Attorney Ryan C. Locke

Ryan Locke represents people who have been injured and people who have been unfairly convicted from his office in Atlanta. Formerly a public defender, Ryan uses the same passion and relentless advocacy for his clients today. Ryan is also an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law; hosts a podcast about appellate practice called Georgia Appellate Review; and maintains comprehensive legal resources on his website for lawyers and the public, such as his guide for using the HITECH Act to get cheap medical records and his guide for people to change their name and gender in Georgia government documents.

When not working, Ryan enjoys cooking, camping, and playing board games with his kids. His favorite thing to cook is pizza, his favorite place to camp is F.D. Roosevelt State Park, and his favorite board game is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. You can find photos of all of these things on his social media.

Ryan's wife is an immigration attorney. They live in Midtown with their three children and one dog.

I think being able to look someone in the eye and tell them, “I will be able to help you,” is a very powerful feeling. And being able to use my special skills as a lawyer, my training as a lawyer, to make a real difference in someone’s life is powerful. And once I started doing that, I realized, that’s pretty much what I want to do.
— Ryan Locke


J.D., University of Georgia School of Law (2010)

The Order of Barristers; Pupil, Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court; Editor, Journal of Intellectual Property Law

B.A., University of Richmond (2007)

The Lexicon Award, a departmental honor


Notable Accomplishments


I am an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law for the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, seven days of intensive workshops on trial techniques for all second-year students.

I host a podcast about appellate practice, Georgia Appellate Review.

I maintain a comprehensive guide for lawyers about using the HITECH Act to get their clients' medical records for cheap.

I was selected for The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 under 40. Membership is by invitation only. I am also AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and rated 10/10 by Avvo--the highest ratings for both organizations.

After law school, I worked for the Public Defender for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, the largest (and best!) office in Georgia. The Georgia Public Defender Council continues to appoint me to represent indigent defendants on appeal. I regularly appear before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court to argue appeals in serious criminal cases.

I am a graduate of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' 13th Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program in Athens, Georgia.

I am widely involved in the legal community, holding membership in the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyer's Association, and the American Association for Justice.


I perform a significant amount of pro bono work. I have performed free work for people harassed by junk debt collectors, tenants wrongfully evicted from their homes, the International Community School, Occupy protesters arrested during peaceful protests, and federal prisoners seeking clemency from unreasonable drug sentences with Clemency Project 2014. I work with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in providing pro bono services to worthwhile individual and corporate clients.

I maintain the most comprehensive Georgia guide to changing your name and gender markers in government documents on this site, and provide low-cost and free work to people who want to do so.

I hold the record for the largest verdict obtained for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.

I coached Southwest DeKalb High School's mock trial team for several years.

I was a board member at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church.

I am an Eagle Scout from Troop 993 in Severna Park, Maryland. I was even a camp counselor in the summer and can start a fire with a battery and steel wool (but my morse code and flag semaphore are pretty rusty).


I graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, where I competed with our mock trial team and coached a team my third year. I was a pupil in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court.

I also was an editor for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and published my student note about the constitutionality of laches barring a copyright infringement claim within the statute of limitations in the Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal in 2009. The Supreme Court of the United States agreed with me when they decided this issue in Petrella v. MGM, 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014).

At graduation, I was one of ten students inducted into The Order of Barristers, a national honor society for oral advocacy. I also was awarded the class award for "Outstanding Achievement in Socratic method--Member of the class whose performance in Socratic dialogue entertained us the most." The first award is more prestigious than the second.

During law school I worked in a variety of clinics and internships, including working in UGA's Special Education Clinic and Family Violence Clinic, and interning with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas and the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project.