Each month, Touro Law Center’s Alumni and Development Office recognizes one outstanding
alum for his or her contribution to the legal field, service to the law school,
or other outstanding achievement. If you would like to nominate a fellow alum, please
contact Kristin Matthews, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at 631.761.7063
or via e-mail.
Touro Law Center's Office of Development, Alumni Relations and Communications is proud to announce that Carol Ryder’08 has been selected as the alum of the month for January. Ms. Ryder is a leader in her profession, an active member of the Touro Law community while attending law school, and remains engaged with the law school through the Alumni Council and Alumni Mentor Programs. Her accomplished career is highlighted in the bio below. On behalf of the entire law school community, we extend our congratulations to Carol Ryder.
Carol Ryder is a busy solo practitioner but finds time to work with projects and/or issues close to her heart. She is an active member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, volunteering with several pro bono projects, including the Pro Bono Foreclosure Settlement Project, and remains engaged with Touro Law Center in a number of ways, including judging student competitions, conducting seminars on animal law, mentoring students, and sponsoring students interested in satisfying their Public Interest Law Perspective by working on cases involving underdogs. This includes working in areas such as disability law, elder law, foreclosure defense, animal law, and aiding battered spouses.
Ms. Ryder graduated from the City University of New York Baccalaureate Program with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Finance. She worked on Wall Street for a number of years in investment banks, trust companies, mutual funds and in software development for investment firms. However, she always hoped that her career in Finance was a stepping-stone, that somehow, she could pursue her dream of helping the underdog by becoming an attorney.
She also became heavily involved in helping who she thought were the ultimate underdogs in our society, including older folks in facilities, battered spouses, abused kids, the disabled, and animals. She also worked on tying these areas together to achieve the maximum amount of good. For example, bringing dogs to nursing homes and assisted living facilities for pet therapy and to schools for humane education. Since a vast majority of batterers started out abusing animals, and abuse victims often take out their frustrations on animals, eventually becoming abusers themselves, keeping the vicious cycle of abuse going, getting to kids early is critical.
She also got involved with the widespread problem where spousal abuse victims would not leave their batterers for fear of what would happen to their pets (see CarolRyderLaw.com for the alarming statistics). So, Carol worked with animal rescue groups and shelters to make it a policy to set aside space for these pets, without the risk of euthanasia or someone adopting the pet.
During this time, Carol thought about how she could be doing much more if she was an attorney but thought it was too late for that dream, until one day, an attorney she was working with suggested that she look at this law school in Huntington, merely two towns away, because it is a school that teaches students that they could use the law to do good things and still be able to earn a living doing something they love. So, she dropped everything and went, and is thrilled she took that leap. While at Touro Law, she took as many classes as possible that could help her in the type of work she wanted to do and was thrilled to receive the CALI award in Disability Law, an area very close to her heart.
Since graduation, Carol set up her own solo practice with offices on the north and south shores of Suffolk County. She handles a variety of cases, including disability law, labor law, consumer fraud, personal injury, divorce, elder law, Medicaid planning, wills, trusts, estates, nursing home abuse and neglect, veteran's law, foreclosure defense and more, and is especially passionate about cases where the client is an underdog (two-legged and four-legged underdogs). In fact, she worked to get admitted to federal court just so she could handle disability discrimination cases, including cases of disability discrimination in the workplace and, as expected, disability discrimination cases involving service animals.
Carol remains active in several bar associations, including the Suffolk County Bar Association and several pro bono projects, and enjoys that special bond that members of the Touro Law “family” have. She also helped found a 501(c)3 group to utilize the voting strength of a number of people to help get legislators elected who will push for laws that protect animals from abuse. She also helps various rescue groups with their legal needs, such as drafting liability waivers and contracts, setting up their 501(c)3 status, and foreclosure defense. She resides in Fort Salonga with her husband and four dogs (rescued dogs, of course).