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Firm News

Wisler Pearlstine Adds Three Attorneys to Acclaimed Education Law Practice

August 25, 2022

Mark J. Burgmann

Bethany O’Neill Byrne

Emily M. Beck

Wisler Pearlstine, LLP is pleased to announce that Mark J. Burgmann, Bethany O’Neill Byrne, and Emily M. Beck have joined the firm. Each will be associates in the firm’s acclaimed Education Law Group.

“At Wisler Pearlstine, we’re proud to offer one of the largest and most respected education and special education law practices in Pennsylvania,” said Firm Administrative Partner Kenneth Roos. “We are delighted to enhance our team with lawyers who deeply understand the fundamentals of our clients’ world. Mark, Bethany and Emily are natural fits for our firm.”

Mark J. Burgmann knows and understands the world of special education like very few other lawyers. Before attending law school, he was a Special Education and English teacher at South Philadelphia High School for three years, gaining substantial experience in classroom teaching and special education administration. Mr. Burgmann received his M.Ed. and PA Certifications in Special Education (K-12) and Secondary English (7-12) from Holy Family University in 2011, having had substantial in-classroom teaching experience. While attending Temple University Law School, he was a Teaching and Research Assistant in Education and Family Law. Executive Editor of the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal, Mr. Burgmann also served as Director of Advocacy for the School Discipline Service where he represented students at Philadelphia public and charter school disciplinary administrative hearings. A scholar-athlete at Haverford College, he was the Academic All-American Captain of Cross Country and Track. He received his B.A. in English in 2009.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Burgmann served for over six years in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, eventually serving as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and the Assistant Chief of the Gun Violence Task Force. There, he gained substantial jury and bench trial experience and handled numerous investigations from inception to successful conviction. Mr. Burgmann is a member of the Pennsylvania and Montgomery Bar Associations. He lives with his wife and son in Chestnut Hill and is an Eagle Scout and active alumnus of Roman Catholic High School.

Bethany O’Neill Byrne practices in such areas as general school matters, policy development and review, and has particular expertise in responding to Right-to-Know requests and appeals before the Office of Open Records. Ms. O’Neill Byrne also assists on general representation matters confronting municipal clients.

Prior to joining Wisler Pearlstine, she practiced education law with a state-wide law firm and became familiar with the challenges facing school districts. Before this, Ms. O’Neill Byrne gained expertise in securities litigation and contract matters—skills she now brings to bear on her work for clients in the education sector.

A highly detailed attorney, Ms. O’Neill Byrne inserts great care into every matter she handles. A 2003 graduate of Villanova University, she received her law degree from Widener University School of Law in 2007. Ms. O’Neill Byrne is a member of the Pennsylvania and Montgomery Bar Associations. When not practicing law, she enjoys being active, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends, family, and her rescue dog.

Emily M. Beck counsels area public school districts and charter schools regarding compliance with federal and state law and regulations governing the provision of special education programming for exceptional children. Ms. Beck also supports school districts in reference to their obligations to students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the McKinney-Vento Act, as well as ensuring that district discipline policies conform to all regulatory and legislative requirements.

Prior to joining Wisler Pearlstine, Ms. Beck practiced special education law with the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of General Counsel, where she handled all aspects of disputes and litigation arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504, in addition to providing guidance and support to the District’s Office of Specialized Services. A 1994 graduate of Northwestern University, Ms. Beck received her law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1998. She is a member of the Montgomery Bar Association. In her spare time, Ms. Beck enjoys music, swimming, gardening, reading, and spending time with her husband, son, and dog.