Robert E. Kaplan

Robert E. Kaplan

Associate Dean and Professor of the Practice of Law
Degrees: J.D., University of Virginia; B.S., Northwestern University
Email: [[rekapl]]
Office phone: (757) 221-3804
Office location: Room 246
Areas of Specialization

Externships; Legal Writing & Practice

Teaching Interests

Externships; Legal Writing and Practice; Public Service and the Law

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Dean Kaplan directs and teaches in the externship program; teaches Legal Writing; and manages summer public service fellowships, the loan repayment assistance program, and pro bono initiatives. He is the faculty advisor to the William & Mary Public Service Fund and the Bone Marrow Drive Committee. Prior to assuming his current role, Dean Kaplan was Associate Dean for Career Services and taught in the Legal Skills program. During his tenure in career services, Dean Kaplan served on the National Association for Law Placement’s Board of Directors and on thirteen NALP task forces and committees, including chairing the Bylaws, Nominating, and Recruitment Practices committees.

Dean Kaplan has presented at over twenty national and regional conferences. Representative topics include service learning; lawyer hiring, development, and advancement; associate satisfaction; ethical recruitment practices; nontraditional careers for attorneys; overcoming barriers to professional success; public service fellowships; and collaborative community partnerships. His article, “Externships’ Role in Training Practice-Ready Lawyers,” was published in the Virginia State Bar Section on Education of Lawyers Newsletter. He also has authored articles about labor and employment law in the University of Cincinnati Law Review and the International Council of Shopping Centers Legal Update.

Among Dean Kaplan’s recognitions by the William & Mary Law School community are the John Marshall Award for character, leadership, and outstanding service and the George Wythe Society Award for “fidelity to qualities of character, leadership, and selfless service.” The Black Law Students Association twice has honored Dean Kaplan for continuous support of the organization and its members. William & Mary’s chapter of the Order of the Barristers, a national honor society for excellence in advocacy, honored Dean Kaplan for his service to and support of students. A Law School faculty resolution recognized Dean Kaplan for “loyalty and service to the Law School, efforts as ambassador for the Law School, and job extraordinarily well-done.” He earned University-wide recognition for being “most influential” to a William & Mary graduate’s education.

Dean Kaplan has served on eight University committees, including William & Mary’s President’s Council for Community Partnerships. He also has served on twelve law school committees, including chairing the Loan Repayment and Judicial Clerkship committees. He serves on the Virginia Law Foundation’s Committee on Continuing Legal Education and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Bar Association's Community Service Program Council.

The Association of American Law Schools named Dean Kaplan to its Pro Bono Honor Roll for his work supporting William & Mary's pro bono service. He earned a “Hall of Fame” award for service to the American Red Cross in the Williamsburg area. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg named him as “School-Based Big Brother of the Year.” The Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency selected Dean Kaplan for its “Rising Star” award for his service to low-income clients through community legal clinics.

Before joining William & Mary, Dean Kaplan practiced labor and employment law with a prominent national firm.

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