Student Defense Blog

O&A Criminal Practice Launches New Website for College Student Legal Defense

Our Criminal Defense practice announces the launch of a new website focused on legal defense for college students,  The site, launched in January, aims to educate college students and parents across New York about the importance of prompt legal help to guide, advise and protect the rights of students facing criminal or disciplinary charges at New York colleges and universities. “Our mission is to defend college students’ rights and ultimately their futures,” said O&A partner Michael McDermott, who is at the helm of the Firm’s new program.

Mike and the O’Connell and Aronowitz Criminal Defense team have represented students from schools across the state including UAlbany, Skidmore, Union and Siena Colleges, among others.

“Legal and disciplinary proceedings can quickly become overwhelming and confusing. We believe that the information on Student Defenders will help clarify important information regarding students’ rights,” Mike explains.  “The most important thing we can do for students facing disciplinary proceedings, criminal charges or both, is to stand between our clients and their accusers and advocate for our clients’ interests.”

A Chief Assistant District Attorney in both Albany and Rensselaer counties before joining O’Connell and Aronowitz in 2007, Mr. McDermott’s prosecutorial experience affords him an understanding of charging decisions and how prosecutors view cases, invaluable assets to his student clients and their families.

“We want students and their families to understand the legal options they have and encourage them to protect their future with the help of a qualified attorney,” he said.

Student Defenders also has information, articles and videos related to cases involving students in the Capital Region and around the country.

In addition to practicing law, McDermott has been an adjunct professor at Siena College and Southern Vermont College, and has lectured on legal issues for the New York State Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association, the New York State Prosecutors Training Institute and Albany Law School. O’Connell Aronowitz associate attorneys Scott Iseman in Albany rounds out the Student Defenders legal team.

O’Connell and Aronowitz is one of the Capital District’s largest and most diverse law firms. With 39 attorneys and offices in Albany, Latham, New York City, Plattsburgh and Saratoga Springs, the Firm provides a broad range of legal services to businesses and individuals throughout the State.  For more information, please contact Mike McDermott ( or by phone at (518) 462-5601.

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