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Margaret Ryan

Lecturer on Law

Spring 2024

Margaret Ryan
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Margaret A. “Meg” Ryan joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in December 2006. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Pace University Law School in 2007, was appointed a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School in 2012, and became an Elected Member of the American Law Institute in 2015.

Prior to her nomination to the Court by President George W. Bush, Judge Ryan was a partner in the litigation and appellate practices of Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP, a litigation partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, and an Associate at Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal. Judge Ryan served as a law clerk to both Justice Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Before entering the private sector, Judge Ryan served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. She served in units within the II & III Marine Expeditionary Forces as a Staff Officer, Company Commander, Platoon Commander and Operations Officer. Her tours included deployments to the Philippines during a coup attempt and to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Judge Ryan attended law school under the Marine Corps Law Education Program at the University of Notre Dame (1995), where she was a member of the law review, received awards for legal writing and outstanding scholarship, and graduated first in her class, summa cum laude. As a judge advocate, Judge Ryan served as a trial counsel and chief trial counsel in Okinawa, Japan, and Quantico, Virginia. She was then selected to serve as General Charles C. Krulak’s Aide de Camp.

Judge Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a graduate of Knox College (1985). She lives with her husband, Michael J. Collins, and their Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Dagny and Strider, in Tampa, FL.


  • B.A. Knox College, 1985
  • J.D. University of Notre Dame Law School