Ryan MacDonald

RyanMacDonaldForWebPro Bono Volunteer of the Month – February 2016

Ryan MacDonald of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office

Ryan MacDonald is a Deputy District Attorney with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office – Appellate Division.  He graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law and was previously employed as a staff attorney for the Nevada Supreme Court.

Ryan began volunteering with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada in 2013.  In the past year, he accepted two pro bono cases, one involving representing a father in his appeal of a child custody determination and another involving representing a client defrauded by an auto dealer. Ryan is also a regular volunteer with the Landlord Tenant and Small Claims Ask-A-Lawyer programs where he provides free consultations to pro se litigants in need of legal advice.  He frequently steps up to volunteer when the Pro Bono Project is confronted with a last minute cancellation and needs to find a replacement on short notice.

When we asked Ryan why he does pro bono work, he responded that using his skills to help people is the principal reason he became a lawyer. He says that he finds it incredibly motivating to be able to empower someone and guide them through what must seem like a bewildering legal system.  He also says that he finds volunteering with the Ask-A-Lawyer programs to be particularly fulfilling since he doesn’t have the opportunity to “give counsel” in his regular job.

In regard to his existing pro bono appeals case which he accepted through the Nevada Appellate Program, Ryan says, “I am using every appellate tool I can muster to earn a reversal.  [My client] is almost entirely responsible for me joining Legal Aid Center’s “50 Hour Club” last year, but this project is, on a personal level, probably the most important case I’ve ever handled.”

For his commitment to representing clients, and for the time he has dedicated to the Ask-A- Lawyer programs and pro bono cases, we honor Ryan MacDonald as the February Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.