By: Ireland O’Connell, Legal Intern, Volunteer Lawyers Program
Every month, Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) recognizes a legal professional for their legal volunteerism. The award is a distinct honor. Of the 533 attorneys and paralegals who volunteer their time, twelve are recognized annually for their dedication to access to justice.
Ryan O’Neal is the June 2021 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month Award Recipient.
Mr. O’Neal is a shareholder at DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C where his practice primarily consists of probate matters and civil litigation, with a particular focus on residential contractor disputes.
Mr. O’Neal is a native Tucsonan who attended Arizona State University for undergrad, obtaining a B.A. in European History. While working as a process server, he became interested in the field and decided to attend law school. He then returned to Tucson, receiving his Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, where he was involved with moot court and volunteered with Humanos Derechos and VLP. Following law school, Mr. O’Neal clerked for Judge Catherine Woods.
In terms of his recent volunteerism, Mr. O’Neal supports VLP and the Tucson Family Advocacy Program (TFAP) to provide representation in adult guardianship matters. TFAP is a valuable partnership of health care providers and lawyers working to address barriers faced by low-income patients and their families. Mr. O’Neal often provides assistance to families who require guardianship authority for a severely disabled family member in connection with naturalization proceedings. Mr. O’Neal enjoys working with VLP as it allows him to apply his knowledge and experience to have a direct, positive impact in the community.
The qualities he admires most in fellow attorneys are integrity, subject matter expertise, and humility. A good day at work is when he can provide clarity and guidance to his clients. A different practice area that interests him is transactional work, either in real estate or technology licensing. If he had to choose a different career entirely, it would be likely be in software engineering.
Mr. O’Neal has a wife, Madison, a young son, Alex, and an eight-year-old pit bull, Boca. In his free time, he enjoys video games, playing basketball, watching Top Chef, and swimming with his son. He is grateful for the support he routinely receives from his wife and her parents Tracy and Anthony Montoya.
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