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Brian O’Dwyer

NY Personal Injury Lawyer Brian O'Dwyer

Leading New York City Personal Injury Attorney

Brian O’Dwyer is a native New Yorker and 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, and is married to the former Marianna Page MacWilliam.  They have two children, Brendan Keith O’Dwyer and Kathleen Page O’Dwyer, and they have four grandchildren: Paul Ellis O’Dwyer, Patrick Trescott O’Dwyer, Reilly Page O’Dwyer, and Hailey Grace O’Dwyer.

In recognition of his service to Ireland and the Irish American Community, Brian O’Dwyer was named the Grand Marshall of the 2019 New York Saint Patrick’s Day parade, the 259th in the parade’s history and the third of his family to be so designated.  On March 16th, 2019 he led over 250,000 marchers up Fifth Avenue.

Brian O’Dwyer 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. On August 16, 2019, his alma mater, Middlebury College, will confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (hc) at its commencement.

He has spent virtually his entire legal career at O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP, a law firm founded by his late father, Paul, which concentrates on personal injury, construction accidents, immigration rights, labor relations, and general commercial litigation.  Presently, he is of Counsel to the firm.  His outstanding achievements have been recognized by his peers, and he has been cited as a New York Super Lawyer since its inception, which is a peer ranking given to only the top 5% of the profession as surveyed by the Bar of New York City.

Brian has been a consummate advocate for immigrants’ rights.  He was the founder of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, which is the largest Irish immigrant center in the United States.  In its over 30 years of existence, the center has helped literally 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 as well, which provides advocacy and services to New York’s growing Mexican community.  One of his greatest accomplishments for immigration reform was when 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.

Brian has been cited for his work in promoting immigrant and human rights. He has received recognition from the Catholic Church by being named as a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, a papal knighthood conferred by Edward Cardinal Egan.  He has been conferred The Child of Peace Award by the Catholic Home Bureau as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.  His work has been cited and awarded by the New York City Council, the government of Puerto Rico and the State of New York. He has also been recognized for his work in the Clinton Administration by an award citing his outstanding public service

Brian’s work in the political arena has concentrated largely on promoting Irish and Irish-American interests.  He served as national chairman of Irish Americans for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996 and Irish-Americans for Gore in 2000 and was founding member of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee and Irish American Democrats.  He was part of the delegation that accompanied President Clinton to Ireland on each of his three trips and served as an advisor to the White House on Irish issues including the peace process.  He 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.

Brian has actively worked to advance Ireland’s cause in the United States.  He has been recognized with numerous awards by Irish organizations in special recognition of his work in promoting Irish interests in the United States.  He presently served as chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA where he worked to facilitate American investment in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  He has accompanied many US public officials on their trips to Ireland and Northern Ireland, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as many local and state officials. He also serves as International Chairman of the Board of Ireland West Airport in Knock, County Mayo Ireland.

As a former teacher of Spanish at both The George Washington University and Malcolm King College, Dr.  O’Dwyer has been active in education.  He is the income Chair of the City University of New York Law School Foundation and was a recipient of the Dean’s Medal.  He also served as a Co-Chair of the board of the Graduate School of Political Management of The George Washington University., and is a trustee of the Dublin City University Foundation.  He served as 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, at the time only one of 76 in the history of Kappa Sigma.


“O’Dwyer & Bernstien has helped me in several different situations over the last 12 years that I’ve lived in NYC. They’re my go-to firm because they always obtain the results that I need and deserve. They’re also located in downtown Manhattan, which makes them very convenient. The office and people that work there are exactly what you’d expect from a top tier law firm in the world’s greatest city.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”