Paul T. O'Neill

Paul is an education attorney, professor and author with extensive experience in guiding education organizations through challenges and growth. He advises schools, authorizers, networks, non-profits, government agencies and philanthropies on the rules and complexities that apply to educational organizations as well as on effective board governance. 

Paul’s professional experience spans the education sector. He served for several years as General Counsel of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute (CSI), one of the nation’s leading charter school authorizing offices. After this public service, he went into private practice in the boutique national education law firm of Brustein & Manasevit. He moved on to hold positions of Senior Vice President, Chief Regulatory Officer, head education lawyer and Senior Fellow for EdisonLearning, the national school management and services organization. Notably, Paul led Edison’s efforts to engage in the post-Katrina revitalization of public schooling in New Orleans. He is a former Associate Director of the Newgrange School and Educational Outreach Center in New Jersey, which serves individuals with learning disabilities, and a former litigator in the New York offices of Dewey Ballantine LLP and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher.  On the academic side, Paul serves on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he teaches courses on education law and policy, including Designing Charter Schools, and Special Education Law & Policy. In 2011, he was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College for achievement within 10 years of graduation.

He is a frequent guest lecturer at other universities on a range of education reform topics and is the author of several books and numerous scholarly and professional articles. His books include the Charter School Law Deskbook (Lexis Nexis Publishers), soon to be in its 3rd Edition, and the No Child Left Behind Compliance Manual (LRP Publications), currently in its 2nd Edition. 

Paul is committed to community service; he helped found charter schools in the South Bronx and New Orleans and is currently Chair of a charter school on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He served for several years as Chair of the Education & Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, as well as on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of New York City.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Paul earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his M.Ed. from Teachers College.