Laura Belkner, 29

Attorney, Law Office of Kevin H. Cohen

Attorney Laura Belkner joined the law office of Kevin H. Cohen in White Plains four years ago, when she was in her mid-20s. A decade from now, odds are she’ll be running the joint. Cohen says that between her work ethic and her unique ability to quickly grasp the strengths and weaknesses of a case and formulate a strategy, he expects Belkner to be leading the firm within a few years. In 2014, she began managing the firm’s trusts-and-estates-litigation department, responsible for depositions, court appearances, preparation of documents, negotiations, client contact, and appeals. As many as five people report to her, depending on workflow, and lawyers twice her age seek her advice, Cohen notes. Says Belkner: “I try to be the most prepared person in the room. There are times when I would be up all night thinking about a case.” That preparation has paid off: The firm has had unprecedented success with cases, motions, and appeals since Belkner took over the department. 


• In high school, Belkner planned on becoming a professional dancer. She credits the dancing—two hours of practice after high-school classes—with building her work ethic. It was only when she began planning to attend school in New York City, and became aware of the activism that took place there, that she decided to study politics and metropolitan studies. “I made the change right before I applied to NYU, and I never looked back,” she says.

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• When she’s not working—hours can be long when the workflow is high but fairly normal otherwise—she enjoys dancing, spin class, running half-marathons, and cooking.

• Belkner was named a 2015 New York-Metro area Super Lawyer Rising Star for Trusts and Estates litigation. Super Lawyers is a service that rates outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas. Attorneys are chosen by independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

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