Tina Tchen is a co-founder of H.A.B.I.T. Tina is also a partner at the law firm Buckley LLP, where she founded the firm's Workplace Cultural Compliance practice and heads its Chicago office and is a co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.
Tina previously served as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition, she worked on Title IX initiatives and was instrumental in the formation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Tina is a leading voice in the national conversation on fighting sexual harassment, gender inequity, and discrimination, and has addressed these issues at Forbes’ I.D.E.A. Summit, the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, Vanity Fair’s Founder’s Fair, and the Milken Institute’s Global Conference, and at a number of other notable venues.
Tina is a co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Tina was a partner in corporate litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Tina's legal practice focuses on counseling companies on issues related to gender inequity, sexual harassment, and lack of diversity in the workplace. She guides companies in approaching cultural compliance issues with the same rigor and vigilance — and the same compliance-management systems and controls — that they devote to other critical risks.
Additionally, Tina serves as the chair of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, where she is leading an ongoing review of the various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry.
Tina has received a variety of awards in recognition of her work, including the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement award from the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, the Myra Bradwell Woman of Achievement award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Dawn Clark Netsch Public Service Award from the Northwestern University School of Law, the Women of Achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League, and was named Chicago Lawyer’s Person of the Year.
Tina serves on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the White House Historical Association, When We All Vote, Civic Nation, the United State of Women, and EBW2020: Empowering a Billion Women by 2020.
Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan is a co-founder of H.A.B.I.T. Robbie is also the founding partner of the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and a co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
Robbie is a formidable litigator with decades of experience in both commercial and civil rights litigation. Robbie was recently named as one of the Top 10 Female Litigators in the country by Benchmark Litigation. Robbie is best known for successfully arguing before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of her client Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case. 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 wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law.
Robbie has received numerous honors and recognitions for her groundbreaking legal work. In addition to receiving the Gold Medal Award from the New York State Bar Association and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal, Robbie has also been selected by The National Law Journal as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers” in the United States, as “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer, as “Lawyer of the Year” by Above the Law, and as the “Most Innovative Lawyer of The Year” by The Financial Times. The Financial Times noted that “the judges had little trouble picking just one of them to win the award for most innovative individual – itself an innovation for the report this year. Robbie Kaplan has been involved in some of the most important legal developments of recent years.” Describing an oral argument at the Fifth Circuit, one legal commentator noted that Robbie “deserves special recognition for her argument at the hearing. An accomplished attorney long before she came to represent Edith Windsor, Ms. Kaplan offered concise, smart and well-reasoned responses to the judge’s questions.”
Robbie has also received the National Council of Jewish Women Social Action Award; Columbia Law School Medal of Excellence; Stanford Law School National Public Service Award; New York County Lawyers' Association President's Medal and the American Constitutional Society Keeping Faith Award. She also holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Johns Hopkins University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Pace University, and Millsaps College. Prior to founding Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Robbie was a litigation partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP.
Helena Cawley is on the founding team of H.A.B.I.T. and is also a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience starting and running businesses. She is passionate about gender and diversity issues. Helena was previously the founder and CEO of SweatStyle, a personal shopping service for high-end activewear, and the co-founder and CEO of Uplift Studios, a women-focused fitness studio and female society devoted to the mantra “Strong Women UPLIFT Each Other.” Helena previously worked as a corporate and tax attorney at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP. Helena received her JD from New York University School of Law and her BA from University of Pennsylvania.
Julie Fink is on the founding team of H.A.B.I.T. and is also the Managing Partner at the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
Julie maintains an active public interest litigation practice, often at the forefront of civil rights and social justice issues. She currently represents eight plaintiffs in a groundbreaking lawsuit against twenty-four white supremacists and neo-Nazis, bringing claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act and the Civil Rights Act based on their roles in organizing the racial and religious-based violence in Charlottesville during the Summer of 2017.
She also represented Melanie Kohler, who was sued for defamation by a Hollywood director after sharing her #MeToo experience on Facebook.
Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Julie worked as in-house counsel at Pfizer Inc. and as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Julie is a frequent speaker on civil rights issues and pro bono work, and she has won awards for her public interest advocacy, including the Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award and Immigration Equality’s Safe Haven Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Representation. She has co-authored numerous articles and amicus briefs on reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights issues.
Julie is a Crain's New York Business Top 40 Under 40 2019 recipient. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, where she is the Chair of the Governance Committee. She is also on the Board of Directors of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
Garylene ("Gage") Javier is on the founding team of H.A.B.I.T. and is also a Regulatory Attorney at Buckley LLP where she works in the Workplace Cultural Compliance practice and also assists financial services clients in a variety of federal and state regulatory compliance matters. In addition, she regularly provides pro bono legal counsel related to economic development, small business initiatives, and domestic violence. Gage serves on the Board of Governors of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and its Judicial and Executive Appointments and Nominations Committee.
Emily is on the founding team of H.A.B.I.T. and is also an Associate at Kaplan Hecker & Fink where she maintains a wide-ranging practice in civil, criminal, and public interest matters. Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Emily worked as Deputy General Counsel and Compliance Counsel for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Emily has also worked as an associate at Sidley Austin LLP, and as Counsel at It Starts Today, a Political Action Committee that uses grassroots campaign donations to support a 50-state strategy to help Democrats win congressional seats. Emily holds a JD from Columbia Law School, where she graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. While at Columbia, Emily also contributed to the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and helped lead the Columbia Law Women’s Association.