Ryan grew up in Sheridan, Wyoming where he enjoyed hiking, camping, fishing and hunting in the Bighorn Mountains. He attended public school until the 7th grade, then was home schooled and enrolled in Sheridan College at 14, later becoming the youngest graduate at 17 and with honors. After college, he worked as an insurance agent in his family’s business. While working in insurance, Ryan joined the Sheridan College speech and debate team, winning regional and national awards which earned him a scholarship to Northern Arizona University where he graduated in 2003 Summa Cum Laude with his bachelor’s degree in political science.
He pursued his passion for creating change in society through the study of law, enrolling at Georgetown University Law Center in 2005. During law school, Ryan worked on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee under then Chairman Senator Michael Enzi. After graduating law school, Ryan moved to New York City and joined a boutique New York City law firm where he practiced commercial and corporate law. In private practice, Ryan worked in numerous areas, including criminal law, contracts, construction, employment discrimination, insurance coverage, insurance defense, international law, negotiations, and mediation.