O'Dwyer & Bernstien in New York City, NY


Brian O'Dwyer is a Senior Partner at O'Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP in New York City.

Brian O’Dwyer was born and raised in New York. He was educated in the New York City public school system. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art, now known as LaGuardia High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University in Spanish-American Literature and his Masters of Arts degree in Spanish-Language Literature from Middlebury College in Madrid. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University and his Masters in Law from The George Washington University. In July 2013 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (hc) by Dublin City University.

Brian O'Dwyer, Senior Partner at O'Dwyer & Bernstien, LLC.

Brian O'Dwyer, Senior Partner at O'Dwyer & Bernstien, LLC.

Career at O'Dwyer & Bernstien

Nearly his entire legal career has been with O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP. The firm was founded by his father, Paul O'Dwyer. The firm's focus is on personal injury, immigration rights, labor relations and general commercial litigation. 

Brian O'Dwyer serves as the firm's senior partner. He has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers is a peer ranking organization that and the recognition of "Super Lawyer" is given to only the top 5% of the profession as surveyed by the Bar of New York City. He has also been awarded a rating for 25 years that puts him at the top of his profession. He presently serves as General Counsel of the US Airline Pilots Association, and represents pilots throughout the United States. 

Immigrant Rights

Brian O’Dwyer has always been an advocate for immigrants’ rights. He founded the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, which is the largest Irish immigrant center in the United States. In its 25 years of existence, the center has helped thousands of Irish men and women as they immigrated to New York City. The center also serves as a focal point for the advocacy of Irish immigrant causes. 

Brian has served as chairman and counselor to the Asociación Tepeyac. The organization provides advocacy and services to New York’s Mexican community. One of Brian's greatest immigration reform accomplishment was when he helped convince the late New York City Mayor Edward Koch to open the doors of New York City’s public universities and colleges to all immigrants regardless of their documented status. As an attorney he has concentrated on defending undocumented workers hurt in the course of their employment.

Recognitions for Brian's work promoting immigrant and human rights:

  • Knight of the Holy Sepulcher by the Catholic Church
  • The Child of Peace Award by the Catholic Home Bureau
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO)


Throughout his career, Brian has concentrated on promoting Irish and Irish-American interests. Brian O'Dwyer was appointed by President Clinton as a Commissioner of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and was awarded the Director Citation for Exemplary Public Service by the White House Director of Personnel citing his work on the Commission. In June 2011, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton appointed him as Commissioner of the United States National Commission for UNESCO. Some of his most notable political contributions include: 

  • Serving as national chairman of Irish Americans for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996 and Irish-Americans for Gore in 2000
  • Becoming a founding member of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee and Irish American Democrats
  • Participating in the delegation that accompanied President Clinton to Ireland on each of his three trips
  • Serving as an advisor to the White House on Irish issues including the peace process


Brian O’Dwyer has actively worked to advance Ireland’s cause in the United States. Here's a summary of the work Brian has done to promote Irish interests:

  • He presently serves as chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA where he works to facilitate American investment in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
  • He has accompanied US public officials on visits to Ireland, including New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Comptroller John Liu and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to Ireland.
  • He serves as a member of the Board of Ireland West Airport in Knock, County Mayo Ireland.


Brian taught Spanish at both The George Washington University and Malcolm King College. He presently serves as Treasurer of the City University of New York Law School Foundation and was a recipient of the Dean’s Medal. He also serves as a Co-Chair of the board of the Graduate School of Political Management of The George Washington University. He was national president of his college fraternity, Kappa Sigma, and presently serves as an advisor to many chapters in the New York City area. He was also named as the Fraternity’s Man of the Year in 2012, only one of 76 in the history of Kappa Sigma.


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