- Legal Staff Profile
Ryan G Haywood Embodies Positivity and Perseverance
Ryan G. Haywood is working with Hogge Real Estate Inc. in Gloucester, Virginia. During the past two years, Ryan G. Haywood has provided exemplary service to his community as a paralegal. Many aspects of Ryan's professional and personal life make him stand out as a model to people seeking to enter the legal industry including his commitment to stay positive and never give up. At his first position with BrownGreer PLC, Ryan worked for one year with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was created in response to the BP Oil Spill. All of Ryan's background prepared him for working with the Claims Facility including his background in finance and real estate, his knowledge of the local lands, and his ability to connect with clients. What makes Ryan‘s career path remarkable are the characteristics that define Ryan: positivity, perseverance, and his relatable southern service centered approach.
First, Ryan is honest about his struggles and stays true to who he is and where he came from. Ryan's decision to enter the legal industry during one of the worst recessions in the legal market is evidence of his dedication and perseverance. Ryan focuses on the positive, and he consistently makes the choice to not to let the uncontrollable factors outside his sphere of influence keep him from his goals. Ryan's self-confidence is tempered with a humility gained through his struggles and failures.
Second, Ryan has a strong sense of who he is and what it takes to succeed. Ryan's personal philosophy is to treat other people as he would like to be treated and to satisfy all his roles. Ryan focuses on communicating with supervisors and co-workers and treating all people with respect and dignity. Whether Ryan is talking to his boss or a client, his southern sense of communication paired with his logical capabilities provides a sense of trust.
Ryan grew up in Hampton Road near Williamsburg, Virginia. He was raised in a single parent home by his father. His parents were separated for years and divorced when he was seven years old. His father was a business man in the building industry raising two sons. Ryan's first job was working for his father in the building industry. He attributes working on these jobs sites as a life experience that contributed to his work ethic, his respect for the value of a dollar, and appreciating the hard work of others.
Early in his academic career, Ryan's pattern of overcoming obstacles began to reveal itself. Ryan attended the local public high school, and he failed Algebra. Although Ryan was concerned that he would hurt his chances of going to college, he went on to graduate in the top percent of his class. The experience of failing a class made Ryan more “aware of my abilities and weaknesses.” Despite concerns over finances, Ryan went on to receive a substantial scholarship and graduate from Hampden-Sydney College with a B.A. in English and a Minor in History and Military Leadership and National Security Studies. Ryan was honored to attend Hampden-Sydney, where he made lifelong friends in his fraternity, the Zeta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi. Additionally, Ryan completed the Legal Secretary Certificate Program offered by the University of Georgia-Griffin, the Center for Legal Studies.
In his personal life, Ryan lost a family member to sudden tragic accidents. These events made him think about all the things he never got a chance to say. As the years pass by, Ryan wishes he could talk to them, and he often thinks back to the last thing he said. As Ryan said, “Losing people in sudden accidents makes you think about what you say to someone and hope it is not the last thing you say to each other.” Ryan has a healthy respect for people that don't make excuses, overcome obstacles, and make themselves into an asset despite circumstances, uncontrollable events, and loss.
Although Ryan believes in himself and knows he is meant to work in the legal field, he admits it is a tough market. When things get tough, Ryan reminds himself of a quote by the author of Peter Pan, JM Barrie, “Life is a long lesson in humility.” Ryan struggled to enter the legal field, and he thought about quitting and applying to a different area. Although Ryan lost hope, ultimately, he changed his mindset. Ryan had to remind himself that the market was extremely competitive and “it was not about me.” After 300 applications and 40 interviews, I remembered “Life is a long lesson in humility.” Ryan's advice to legal staff entering the field is “persistence is key.”
Ryan plans ahead so that deadlines, pressure, and stress don't become overwhelming. Occasionally, an unexpected deadline appears, and he sets aside enough time to effectively and efficiently complete those tasks. Ryan confesses, “I am a meticulous planner.”
Ryan made sacrifices to work in the law. Instead of remaining in his previous job making a substantially larger salary, he let go of the excess monetary benefit. He sacrificed a certain amount of income, but he did it willingly. It was worth it because Ryan is doing something he loves. While speaking of his favorite movie star, Clint Eastwood, Ryan conveyed his sense of gratitude: “I feel fortunate to be doing something I really enjoy, meeting people, and I have made lifelong friendships. I go to work every day, and I am happy.”
Professionally and personally, Ryan is confident. Ryan likes to work with people, and he helps to build and maintain office morale. Ryan puts a lot of work into his relationships, but he always shares the credit. He summed it up best, “I am where I am today because of many supportive people throughout the years. I am grateful to be a party to conversations with well-informed individuals.” Ryan loves to work in a team environment and often reenergizes with his co-workers. Due in part to the influence of great mentors, Ryan derives confidence from producing quality work and conducting himself professionally.
Ryan's main mentors are his father, David Bristow, and his boss, Wendy Hogge. Ryan's father was there since day one, and he supported Ryan through college and through life. David Bristow was a local business man, who was one of the first people outside his family that helped him realize his full potential. Wendy Hogge is a co-worker, who has done well and appreciates assistance and support. Ryan attributes his successes to the love and support he has received from his community, family, and mentors throughout his life.
Ryan struggled with being overly trusting. Growing up in the south, Ryan was a part of an honest culture where deals were sealed with a hand shake and another man's word. As a child, he always thought people were honest. However, as time went one, Ryan learned to question things. Although dishonest people exist, he does not ever want to be one.
Ryan admires others that are a service to the community. During our discussion, Ryan discussed the actions of the local legal aid sections such as the Poverty Center. Each region has a legal aid group that represents people who could not otherwise afford representation. Ryan looks forward to volunteering more of his services to provide services to those who may not otherwise be able to afford representation. In addition, Ryan appreciates the opportunity to provide community service hours to local community groups such as the Gloucester Library Board of Trustees and Planning Commission. Community service will always be an important part of Ryan's life.
For fun, Ryan loves to spend time outdoors. He exercises and lives close to a local reservoir with great trails. He would rather “hit a trial than run on a treadmill.” Although Ryan likes to read and have some down time, he is energized by being around family and friends. Although Ryan loves a good Cincinnati Bengals game or getting out on the soccer field, he derives the most joy from getting together with his family and friends, enjoying a good meal, and enjoying good company.
Ryan has a strong sense of justice. Justice, as Ryan describes justice, is a system our society creates to provide a balanced place of living. A just legal system is fair and treats all citizens as equals. In five years, Ryan hopes to enter law school and complete his legal education, so he may be a greater service to his community.