Who We Are

We are a regional law firm headquartered in East Syracuse, New York, with offices in Rochester and Ithaca.

Our staff of attorneys is widely recognized for their expertise in all areas of education and employment law and dedicate their practices to serving public school districts, BOCES and private sector employers throughout Upstate New York, from the Southern Tier to the North Country.

Our firm’s depth and breadth of experience in school and employment law have enabled us to serve the various needs of our clients and consistently exceed expectations.

We are an AV-rated firm and are proud to have been named one of Central New York’s Best Places to Work in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

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EDUCATION LAW

Comprehensive legal services for public schools and BOCES, so you can focus on what matters most.

We encourage a proactive and preventative approach to promoting and maintaining a safe, productive and efficient environment for educating students and serving the school community.

We offer a blend of expertise and practical advice resulting from years of hands-on business and operational management experience.

We analyze and work to resolve both unique and routine challenges confronted by Boards of Education and administrators.

We encourage a collaborative relationship and approach our representation from the perspective of our clients’ goals.

We take great pride in providing timely responses to our clients’ legal issues. We are cognizant of our clients’ desire to maintain both a positive public image and judicious use of district funds in avoiding or managing litigation (whether in court or in other administrative proceedings).

We provide individualized client guidance as well as client-centered training events, briefings, monthly newsletters and legal alerts to assist our clients with navigating the many complex statutes and administrative regulations impacting school operations and administration.

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EMPLOYMENT LAW

Thoughtful advocacy for employers.

Our practice is dedicated exclusively to the representation of employers in all aspects of employment and labor relations law. This highly regulated environment demands representation based on strategic solutions tailored to the needs and objectives of each employer. We recognize the importance of both leadership and compliance in organizational success.


Our team provides practical day-to-day counsel, promotes effective management through policy development and training, strives to position our clients to avoid litigation through proactive counseling, comprehensive training programs, and frequent legal updates and alerts. We believe this approach enhances our clients’
ability to focus on their core mission.

When informal efforts to resolve disputes fail, we provide focused and efficient representation in all types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration.

Our Firm's History

Our law firm was formed in 1994 as Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett & Reitz.

The Firm was organized by Ben Ferrara and Nick Fiorenza. Ben, a recognized leader in employment and education law, was the chairman of a Syracuse-based corporate law firm’s labor department. Nick was practicing at his own Syracuse-area law office, focusing on public and private sector employment/labor relations law.

Ben and Nick had a unique vision for the new firm: to practice exclusively “between the E’s” of employment and education law with other accomplished attorneys who shared their vision.

Founding partner David Larrison was a member of the General Counsel’s staff of the National Labor Relations Board before entering private practice.

Dennis Barrett, who initially practiced in Rochester, was a noted education and municipal attorney.

Marc Reitz was the Personnel Director for the City of Syracuse and the Director of Employer-Employee Relations for the Oswego BOCES prior to beginning private practice.

The original group of Firm partners also included Hank Sobota, formerly Deputy Counsel for Labor Relations and Environmental Law for the New York State School Boards Association and Susan Johns, who was in private practice concentrating in special education and other school law matters. Each brought unique talents, diverse experience and expertise to the Firm.

This unique vision, the leadership of the founding partners, together with the talent of our tremendous staff, has served our clients well over the years and continues to this day. We are proud of the successes and recognition we have enjoyed over the years and remain committed to the initial inspiration which formed a firm we believe to be like no other.

(Pictured above: Founding Partners: Nick Fiorenza, Ben Ferrara, David Larrison, Dennis Barrett and Marc Reitz)