Professional License Defense for Teachers

The State of New York has high expectations for its teachers, of that there can be little doubt. From the time you receive your teaching certification, you have a maximum of 5 years to obtain a Master’s Degree in Education, and after that mandate is satisfied there are still many increasingly complex and demanding requirements that all licensed educators in the state must adhere to.

In the process of factoring in all of the various stressors that encumber teachers in the State of New York, it would be wise to keep in mind the terrifying prospect of losing one’s license or the general ability to continue teaching due to a damaged reputation.

You’ve worked prodigiously to obtain the degrees and licenses that you need to do your job, and you’ve sacrificed tremendously in order to get where you are. In a perfect world, these facts alone would shield you from unpredictable factors that could threaten your livelihood. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and the many fruits of your labor cannot always rectify circumstances out of your control.

If you are a teacher in the State of New York that is either facing or suspects they are going to face a criminal charge and a subsequent license discipline case, it is imperative that you obtain experienced legal assistance. With a qualified legal team by your side, fighting for your future doesn’t have to be an unobtainable dream, it’s a viable option.

Attorney for Teachers License Defense in New York City

Our attorneys at [Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner have represented clients like you for more than a decade. Assisting them in sifting through documents, collecting character witnesses and references, and presenting their cases to administrative panels at license hearings. We understand the crisis that potentially losing your license to teach creates, and we are devoted to helping you fight for your future.

From the very beginning until the very end, our legal team will work with you to guide the process of preparing and executing your defense. Focusing solely on proving to the board that you are moral, valuable, and worthy of the dignity and respect you have worked so hard to earn.

If you are facing the loss of your teaching license in the Greater New York City Area, please reach out to us at 718-261-5600 for a free consultation.


Teaching License Defense Information Center

How Can I Lose My License?

The nightmare begins simply enough when an individual submits a complaint to the Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA) to be investigated. Whichever educator is listed in the complaint will then be investigated by a designated investigator.

If a criminal conviction or an act that is deemed to bring into question the good moral character of the individual is uncovered, the investigator will refer the evidence to the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching. From there, they will determine if the evidence provided is enough to start a formal administrative hearing.

Once, or if, a hearing is scheduled, the potential for trouble sets in. If they have enough to call a hearing, it implies that they believe there is sufficient evidence to call into question the moral character of the one being investigated. This can be for a number of different reasons depending on the circumstances, although a handful of common reasons are:

  • Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse allegations
  • Allegations of Fraud
  • Prior history of conviction
  • Arrests
  • Violations of State Educational Policy

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What Can I Do?

A common reaction to facing the potential loss of one’s teaching license is to despair and feel hopeless. After all, how can one person successfully rebuke the opinion of a panel of important bureaucrats, even if their opinion is based on inaccurate information? While it can be tempting to give in to those doubts, it is important to remember everything that is at stake and what that means to you.

Utilizing the help and guidance of a knowledgeable attorney is the first step in maintaining your livelihood and protecting your future. Cases like these often have a bleeding effect that trickles down to every facet of one’s life, which is why it is critical that one responds quickly and effectively to any and all accusations of wrongdoing or impropriety.

Starting from securing a skilled legal team to help you along the way, the first steps in preparing for a moral character hearing are obtaining documentation and character references and then procuring witnesses that agree to testify on your behalf. From the outset, the panel will only have information from the investigation and referential documentation you submitted. It is up to your legal team to fill in any gaps and strengthen your defense.


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Additional Resources

The New York State Education Department – This is the official website of the NYS Education Department. The link provides info about Part 83 hearings, as well as useful information regarding a number of issues that affect teachers in the state.

Office of Teaching Initiatives - This is the official website of the subsidiary Office of Teaching Initiatives. It provides links to state law documents that establish the operating procedures related to licensing and license discipline.


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Lawyer for Teachers License Defense in New York

Our highest duty and greatest honor at [Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner is to serve as the first and toughest line of defense in each case that our clients present to us. Each of our clients comes to us with problems that could have gravely serious consequences if not deftly handled, and they come to us with the rightly placed trust that we will work ceaselessly and fight fervently to protect their personal and professional reputation, as well as their livelihood.

The attorneys at Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner want you to know that nothing is lost if you refuse to give up and that they are ready, willing, and able to take up the task of fighting for you. If you are ready to begin the process of developing your defense, contact us at 718-261-5600 to get started.


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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

  • National Police Accountability Project
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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