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- B.A., Yale University, 1992
- M.S., University of Michigan, 1994
- J.D., New York University, 2006
- Hon. Robert W. Sweet, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Fellowships, Leadership & Recognition
- 2021 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers, Lawdragon 500
- Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2019
- Editor-in-Chief, NYU Journal of Legislation & Policy
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- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, and Sixth Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Northern District of New York
- New York
Gabrielle Tenzer is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. She represents universities, commercial entities, and individuals in a wide range of civil litigation matters.
At Kaplan Hecker, Gabrielle has represented Columbia University in a number of gender-based misconduct matters. She has successfully secured the dismissal of several of these lawsuits for Columbia, including claims under Title IX and both the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. Gabrielle also handles gender discrimination cases for other clients under Title VII, and conducts high-stakes internal investigations on matters related to discrimination and allegations of sexual misconduct.
Gabrielle's higher-education practice also includes helping top universities like Columbia and Brown to navigate complex and high-profile legal challenges. For Brown, Gabrielle recently secured the settlement of a case involving alleged violations of a 1998 agreement that requires the university to satisfy certain gender proportionality requirements in its varsity athletics programs. Critically, the settlement sets an end date to the 1998 joint agreement, which the University noted in a statement had become “a significant obstacle to the University’s ability to offer women’s and men’s teams the competitive experience athletes deserve and expect.” Gabrielle also recently secured the dismissal of breach of contract and related claims against Columbia in a high-impact litigation seeking tuition refunds related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, Gabrielle also helped in fighting off another high-profile lawsuit related to Brown’s squash team that saw her named one of the runners-up for Litigation Daily’s “Litigator of the Week.”
Gabrielle represents a diverse array of commercial clients, including companies such as Fitch Ratings, T-Mobile, and Uber. She recently won the denial of a motion to dismiss the fraudulent inducement claim of a regional health care plan against a data analytics, processing, and reporting vendor who had made erroneous submissions to the government on the health plan’s behalf.
Gabrielle also maintains a strong commitment to the firm’s public interest work. She is a lead counsel in the firm’s representation of ten plaintiffs who are suing the neo-Nazi and white supremacist individuals and organizations who organized the racial- and religious-based violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Filed in federal court in Virginia, the lawsuit alleges that the organizers of the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally violated Reconstruction-Era statutes and state laws by organizing a rally intended to result in violence. Additionally, Gabrielle is actively involved in the firm’s Time’s Up work, representing victims of sexual harassment and assault.
Gabrielle is a member of Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s diversity and inclusion committee. She is also the firm’s 2019 Fellow to the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
Gabrielle joined Kaplan Hecker & Fink from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where she spent more than ten years in the Litigation Department. During her tenure at Paul, Weiss, Gabrielle worked on multi-billion-dollar commercial cases involving complex legal issues and extensive discovery. Gabrielle also represented some of the nation’s largest financial institutions in securities litigation, shareholder derivative suits, and adversary proceedings in federal bankruptcy court. While at Paul, Weiss, Gabrielle also spent a decade working to free a pro bono client who had been wrongfully convicted of murder after egregious police and prosecutorial misconduct. Those efforts paid off after her arrival at Kaplan Hecker, with the client winning his freedom after 24 years in prison.
Before becoming an attorney, Gabrielle spent almost a decade working in the federal government in Washington, D.C. As a Legislative Assistant to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gabrielle helped draft and negotiate legislation on a broad array of issues, with a focus on public works, environmental protection, and environmental health. She had a particular commitment to addressing the health concerns of local residents and first responders in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. As Associate Director of Environmental Protection at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Communications Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, Gabrielle worked to build consensus among federal agencies and outside constituencies in developing and promoting national environmental policies that preserve our nation’s resources and protect the health of all Americans. She also worked for several years in the Office of Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) as a legislative assistant and legislative director.
Gabrielle clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy. Gabrielle received an M.S. in Geology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Geology from Yale University.