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Ryan was born and raised in and around Council Bluffs, Iowa. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and Anthropology, Ryan spent a year driving a taxi in Iowa City before bouncing around the West for a few years, landing in Missoula in 2002 to attend law school at the University of Montana.
During law school, he worked at the Missoula City Attorney’s Office, was on the National Moot Court team, and was a clinical law clerk to U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy. In 2005, Ryan moved to Billings to begin what was supposed to be a two year clerkship with U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, but he soon took career status and two years became eight. Upon Judge Cebull’s retirement in 2013, Ryan spent his last months with the court as a law clerk at large to the six district and magistrate judges that assumed Judge Cebull’s caseload.
Ryan met his wife Elizabeth while they were in law school together and they have a two-year-old daughter named Plum. In his free time, Ryan enjoys mountain biking, fat biking, snowboarding, and music.
Ryan is a member of the State Bar of Montana and is admitted to practice in all Montana State and Federal Courts.