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I’m a Colorado native, although you’d never know it as I spent the majority of my life travelling from place to place with my family. Every new school taught me how to relate to people as individuals, which is how I found my way into family law.
As a child of divorced parents, I recognize the challenges that stem from family systems change. I chose to pursue a legal career in domestic relations law in order to help guide families through change, teach families how to avoid relationship breakdown, and create paradigms to keep families together.
I returned to Colorado in 2000 as a Division I lacrosse player at the University of Denver. As a lifelong athlete, I’ve learned the meaning of the words discipline, commitment, and excellence. Off the field, I earned a B.A. in Psychology as well as the University of Denver’s Shaklee-Trowill Research Award for my work in trauma and stress studies.
My family settled in Minneapolis and I travelled home to complete by legal studies at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. While in law school I took advantage of every opportunity I could to work with families in a state of transition.
As a law clerk with the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project, I obtained protective orders for women struggling with domestic abuse. I also worked with women seeking asylum and other immigration refuge under the Violence Against Women Act. My commitment to working in underserved communities resulted in over 500 hours of public service during my law school career.
Families come in many shapes and sizes and I pride myself on understanding the needs of even the most non-traditional families. I advocate for creative problem solving and preventative legal strategies. I’ve created and drafted innovative prenuptial agreements and domestic partnership agreements to plan, protect, and preserve the future of several non-traditional families.
I believe it is important to not only have the emotional commitment to family law, but the economic commitment as well. After law school, I returned to the University of Denver to complete my LLM in Taxation. The division of joint finances, property, and other assets can have a lasting effect after a divorce is final. The emotional toll of divorce is difficult enough without worrying about the ongoing tax implications of property division. My taxation background allows me to spot potential financial issues before they become a problem.
My partner and I live in South East Denver with our four year-old English bulldog. Most weekends I can be found playing flag football, hiking, camping, skiing, and creating craft beer in my kitchen.
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Jennifer Helland, Divorce and separation Attorney
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
Ryann was a classmate at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and is now a fellow lawyer in Colorado. Ryann and I have discussed multiple case issues regarding her work with non-traditional families and have had cases in common. Ryann is a great advocate for non-taditional families and is a rising star within the Colorado legal community.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|40 Under 40 Nominee||Denver Business Journal||2015|
|Gary McPherson Oustanding Young Attorney||Colorado Bar Association||2014|
|40 Under 40 Nominee||Denver Business Journal||2014|
|2013 Outstanding Board Member||Denver Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League||2013|
|2010 Up & Coming Attorney||Law Week Colorado||2010|
|Pro Bono Service Award||University of St. Thomas School of Law||2008|
|Community Leadership Award||Family & Children's Services||2007|
|Shaklee-Trowill Research Award||University of Denver||2004|
|Associate||Pendleton, Wilson, Hennessey, & Crow, pc||2013 - 2014|
|Special Counsel||The Harris Law Firm PC||2009 - 2015|
|Associate||Caroline Cooley LLC||2009 - 2009|
|Law Clerk||Ballou Law Partners||2006 - 2008|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Colorado GLBT Bar Association Foundation||President||2015 - Present|
|Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training||Member||2014 - Present|
|Colorado GLBT Bar Association||President||2013 - Present|
|Colorado Bar Foundation||Fellow||2013 - Present|
|Young Professionals Alzheimer's Association of Colorado||Board Member||2013 - Present|
|Colorado Lawyers Committee||Board Member||2013 - Present|
|The GLBT Center of Colorado||Board Member||2010 - Present|
|Colorado GLBT Bar Association||Vice President||2012 - 2012|
|Colorado GLBT Bar Association||Treasurer||2010 - 2011|
|Denver Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League||Board Member||2010 - 2013|
|Twin Cities Quorum||Board Member||2007 - 2008|
|Law Week Colorado||Baby Mama Drama: Advising Clients With Regard to the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Lesbian Relationships||2011|
|The Harris Law Firm||What Happens to My Retirement After Divorce?||2009|
|Univeristy of Denver Sturm College of Law||Taxation||LLM||2009|
|University of St. Thomas School of Law - Minneapolis||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2008|
|University of Denver||Psychology||BA - Bachelor of Arts||2004|
|Minnesota Family Law Institute||Advising Non-Traditional Families||2008|