacy and the American Jurisprudence Award for outstanding performance in trial advocacy.
Cofer also earned an MBA from Texas Tech School of Business, which provides invaluable perspective in divorce cases or prenuptial agreements that involve business organizations.
Prior to hanging out his own shingle, Cofer prosecuted felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases. Being a prosecutor, he says, gave him an inside look at the interaction between defense attorneys and the government. Cofer also worked for State Sen. Ken Armbrister (D-Victoria) in the 78th Legislature (2003), where working to draft and pass laws gave him an in-depth understanding of the legal system.
Cofer is married to his law school sweetheart, Erin, a felony prosecutor for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. The couple never face each other in the courtroom, and Cofer often jokes with his clients, telling them they are lucky he married Erin “because she is the only trial lawyer around better than me.”
The Cofers are expecting a daughter any day now.
Which legal case in American history do you see as the most influential? Why?
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), in which the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that states must provide an attorney to represent criminal defendants who are unable to afford to pay their own attorneys. This made justice more accessible for all segments of society, specifically the indigent. Not only do the indigent benefit from the appointment of counsel, but also the indigent defense system (when properly managed) serves as a mechanism to vigilantly guard the U.S. Constitution for all Americans.
What inspired you to become an attorney?
As a child, my family created a safe place for me to express my opinion and ask questions. As an adult, my questions turned to the abuses and inequality in our justice and social systems. I didn’t like the answers. So I tasked myself with protecting people from their government. I love an underdog, and I love a fight.
What is your most significant professional achievement?
Becoming board certified in criminal law after practicing only five years. In the shortest time allowable, I was able to earn the designation of “expert” in criminal law through my experience and study.
What motivates you?
The thrill of the fight. Regardless of what accusation my client is facing, my client is a human in need. I have been blessed with the opportunity for fight for those humans in need.
What are the major challenges facing young attorneys?
Finding a viable way to pursue the passion that brought them to the law. Supporting a family and staying true to your calling is a challenge for anyone, but economic realities for new lawyers create immense pressure to change your path.
– Betty Dillard