Rolling Out

Attorney Ryan Jones tells how working for friends helped him start his business

Attorney Ryan Jones tells how working for friends helped him start his business
Photo provided by Ryan L. Jones

Attorney and author Ryan L. Jones chats with rolling out about social responsibility, how he became an entrepreneur and his new children’s book, Dream Forever.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
As an attorney, you are a “job.” You do not need to wait for someone else to hire you to work. I found myself waiting and hoping to be hired and seeking a position in a firm, local or federal government, or company. All I got instead were calls from my friends to help them with their legal issues. As an attorney, you have a social responsibility to your community to serve your community. So, I decided to work for my friends. In the process of trying to help my friends as clients, they forced my hand to set up my law firm in order to adequately serve their legal needs.

Tell us about your education and your business.
I graduated from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. I attended Hargrave Military Academy, where I received a certificate of completion for a post-graduate year. I went on to study psychology at Elon University before transferring to Stony Brook where I received my B.A. in psychology. I sought my passion of playing basketball after college, before attending law school. I graduated in 2 1/2 years from Southern Illinois University School of Law, which included a visiting semester at Villanova University School of law. I then received my LL.M. from The George Washington Law School, in intellectual property.

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of working for yourself?
When I first started there was always an issue of wanting to have more capital and it was just a self-induced stress or challenge. I just had to figure out how to do more with less. It forced me to become inventive and economically judicious, and prioritize. Beyond that, I would say the real challenge was having to learn in practice what school did not teach me or prepare me for.

What does success look like to you?
Success is personal. People are limited to their thoughts and belief system. Success therefore to me is breaking through certain boundaries of one’s own belief system. For example, someone may wish to complete five backflips in a row, and they do, but they should now see that six is possible, and then try to do six and do six. Another example is that someone has spent their life trying one form of art, but then they transition and transform that prior art into another art or a new way of doing an old way. Success to me resides in the effort push your own limits and accepted limits.

Tell us about your new children’s book, Dream Forever.
It’s simplistic poetry about the beauty in believing in your dreams, with wonderful artwork to match by French artist, Marilyn Calza.

What inspired you to write the book and how can people purchase it?
I was sitting at my desk, on a conference call, at a former job, when the words started flowing, and I just wrote them on my Pages app [on] my phone.

Where do you see your career in the next five years?
Practicing law with an expanded reach of clientele, that enables me to branch into other fields to do good work there as well.

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