Ferrara Fiorenza P.C.

School Law Practice


The members of the firm joined together on July 1, 1994, and over the years, our attorneys have represented, as general or special counsel, approximately 150 public school districts, BOCES and municipalities. The firm’s concentration in the representation of public entities has enabled it to serve the various needs of its clients in an experienced, high quality, and efficient manner.

We are an AV rated firm (Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory), which denotes the highest ranking given to lawyers and law firms.

We provide legal services to school districts and BOCES throughout New York, including city, central, union free and common school districts. The geographical range of our representation extends in the eastern part of the state to the Capital Region, to the northern part of the state, and to the Buffalo and Finger Lakes areas, and to many districts in the Central New York, Utica-Herkimer, Catskill and Binghamton regions.

As a result of our many years of collective experience in the representation of school districts, we are uniquely positioned to effectively respond to the multi-faceted issues and challenges confronted by the modern school system, especially with regard to emerging concerns in the areas of special education and district-wide accountability requirements.

Members of our firm also serve as counsel, special counsel or labor relations consultants to labor relations programs and services operated by several BOCES in Upstate New York. In this regard we provide various services relating to negotiations, contract administration, personnel and in-service programming through these BOCES relationships to the school systems.

The law firm offers a blend of expertise in analyzing and resolving conflicts confronted by school boards and administrators together with a depth of knowledge and experience obtained from years of hands-on business and operation management. We emphasize a threshold identification of our clients’ objectives and approach our representation from the perspective of these goals.

We encourage a pro-active, “preventive maintenance” view in promoting and maintaining a safe, productive and efficient environment for educating students and serving the school community. In doing so, we attempt to shield our clients from the potential adverse impact of the many statutes and administrative regulations affecting school operations and administration.

We are also cognizant of our clients’ desire to maintain both a positive public image and a judicious use of district funds in avoiding or managing, when necessary, litigation or other high profile administrative proceedings.

Members of our firm are frequent speakers at New York State School Boards Association seminars and conferences, National School Boards Association programs, New York State Bar Association seminars and local BOCES and school district workshops, e.g., appearances at Superintendent’s conference days. We also send out periodic newsletters as well as client alerts on a particular topic when warranted. We hold regular “breakfast conferences” for clients, at which attorneys in the firm have spoken on various topics.

Our firm is actively involved in the National Council of School Attorneys and the New York State School Attorneys Association. Our senior partner, Benjamin Ferrara, is past Chairman of the National Council of School Attorneys and past President of the New York State School Attorneys Association. Another partner, Dennis Barrett, is also a former President of the New York State School Attorneys Association. Two of our attorneys, Norm Gross and Hank Sobota, both served in the counsel’s office for the New York State School Boards Association for more than 10 years.