Family law attorney, Ryan Bauerle, takes no bull from anyone – including the bull.
That is no exaggeration. While visiting Pamplona, Spain a few years ago, the adventure junkie decided to participate in the local custom, the running of the bulls.
Not deterred by potential dangers, the Houston native decided – figuratively speaking – to take the bull by the horns. “It’s all about bravado,” he admits.
As he tells it, “a bull nearly gored me, but I was able to turn away at the last minute. Once in the arena, they corral the bulls that you run with. However, I didn’t know that they later send out additional bulls for the runners to taunt.”
Clearly, Bauerle survived to tell his tale and to describe the experience as “exhilarating.” And, his feat has also had a surprisingly positive impact on his law career.
“If anything, this taught me to be cool under fire and to be prepared for anything, because there is always a chance things can go awry,” he says. “Now, if I am ever anxious about a case, I can always remind myself that I ran with the bulls in Pamplona. I can guarantee the opposing attorney did not. And if I can run with the bulls, I can handle anything.”
Bauerle didn’t plan on becoming an attorney – or, for that matter, a bull runner – while he attended Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Initially, his goal was a finance degree, but he became more interested in political science, a field that, he says, is a “natural feeder into law. “
His interest was further sparked by classes that were styled like law school courses, including legal research, writing briefs, holding “moot” courts, etc. “I found that I not only excelled in these subjects, but thoroughly enjoyed them too,” he reports.
Bauerle’s next step was Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, where he was offered internships at the International Court of Human rights in Strasbourg, France, as well as in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory of West Bank. Both stints proved to be excellent learning opportunities for the budding attorney.
“It was interesting to see how other countries and cultures deal with legal issues,” he says. “We also learned about how international events can affect law here at home. At the end of the day, conflict resolution and human rights trickle down to family law because similar principles apply.”
After graduating from law school and moving back to Texas, Bauerle took his state Bar. Since his scores were high in the Texas Bar, he was also admitted to practice in Washington D.C. But just as a legal career was not an immediate choice, neither was family law.
In time, however, this field has grown on him. “Family law seemed to be an area in which I could work directly with people and help in a very tangible way,” Bauerle points out. “It’s also a great springboard into other areas of civil litigation.”
However, as any other area of legal practice, family law is not without its challenges. “It’s an emotionally charged environment. When clients come in to see me, there is a high probability they are in the most difficult situation in their entire life,” Bauerle notes. “ The biggest challenge for me is when one or both parties are set on making the process as difficult as possible in a self-defeating attempt to hurt the other party.”
He cites a case he recently handled of a single mother, whose ex – a known gang member – suddenly demanded access to the child.
“Normally, courts allow for a parent to have some visitation, even if the child has had no relationship with that parent,” Bauerle says. “I took the case to trial, and the judge ruled that the father not only could not have any sort of visitation, but was also required to pay child support. My client was happy, especially since it was an uphill battle. Situations like these, where you help someone in a bind, make me really enjoy practicing family law.”
And, it’s cases like these that also make Bauerle realize he hit…a bull’s eye with his choice of career.
“Overall, it has proven to be the kind of work I expected, with opportunities for fair and equitable settlements or court awards, as well as opportunities to help clients and their children come through difficult circumstances, while also preserving as much financial stability and security for themselves and their children as possible,” he sums up.
Regent University School of Law, J.D.
Southern Methodist University
State Bar of Texas
District of Columbia Bar
Areas of Practice
Divorce and Child Custody
Professional Associations and Memberships
Dallas Bar Association
Collin County Bar Association
American Bar Association
Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
Texas Young Lawyers Association
Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Knights of Columbus
Salvation Army Junior Auxiliary
American Red Cross DFW Young Professionals Auxiliary