Interview with Ryan M. Davidson, Pennsylvania Attorney and The Law of Superheroes Co-Author
Ryan M. Davidson recently talked to us about what it’s like to work in the legal field, while sharing words of wisdom for paralegals or those considering entering the field. Ryan attended Covenant College, where he earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy and History, and Notre Dame Law School, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree. He has worked as an attorney for four years and is located in the Harrisburg/Lancaster metropolitan area. Together with fellow attorney, James Daily, he authored the book, The Law of Superheroes, which analyzes the intersection of comic book characters and the law in an entertaining manner.
Can you tell us why you decided to become an attorney, Ryan?
I had considered it in high school, and though I took a detour into a more science-type field after college, I quickly realized that wasn’t for me and applied to law school.
What do you enjoy most about working in a legal profession?
Actually, the opportunity to explain seemingly arcane concepts in a way that non-attorneys can understand them. The blog and book have provided a great outlet for that, but it’s something that every attorney does to a greater or lesser extent as part of one’s daily practice.
Your book, The Law of Superheroes, is receiving strong reviews for presenting legal principles in an entertaining way. What motivated you and James Daily to write it?
James and I write our blog, Law and the Multiverse, more or less for fun. That’s certainly how things were at the beginning. But about a month after we had really started in on things, we were fortunate enough to get a lot of positive media coverage. That led to a lot of editors, publishers, and producers contacting us directly rather than the other way around. We had a book contract within a few months of starting out. So the motivation for the blog has always been a love for the subject matter, and the book was essentially a happy coincidence.
What did you learn in school that helped you the most in your career?
Writing. It was something I had mostly already learned by the time I made it to law school, but as so much of law school and legal practice revolves around writing, that skill has served me very well.
From an attorney’s perspective, what advice would you give to paralegals who are just starting their careers, or students who will soon graduate with a paralegal degree?
The market is pretty brutal right now. Paralegals are better off than legal assistants, as paralegals do bring in at least some revenue. But even many attorneys are struggling to find work, and many firms will lay off paralegals before attorneys and hire attorneys before paralegals. So don’t forget to look outside the law firm market. There are lots of companies that need the skills that paralegals have – corporate legal departments, for example, but also insurance companies. A paralegal degree could be an advantage in a claims department. And there are many government offices that hire clerks.
We thank Ryan for sharing his insight from a legal professional’s perspective. To read more from Ryan, pick up a copy of his book, The Law of Superheroes, or, visit his blog, Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law.