Christopher J. Ryan, Jr.

Photo of Christopher J. Ryan
Christopher J. Ryan, Jr.Associate Professor of Law

Contact Information

401-254-4575cjryan@rwu.eduSSRN Author PageCurriculum Vitae


Ph.D, Vanderbilt University
J.D., University of Kentucky
M.Ed., University of Notre Dame
A.B., Dartmouth College

CJ Ryan, JD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law and an affiliated scholar at the American Bar Foundation.

Dr. Ryan teaches Property, Wills & Trusts, Federal Income Tax, Law & Economics, and Statistics for Lawyers. In addition to writing in the doctrinal areas in which he teaches, much of his research centers on the legal profession, the economics of higher education, and technology transfer. An interdisciplinary scholar, he has written 20 articles that have appeared in law reviews — such as the Alabama Law Review, Illinois Law Review, and SMU Law Review — specialty journals at the NYU School of Law and Notre Dame Law School, and peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Legal Education and Research in Higher Education. He is a recognized expert in legal education, trust law, and non-profit law, and his scholarship has been discussed in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Above the Law, and Inside Higher Ed, among other media outlets. His published and working papers can be found at his SSRN page.

He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College, a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame, a J.D. from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. When he is not teaching, researching, or spending time with his family, he enjoys running, cycling, hot yoga, live music, and college football.


“501(c): The Charitable Corporation Governance Model Meets Modern Business Realities in the U.S.,” in Oxford Handbook of U.S. Higher Education Law, edited by P.F. Lake (forthcoming 2021)

“Technology Transfer and the Public Good,” in Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, edited by J. Phillips (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2020) (with Brian L. Frye)

“The College and Its Trustees and Officers,” in The Law of Higher Education, 6th ed., edited by W.A. Kaplin, B.A. Lee, N.H. Hutchens & J.H. Rooksby (2020) (with J.H. Rooksby)

“Corporate Philanthropy,” in Business & Corporate Engagement with Higher Education: Models, Theories, and Best Practices, edited by M. Clevenger & C.J. MacGregor (2019) (with M. Clevenger & C.J. MacGregor)

“How Higher Education Thinks and Behaves,” in Business & Corporate Engagement with Higher Education: Models, Theories, and Best Practices, edited by M. Clevenger & C.J. MacGregor (2019) (with M. Clevenger & C.J. MacGregor)

“Historical Evolution of Higher Education in the United States,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Education, edited by L. Meyer (2016)(with C.P. Loss & S. Hinz)


Paying for Law School: Law Student Loan Indebtedness and Career Choices, 2021 University of Illinois Law Review 97 (2021)

Mind the Gap: Gender Pay Disparities in the Legal Academy, 34 Georgetown Journal of  Legal Ethics __ (forthcoming 2021) (with M. Dawe)

Examining the Impact of Fossil Fuel Divestment on University Endowments, 17 N.Y.U.  Journal of Law & Business 95 (2020) (with C.R. Marsicano)

The Next "Big Short": COVID-19, Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy Proceedings, and the SLABS Market, 74 SMU Law Review 809 (2020) (with Samantha L. Bailey)

Of Law School Rankings and Football, 1 Disparity Law Journal __ (forthcoming 2020)

Analyzing Law School Choice, 2020 University of Illinois Law Review 583 (2020)

Patents and Legal Expenditures, 52 University of the Pacific Law Review 575 (2020) (with B.L. Frye)

Notetaking Modes and Academic Performance in Two Law School Courses, 68 Journal of Legal Education 207 (2019) (with Colleen P. Murphy & Yajni Warnapala)

A Value-Added Ranking of Law Schools, 29 University of Florida Journal of Law & Public Policy 285 (2019)

The 2019 Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, 7 Belmont Law Review 86 (2019) (with Brian L. Frye)

An Econometric Analysis of North Carolina’s Legislative Right to Counsel, 47 Journal of Law & Education 489 (2018) (with A.R. Nelson)

An Empirical Study of University Patent Activity, 7 N.Y.U. Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law 51-84 (2018) (with Brian L. Frye)

A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools, 70 Alabama Law Review 495-531 (2017) (with Brian L. Frye)

Fixing Forum Selling, 25 Miami Business Law Review 1-27 (2017) (with Brian L. Frye)

Labor Market Returns for Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, 59 Research in Higher Education 29-53 (2017) (with T.J. Park & S.M. Flores)

Trusting U.: Examining University Endowment Management, 42 Journal of College & University Law 159-212 (2016)

An Empirical Study of Law Journal Copyright Practices, 16 John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law 207-245 (2016) (with Brian L. Frye & F.L. Runge)

The Dissertation Dilemma and the Challenge of American Graduate Education, 26 Good Society 313-331 (2017) (with C.P. Loss)

Something Corporate: The Case for the Treatment of Proprietary Education Institutions as Corporations, 40 Journal of College & University Law 247-284 (2014)

Old School: A Recommendation for the Treatment of the Disposition of Property Exempt from Local Zoning Ordinances in Kentucky, 6 Kentucky Journal of Equine Agriculture & Natural Resources Law 221-251 (2014)

Not-So-Open Access to Legal Scholarship: Balancing Stakeholder Interests with Copyright Principles, 20 Richmond Journal of Law & Technology 1-34 (2013)


Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.