Kenneth E. Ryan

Office: For Judge of the Athens County Court of Common Pleas, Probate/Juvenile Division

Term Beginning 2/9/2021

Age: 51

Residence: Athens



Social Media:

Occupation: Attorney and owner of Ryan Law Office Co., LPA

Education:  B.Mus.Ed. from Ohio Wesleyan University; M.Mus.Ed. from Ohio University; J.D. from the University of Dayton

Work Experience: 
Attorney for Ryan Law Office Co., LPA 2014 to present; Attorney for Eslocker & Oremus Co., LPA 2007 to 2014; Legal Clerk for Eslocker & Oremus Co., LPA 2004 to 2007; Board member for Athens County Board of Elections 2011 to 2019; Teacher for Trimble Local School District 1992 to 2004.

Family: Married to Amy J. Ryan (Taylor) of Coolville with one son, Wesley, who is 12.

Affiliations: Current and founding board member for Rising Suns charitable pharmacy; Current member of Southeast Ohio Citizen Review Panel providing oversight to the child protection system; Past board member for The Athens Foundation; Past and founding board member for Athens Professionals for Philanthropy; Past member of Coolville Village Council; Past participant in Leadership Athens; Past participant in Ohio University Summer Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Singing Men of Ohio; Past member of Ohio Association of Election Officials; Past participant in Athens Red Cross Dancing with the Athens Stars event – Judges’ Trophy winner; Guest speaker for local foster parent and women’s recovery organization; Past foster and adoptions service for local animal rescue organizations; Past advisor and judge for Athens County Mock Trial program; Member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Parkersbug, WV; Volunteer Attorney for the Athens County Poverty Clinic.

Endorsements: I have not sought any endorsements.

Bar Association Ratings: None known.

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
No prior official judicial experience

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I am well versed in the issues facing this judgeship a result of my personal and professional experience. I have been a private practice attorney for more than 12 years; owning my own practice since 2014. In addition to a career long practice in estate planning and probate administration, I have been appointed by the Athens County Juvenile Court to represent more than 100 children in cases of abuse, neglect or dependency and cases of delinquency. In representing children, I have interacted with foster parents, kinship homes, case workers at Athens County Children Services, guardian ad litems, and therapeutic service providers.

Before attending law school, I was a public school teacher in the Trimble Local School District for 12 years. I have taught hundreds of students ages 10 though 18 in compulsory and elective education with more than 11,000 hours of classroom experience.

I have also been appointed by the Athens County Probate Court in over 600 cases for individuals with mental illness who are facing commitment to the mental health hospital or the imposition of involuntary medications. In so doing, I routinely review medical records and meet with nurses and psychiatrists. I have attended treatment team meetings. My concern for the mental health community stems from my personal experience. I come from a family of six sons. Our mother had pronounced bi-polar disorder that first manifested itself when I was a young child and continued through the balance of her life. My older brother Paul had severe schizophrenia and suffered periods of homelessness and hospitalizations until he took his life during my first year of law school.

I have also been the guardian for more than a dozen individuals and currently serve as guardian for 7 adults through the Athens County Probate Court. These individuals have a varying combination of mental, physical and/or cognitive impairment. In this service, I have worked with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, Athens County Job and Family Services and the Board of Developmental Disabilities. I am currently on the local Citizens Review Panel providing oversight of the child welfare system and on the board of Rising Suns Pharmacy, a charitable pharmacy being planned for the working poor. I served on the Athens County Board of Elections and the board of The Athens Foundation. My wide array of experience in this area makes me particularly qualified to be judge.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running for the Athens County Probate and Juvenile judge because my mission of service to my community has given me the necessary experience and abilities that make me particularly suited for the position.

Since high school, I knew that I would pursue a career of service, which first began as a teacher. I wanted to expand my capacity for service by becoming a local attorney. It has been my privilege to represent many of the children, mentally ill, and elderly members of our community. My knowledge and experience have also given me the opportunity to serve on the governing body of several charitable, civic, and governmental organizations. By remaining dedicated to a path of service, I have found myself with the proper experience and abilities that make me well suited for judgeship. I believe, that by serving as judge for the Athens County Probate and Juvenile Court, I can fully realize my mission of service and put my experience and abilities to their greatest use. Spending hundreds of hours practicing in probate and juvenile court in Athens County, I have witnessed first-hand the unique opportunity the probate and juvenile judge has in making a substantive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community. My personal and professional experience will inform the decision making in the discharge of my duties as judge in a very meaningful way. Having this unique history allows me to be of great benefit to others. If I ignored this chance to serve the larger community, I feel that I would be disobeying my conscience. I never imagined when I first started my career that I would have this opportunity, but as I now find myself in this situation, I feel compelled to answer this call of service.