Professor O'Neill joined the UW law school faculty in 1993 to direct and teach in the Basic Legal Skills Program. She has been teaching legal analysis, research, and writing since 1983, first at New York University and then at Brooklyn Law School. Her teaching and research interests include copyrights, contracts, professional skills development, learning theory, jurisprudence, legal rhetoric, and law and literature. Before teaching, Professor O'Neill was in private practice in New York for three years.
In 2003, she initiated a pilot project to reform the way first-year law students are taught to analyze legal texts and to communicate that analysis. The project applies contemporary scholarship on how adults learn a discipline and employs novel collaborative teaching and learning methods. She presented a paper on the project at the Legal Writing Institute Conference in June 2006. In addition, she is working on an interdisciplinary analysis of contemporary rhetoric in the federal judiciary and revising a paper on the law and rhetoric surrounding the transfer of intellectual property generated during employment.
Professor O'Neill is a member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and former Chair of the Legal Reasoning and Writing Section of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2005-06 she served as chair of the law school's Curriculum Committee and has recently served on the law school's Strategic Planning Committee and its faculty Executive Council. For two years she served as chair of the University's Faculty Council on Faculty Affairs. She is the President of the UW chapter of the American Association of University Professors. She is admitted to the bar in New York and Washington.