Kaplan Hecker & Fink
Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan is the founding partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink, a boutique law firm founded in 2017 fusing a high-stakes litigation practice with a groundbreaking public interest practice.
A formidable litigator with decades of experience in both commercial and civil rights litigation, Kaplan has quickly emerged as an unparalleled force for obtaining equal dignity for all. In the past two years, she co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit under the KKK Act of 1871 against twenty-four neo-Nazi and white supremacist leaders responsible for the violence in Charlottesville in August 2017, successfully challenged the City of Starkville’s refusal to allow a LGBT Pride Parade, and is currently representing Moira Donegan in a defamation lawsuit relating to the publication of what became known as the “Shitty Media Men” list. Kaplan also represents clients like Uber, Airbnb, Columbia University, Sydell Group, and Fitch Ratings in some of their most high-stakes, complex legal challenges.
Prior to launching her own law firm, Kaplan was best known for successfully representing Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, ultimately arguing that case before the United States Supreme Court. In Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the benefits of marriage conferred under federal law. The consequences of the Windsor decision were both rapid and profound, leading to marriage equality nationwide only two years later. Kaplan is the author of the book “Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA” (W.W. Norton), which was chosen by several publications as one of the top books of 2015.
Kaplan has received numerous honors and recognitions for her work, including being named “Most Innovative Lawyer of the Year” by the Financial Times, “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer, and “Lawyer of the Year” by Above the Law. She has also been recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and Top 10 Female Litigator by Benchmark Litigation, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal and the Gold Medal Award from the New York State Bar Association. This past spring, Kaplan was chosen by representatives of Harvard Law School's class of 2019 to be their Class Day speaker. She is probably most proud, however, of receiving an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary.