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About me

Ralph was raised in Frederick, Maryland.  After graduation from high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for the next four years.  During that time he was stationed in Texas, Illinois, Vietnam and Japan.  He achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-5).  After his honorable discharge, he enrolled in college on Maui, Hawaii, where he was an investigator for the Maui Public Defender.  After receiving an Associate of Arts degree, he transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a Parole Aide for the California Youth Authority.  He graduated from Berkeley with honors and then attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  At Harvard Ralph was very active in Drama.  He also represented veterans before military review boards under the school's Committee on Military Justice organization.  After graduating from Harvard, he worked as an associate in a Washington, D.C. law firm that concentrated on antitrust and trade regulation issues.  Two years later he started his own law firm, Thomas John & Everett where he handled a number of high profile cases. He also appeared frequently as a consumer law expert on a  TV consumer protection program called "Dollars and Sense." He then served for the next seven years as the Executive Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors, a group of nation-wide minority-owned construction firms headquartered in Washingon, D.C.  After that, Ralph was appointed as Associate Administrator for Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at NASA Headquarters, where he received much acclaim for expanding NASA's competitive base of contractors to include more small, minority, and women owned firms.  In 2005, after 13 years at NASA, Ralph returned to practicing law while maintaining his expertise in increasing contract awards to all categories of small businesses. Ralph has conducted more than one hundred training seminars for small businesses.  He has written about 80 articles on small business issues and testified a number of times in Congress about how proposed legislation would impact small businesses.  Internationally, Ralph has spoken at conferences in a number of foreign countries including Hungary, India, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Switzerland, Brazil, Turkey, England, and Canada.  In 2009 Ralph was admitted into the Bar of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.  He also racewalked a 26.2 mile marathon in Negril, Jamaica.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Government Contracts: 100%


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Ian Andrew Cronogue

    I have known Ralph for some time now and can unequivocally say he is one of the best attorneys in DC. He is a tenacious advocate for his clients and simply does not stand for unjust outcomes. I fully endorse this lawyer.


    Ian Cronogue Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Barton, Baker, Thomas, & Tolle LLP

1320 Old Chain Bridge Road.
Suite. 200
McLean, VA, 22101


DCActive 197807/06/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Frances Perkins Vanguard AwardU.S. Small Business Administration2002
Outstanding Leadership MedalNASA2002
Presidential Rank of Distinguished ExecutiveExecutive Office of the President2001
Presidential Rank of Meritorious ExecutiveExecutive Office of the President2000
Special Honor AwardWorld Assn for Small & Medium Enterprises1999
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct Professor of LawConcord Law School Of Kaplan University2012 - Present
PartnerBarton Baker Thomas & Tolle LLP2008 - Present
Counsel to Government Contracts GroupBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney2005 - 2008
Associate AdministratorNasa Headquarters1992 - 2005
Adjunct Instructor of Government Contracts LawUniversity of Virginia1989 - 1991
Executive DirectorNational Association of Minority Contractors1985 - 1992
PartnerThomas John & Everett1980 - 1985
AssociateBergson Borkland Margolis & Adler1978 - 1980
Association namePosition nameDuration
Law Society of England and WalesMember2009 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember2008 - Present
Federal Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Size Appeal of Hanks-BrandanThe SBA ruled in client's favor, thus, allowing the client to keeps its multi-million award
In the Matter of Gaver Technologies, Inc.The GAO ruled in client's favor and recommended that a new selection decison be made. Client was awarded attorney's fees and costs.
IAP-Leopardo Construction, Inc. v. The United States of America and Trillacorpe Construction, Inc.The Court ruled in client's favor, holding that there was "clear and convincing evidence" that the original bid was a mistake.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Contract ManagementPlaying by the Numbers2009
VetrepreneurTeaming Agreements 101: Part I2008
VetrepreneurTeaming Agreements 101: Part II2008
The Government ContractorFeature Comment: When the Prevailing Party Loses2007
UnknownGovernment Contracts Special Counsel Ralph Thomas' Arrival Noted in The Hill2006
UnknownThe Addition of Ralph Thomas to Buchanan Ingersoll Noted in Legal Intelligencer2006
Unknown2006 Election Results – First Alert: What do the Results Mean for Government Contractors?2006
UnknownGovernment Contracts Attorney Ralph Thomas Quoted in Nikkei Shimbun Article on U.S. Government's Support for Women Entrepreneurs2006
UnknownThe Addition of Ralph Thomas to Buchanan Ingersoll Noted in Minorities and Women in Business2006
UnknownBuchanan Ingersoll's Ralph Thomas to Speak at Minority Conference2006
UnknownFormer NASA Assistant Administrator Joins Buchanan Ingersoll in DC: Ralph Thomas Moves to Firm's Government Contracts Team2005
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, Advanced Minority Business ExecutivesObtaining Contracts with the Federal Government2005
The Federal LawyerA Primer for Negotiating Subcontracts for High-Tech Small Businesses2005
Fall Conference, National Contract Management AssociationModel Principles of Effective Teaming Agreements2004
Small Business Monthly Breakfast Speaker SeriesFederal Small Business Contracting: Successes and Challenges2004
Jet Propulsion Laboratory's 16th Annual High-Tech Small Business ConferenceHow to Market Your Firm at a Small Business Procurement Conference2004
The Minority Business Guide, premier editionFour Essential Questions for Successful Marketing to the Federal Government2004
Government Contracts Section Newsletter of the Federal Bar AssociationRepresenting Small Businesses in Teaming Agreements2002
University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Dartmouth College Tuck School of BusinessNegotiating Effective Teaming AgreementsN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Harvard University Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1978
University of California - BerkeleyN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1975
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Ministry of Finance Delegation from the Peoples Republic of ChinaAdvantages of Contracting with Small Businesses in Government Procurements2013
4th Meeting Opportunities for Micro & Small Businesses on Government Procurement - Sao Palo, BrazilNASA's Small Business Success Story2011
2010 Boeing Small Business Technology Forum - Huntington Beach, CALegal Issues Facing Federal Contractors - 20102010
11th Annual Department of Energy Small Business Conference & Expo - Long Beach, CATeaming Agreements Workshop2010
National Veterans Small Business Conference - Las Vegas, NVLegal Aspects of Teaming Agreements2009
6th Annual National Small Business Conference - Newport, Rhode IslandLegal Aspects of Teaming Agreements2009