Carolyn Reinach Wolf

Executive Partner
3 Dakota Drive
Suite 300
Lake Success, NY 11042

Tel: (516) 592-5857
Fax: (516) 328-6638
Email: Send Email

Also in the Manhattan office.


Practice Areas


In The News


Carolyn Reinach Wolf

Executive Partner

Carolyn Reinach Wolf is an Executive Partner in the law firm of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP and Director of the Firm's Mental Health Law practice. She is the only attorney in the country with a family-focused mental healthcare practice. Supported by a team of expert clinicians, she specializes in guiding families through the complex landscape of legal issues that impact loved ones with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. She also represents institutions, such as major hospital systems, community hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient programs, consulting on matters including capacity, mental hygiene law, end of life decision making, development and ongoing functioning of ethics committees, advance directives and institutional review boards. She also represents mental health and healthcare professionals, and higher educational institutions. A New York Times profile of her is available here.

Ms. Wolf’s expertise encompasses mental hygiene law, including retention and treatment over objection psychiatric cases; mental health warrants; capacity determinations; informed consent and medical treatment cases; confidentiality and release of records matters; interaction with law enforcement in family matters, health care facilities and institutions of higher education; Kendra's Law applications (Assisted Outpatient Treatment Orders); Article 81 and 17-A guardianship proceedings; civil and criminal litigation and negotiation specific to mental health issues; consultation and advice in navigating the mental health system and legal interventions in the inpatient and outpatient treatment settings as well as mental health issues in the higher education setting.

Ms. Wolf is immediate Past President of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), a membership association serving more than 1,500 professionals in schools, colleges and workplaces whose role is to support individuals in need of mental health intervention and to minimize the potential for school and workplace violence. She is also a frequently invited speaker and consultant to healthcare and mental health organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, specifically university counseling centers and administrators, and professional associations throughout the country regarding mental health law issues and many of the above-mentioned topics. She has been selected to the New York Super Lawyers list since 2013 and the Best Lawyers of America since 2018.

Ms. Wolf holds a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, an M.S. in Health Services Administration from the Harvard School of Public Health and an M.B.A. in Management from the Hofstra University School of Business. She is admitted to practice in New York State and Federal Courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Ms. Wolf is an adjunct professor at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, teaching “Law and Psychiatry.” Prior to practicing law, Ms. Wolf was a hospital administrator and Director of Hospital Risk Management.

Bar Admissions

New York

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court Southern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Federal Claims


Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York

Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
Major:Health Services Administration

Hofstra University School of Business, Hempstead, New York

University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Recent Published Works

Psychology Today article, Buttigieg Mental Health Plan Would Fund Needed Community Programs (February 2020), Author

Psychology Today article, Families Enduring Mental Illness Need Hope for the Holidays (November 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Mental Health Needs Are Often Inseparable from Work (October 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Counselors, Please Consider Your Own Mental Health Needs (September 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Trump is Wrong About Institutionalizing Mentally Ill (August 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Some College-Bound Students Face a Trifecta of Challenges (August 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Murder Trial Shows Our Mental Health System's Limitations (July 2019), Author

Nassau Lawyer article, Enduring the Aftermath of a School Shooting: When Survivors Take Their Own Lives (June 2019), Co-Author. Op-Ed article, When Clients Loved Ones Experience Mental Health Crises (May 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Mental Health, Addiction and The 2020 Presidential Race (May 2019), Author article, A Vision of Extraordinary Care and Service: The VBS Counseling Center (May 2019), Quoted

Psychology Today article, Mental Health Laws Afford Key Legal Protections (May 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Not All Survivors of School Shootings Survive (April 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, We Need More Housing For People With Mental Illness (February 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, To Prevent Mass Shootings, Believe the Women (January 2019), Author

Psychology Today article, Aided by Celebrity Candor, Mental Health Coming to Forefront (December 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, Prevention, Not Reaction - How to protect schools from mass shootings (December 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, Erasing Stigma, One Vote at a Time (October 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, Families of Those in Crisis Have Distinct Emotional Needs (September 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to Silver Linings Playbook (August 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, Language is Key to Easing the Stigma of Mental Illness (July 2018), Author

Nassau Lawyer article, Gun Control Is Not Enough: Early Identification and Intervention for Those At Risk Means Safety and Security Before It’s Too Late (June 2018), Co-Author

Psychology Today article, Preventing School Shootings Requires Additional Measures (June 2018), Author

Psychology Today article, How to Stage a Mental Health Intervention (June 2018), Author

New York Times article, His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn't, Until It Was Too Late (May 2018), Quoted

Psychology Today article, Guardrails for the College-Bound With Mental Health Needs (May 2018), Author

Nassau Lawyer article, Guardianship Proceedings and Mental Illness (March 2018), Co-Author

Wall Street Journal article, Documents You Need When A Child Turns 18 (November 2017), Quoted

Huffington Post article, Holiday Season Support: A Must for Shooting Survivors and Others in Crisis (November 2017), Author

The Risk Management Quarterly Journal article, The Increased Threat of Hospital Liability After Munsey v. Delia (August 2017), Co-Author

Bloomberg Law article, Improving Mental Health Care in America (April 2017), Author

Distinguishing Dementia from Mental Illness and Other Causes of Decline, 89.1 NYSBA Journal 22-27 (Jan. 2017), Co-Author

New York Law Journal article, 'Munsey' Changed Landscape of Involuntary Psychiatric Admissions (June 2016), Co-Author

The Risk Management Quarterly Journal article, How High is the Risk to Your Organization? Risk Management and Medical Marijuana (April 2016), Co-Author

Best Interests of the Special Needs Child: Mandating Consideration of the Child’s Mental Health, 54 FAM. CT. REV. 68 (Jan. 2016), Co-Author.

Missing the Mark: Gun Control Is Not the Cure for What Ails the U.S. Mental Health System, 104 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 851, Co-Author

Representing Clients with Mental Illness, 64.10 NASSAU LAWYER 19 (June 2015), Co-Author

Professional Associations and Memberships

Association for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM), New York State, President, 2007-2008

ASHRM, New York State, Board of Directors, 1983-Present

Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA), Hospital and Health Law Committee, Member

NCBA, Lawyers Assistance Program Committee, Member

New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Health Law Section, Member

NYSBA, Health Law Section Subcommittee on Mental Health Law, Co-Chair

National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), Affiliated Consultant

National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), Advisory Board Member, 2010 - Present

NaBITA, President Elect, 2015-2016

NaBITA, President, 2016-2017