Hennessy and O’Neill Named Co-Chairs of Education Law Practice

Patricia A. Hennessy and Paul T. O’Neill have recently been named Co-Chairs of Barton Gilman LLP’s education law practice. They will oversee the continued growth and development of the education law practice, which serves clients from New England to the Mid-Atlantic.

Hennessy, founder of the firm’s Philadelphia office, brings over twenty-five years of experience in the representation of charter schools, charter management organizations and charter advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. She advises charter school clients on the application process, start-up, special education, employment matters, and all other aspects of school operations. A well-known charter schools advocate, Hennessy serves on the National Litigation Council for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and is a long-term member of the Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys. She also works extensively with private, boarding and religious schools on a wide range of legal issues, including education reform and school choice issues. Hennessy is a board member of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools and serves as Chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee. She received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law, a B.A., cum laude, from Temple University, and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.

O’Neill, founder of the firm’s New York office, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the legal issues impacting education reform. His professional experience spans the education sector – from General Counsel of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, one of the nation’s leading charter school authorizing offices, to serving as Senior Vice President, Chief Regulatory Officer, head education lawyer and Senior Fellow for EdisonLearning, the national school management and services organization. Notably, O’Neill led Edison’s efforts to engage in the post-Katrina revitalization of public schooling in New Orleans. He frequently advises clients on federal and state laws impacting students with disabilities and serves as Co-founder and Senior Fellow of the National Center for Learner Equity. In addition to his school law practice, O’Neill serves on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University’s Teachers College where he teaches courses on education law and policy, such as Private School Law, Designing Charter Schools, and Special Education Law & Policy. He is the author of numerous books and articles on education law and policy topics. He received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, an M.Ed. from Columbia University’s Teachers College, a B.A. from Oberlin College, and is admitted to practice in New York.

“Pat and Paul are highly-regarded education lawyers with years of direct experience deeply-rooted in serving the needs of schools and educators, and I’m thrilled that they’ve agreed to lead Barton Gilman’s ever-expanding education practice,” said former education practice chair and now co-managing partner of the firm, Matthew R. Plain.

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman serves clients throughout the Northeast with offices in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, offering legal services in a wide variety of matters, including medical and other professional liability defense, premises liability and business litigation, as well as education law, employment, family law, insurance coverage, trusts and estates, criminal defense, corporate formation and intellectual property. The firm and its attorneys have received numerous awards and accolades, including Best LawyersBest Law FirmsBest Places to Work Rhode IslandOutstanding Philanthropic Business, the Common Good Award, and Super Lawyers.