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Counselor’s 9/11 duty
n the wake of 9/11, heroes came in many forms, including lawyers like John Ryan, Jr. ’76. A northern New Jersey native, Ryan donated his services to Trial Lawyers Care (TLC) after enduring his own losses from the Trade Center attacks. “I live very close to New York and lost some friends and neighbors,” he said. “I volunteered to honor them and out of a sense of patriotism for my country.”

TLC, founded by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), aided families of victims in making claims through the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and provided them with free representation by volunteer trial lawyers. Over 1,000 attorneys were recruited to represent more than 1,500 victims in 35 states and 11 countries. Ryan personally assisted three families and is recipient of an award from the ATLA for his dedication to helping families of 9/11 victims.

Once a political science major at Glassboro State and a Pace University law student, Ryan continues to run his own practice, as he has done for the past 20 years. “I always wanted to be a lawyer,” he said, “ever since I was a kid. Some people took to the stage or screen, but I was drawn to the law.”

Although Ryan can usually be found busy serving legal clients, he keeps in touch with his TLC families and spends time with his wife, Karen, and two sons, one of whom is a freshman at Rowan.

Now that TLC’s run is over, Ryan looks back on the experience and sees it as a pinnacle in both in his career and personally. “TLC is one of the best things I ever did,” he explained. “It’s definitely the highlight of my profession. I just found it personally rewarding to help people through this tragedy.”


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