Laurence ("Larry") Tribe is Of Counsel at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, resident in the New York office. Larry joins the firm following over five decades at Harvard Law School, where he has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s foremost scholars of constitutional law and continues to serve as the Carl M. Loeb University Professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus. Larry has argued before the Supreme Court thirty-five times in his storied career and is frequently retained to assist individuals, governments, and large corporations to weigh in on their most complex legal issues. Yale Law School Professor Akhil Amar has described Larry as “a superb scholar, a dazzling lawyer, and an amazing mentor” whose scholarship will “live on and on for the next century and beyond.” The Northwestern Law Review has remarked that no one else “in American history has . . . simultaneously achieved Tribe’s preeminence . . . as a practitioner and . . . scholar of constitutional law.”
Larry joined the faculty at Harvard University in 1968 and went on to teach and mentor dozens of prominent figures in the legal and political firmament, including President Barack Obama, Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Elena Kagan, Attorney General Merrick Garland, U.S. Representatives Jamie Raskin and Adam Schiff, and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Larry was voted best professor by the graduating class of 2000 and in 2020 was awarded the title “University Professor,” which is Harvard’s highest academic honor, awarded to fewer than 75 professors in Harvard University’s history. He has been elected as a Member of the American Philosophical Society and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Larry is a prolific writer, having authored several hundred articles covering topics ranging from abortion funding to issues surrounding military tribunals, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage. He has written over ten books, including American Constitutional Law, the three editions of which are among the most influential legal texts of the past half-century, and Uncertain Justice: the Roberts Courts and The Constitution, which was awarded the American Bar Association’s 2015 Silver Gavel Honorable Mention Award for being one of the two best law-related books of 2014.
Larry has served as lead counsel in three dozen Supreme Court cases. Among his Supreme Court representations were Al Gore in Bush v. Gore I, 531 U.S. 70 (2000), Richmond Newspapers in Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980), which first recognized the right of the press and public to attend criminal trials, and the National Gay Rights Task Force in Bd. Of Ed. Of Oklahoma City v. Nat’l Gay Task Force, 470 U.S. 903 (1985), in which the Court affirmed a lower court judgment that the First Amendment protected gay rights advocacy in public schools. Larry’s representations, at all levels, have included large corporations, including the Coca-Cola company in a dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and hiQ Labs, Inc., in a dispute with LinkedIn, and as well as individuals and classes of plaintiffs.
Larry clerked for the Hon. Potter Stewart of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Hon. Mathew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court. He has served in a number of roles in the U.S. Government, including as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States in 2021, at the Department of Justice as First Senior Counselor for Access to Justice in 2010, and as a member of the Presidential Commission on White House Fellowships from 2009 to 2013. Larry’s government service has extended beyond national borders to South Africa, where he served as a Constitutional Consultant to President Nelson Mandela from 1993 to 1994 and helped draft South Africa’s first democratic constitution.
Larry’s extensive contributions to constitutional law and legal education, more broadly, have been widely recognized. Among his many accolades, he has been awarded the American Philosophical Society’s Henry Allen Moe Prize in Humanities and Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence, Boston best Lawyers’ Appellate Lawyer of the Year, the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar of 2009 award, the National Gay Rights Advocates’ Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, and was listed as one of America’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers by the National Law Journal in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2006.
Larry received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was awarded the Joseph Beale Prize, and his B.A., summa cum laude in Mathematics from Harvard College, where he was one of the eight undergraduates inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in his Junior year and received the Detur Prize awarded to the top two students in the Freshman Year. He attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the Mathematics Department as a National Science Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Fellow prior to enrolling in law school. Larry holds honorary degrees from Columbia University, the Institute for Criminal Science in Mexico, University of New Hampshire Law School, University of Miami, New York University, Hebrew University, Colgate University, Illinois Institute of Technology, American University, University of the Pacific, and Gonzaga University.