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Ryan J. Watson


(T) +1.202.879.3809
(F) +1.202.626.1700


  • The George Washington University (J.D. with highest honors 2007; Order of the Coif; Notes Editor, The George Washington Law Review; Winner, Best Overall Competitor & Best Brief, George Washington International Law Moot Court Competition; Presidential Merit Scholar; Recipient, Willard Waddington Gatchell Award); Messiah College (B.S. in Economics summa cum laude 2002; Outstanding Achievement in Economics Award)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia; Maryland; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits; and U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


  • Law Clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., U.S. Supreme Court (2012-2013) and to Judge Janice Rogers Brown, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (2007-2008)

Ryan Watson focuses on appellate litigation and advocacy before federal regulatory agencies in challenges related to administrative and constitutional law, statutory interpretation, and federal agency action.

Ryan's appellate experience includes significant involvement in D.C. Circuit litigation, in which he has argued appeals and briefed numerous cases. Ryan has worked on numerous matters involving proposed or final actions by federal regulatory agencies. He was part of the team that persuaded a court to invalidate the FDA's effort to impose pre-approval requirements for many changes to labels and brand names for tobacco products. In addition, Ryan served as principal brief writer in a D.C. Circuit appeal involving novel technology issues and foreign sovereign immunity, helped represent Michael Jackson's estate in a successful D.C. Circuit appeal, and served as principal brief writer in a successful D.C. Circuit appeal involving the False Claims Act. He has contributed to successful merits briefing in Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment, limitations on the federal government's authority to take land into trust, and rules for preserving a challenge to jury instructions.

Ryan also co-leads the appellate facet of a firmwide initiative that involves representing immigrants seeking asylum, particularly women seeking protection against persecution in Central America. In addition, he speaks about the Supreme Court, is a member of the Supreme Court Historical Society, and previously served as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School.

Ryan Watson