When you’re standing in front of a packed courtroom, it helps to have command of the audience. And Paul’s no stranger to wooing a crowd.
Born and raised in County Tipperary, Ireland, Paul spent his younger years learning to sing and play guitar for family members, soon taking his talents to the local stage.
In fact, it was music, not law, that brought him to New York. The singer-songwriter performed for years with his band The Jacks of Kings County and as a solo artist. He was also curator of a songwriting showcase for The Waystation in Brooklyn.
“I planned on returning to Ireland to take the bar exam. Then I met the woman who would become my wife, so plans changed considerably,” he says. “I knew the sacrifices people make to pursue music. Thinking of our future made choosing a career in law relatively easy.”
Along with delivering a soul mate, New York provides just the sort of challenge Paul loves. “It’s not an easy place to live, but that’s exactly what appeals to me. It keeps you sharp and pushes you to grow.”
The son of a police officer, Paul’s interest in the legal system began at a young age, learning how diplomacy and patience go a long way toward settling differences. “I always try to be friendly and gracious when corresponding with clients, and indeed adversaries, as it makes matters easier to resolve.”
Despite career demands, Paul continues to make time for music. Finding time to travel home is another issue. “That’s difficult, of course, missing the christenings, retirements, birthdays. I also miss the humor that Irish people have in their approach to life.”
Luckily, he works alongside David Jolley (link) where the two share plenty of laughs. “David’s a very funny individual and is always ready for deep analysis on Game of Thrones episodes,” he says.
They also collaborate on cases, with David sharing all he’s learned in his decade at Jones Jones. “He’s an encyclopedia of no-fault law and regulations and I’ve learned a great deal from him. All of our attorneys are amazing and so willing to share their knowledge,” says Paul.
Paul still catches shows at his favorite East Village venue The Scratcher. Performing there many times, he’s also had the pleasure of welcoming some of his favorite Irish artists to the stage including Glen Hansard, Niall Connolly, Brendan O’Shea, and Anthony Mulcahy.
As for the guys in his own band, they were very supportive of his decision to pursue law. “They understand the uncertainty of the industry,” he says. “They’re happy I found a career that’s so rewarding.”
While his fans are feeling the loss, everyone at Jones is glad he made the switch.Contact Paul Ryan at