Public Law

Public Law Journal: Spring 2020, Vol. 43, No. 2

Public Lawyer Spotlight: Ryan M. Harrison, Sr., Associate, Lozano Smith

Ryan M. Harrison, Sr. is a quickly making his name as a civic leader. In 2019, the Trustees of the State Bar of California appointed Mr. Harrison to the Council on Access and Fairness (COAF), where he focuses on diversity in the legal profession and inspiring confidence in the rule of law. In 2017, Mr. Harrison was honored as Sacramento State University’s Distinguished Alumni Rising Star, also receiving a State Assembly Legislative Resolution commending him for his public service and professional accomplishments. Sacramento Business Journal selected Ryan to be one of its "40 Under 40" honorees also in 2017. This is a continuation of Ryan having received The Sacramento Observer’s "30 Under 30" in 2011.

Mr. Harrison is currently an Associate in Lozano Smith’s Sacramento Office. He advises local governments, school districts, and special district clients through the intricacies of public agency law.


My career path is certainly not a straight line. After graduating from UC Davis with my undergraduate degree in Sociology, I was recruited by Target Corporation and placed in their Asset Protection department as an executive level manager. I ran a Target store in concert with other executive managers, but my focus was on mitigating loss. The job was exciting. My team and I were very active in bringing organized retail criminals to justice and in ferreting out issues of internal theft and fraud. I realized my knack for investigations during my time at Target, and I quickly made a name for myself. Within a year on the job, a pharmacist who worked in the Target Pharmacy Department confided in me that she thought I could elevate beyond Target. She recommended that I meet a friend of hers, wrote her name and phone number on a piece of paper, and handed it to me. The friend happened to be Debbie Manning, who was at the time the Deputy Chief of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, inside the State Capitol. Ms. Manning eventually became the Chief of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and she currently serves on the State Bar Board of Trustees. My following up on that recommendation led to my next opportunity.

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