Sarah J. Ryan


P 503-345-4162 F 503-229-0405


Sarah J. Ryan


Sarah J. Ryan is a principal in the Portland, Oregon, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She joined Jackson Lewis in late 2012 following over 25 years of employment and litigation practice in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining the firm, Sarah chaired the Labor and Employment law practice group at a regional firm with four offices in three states.

Sarah represents some of Oregon’s leading employers and provides counsel and litigation services in general employment law, as well as a wide range of employee relations issues. Sarah has extensive experience advising clients and litigating employment claims regarding harassment, discrimination and retaliation, intellectual property protection, breach of contract, wrongful termination, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, employment torts, wage and hour, and state and federal family medical leave laws. She has defended clients in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts and before the EEOC, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and the Washington Human Rights Commission. Sarah has assisted one of her clients in obtaining nine summary judgment dismissals in an employment case in just one forum. Sarah also proactively assists her clients in preventing legal problems by focusing her counsel and advice on creative solutions to personnel issues that eliminate or reduce the risk of litigation.

Sarah is a frequent speaker before business and employer associations, including the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the Oregon Staffing Association, the American Staffing Association of Washington, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA), and the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC).

While attending the University of Oregon Law School, she twice received the AmJur Award for Excellence. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable George Woodrich, Lane County Circuit Court Judge for the State of Oregon.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Employment Law - Management" (2014-present)
  • Chambers USA, “Labor & Employment” (2013-2022)
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, "AV Preeminent® - Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence" (2008-present)
  • Multnomah Bar Association, Outstanding Volunteer Award (1993)
  • Oregon Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyers" (2007-present)
  • Volunteer Lawyer Project, Volunteer of the Year Award for her work (including organization to support a legal clinic for the Cascades AIDS Project)

Professional Associations and Activities

  • District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
  • Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter, Former President
  • Multnomah Bar Foundation, Former Member
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Former Attorney Representative
  • Oregon State Bar Association
  • Portland Human Resources Management Association (PHRMA), Past General Counsel
  • Washington State Bar Association

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Oregon Legal Aid Society, Former member of the Board
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, Former member of the Board and Executive Committee
  • Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger, Founding board member
  • Oregon Chapter of Make A Wish Foundation, Former member of the board and the executive director search committee
  • Oregon Food Bank, Long-time volunteer
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project, Long-time volunteer

Published Works

  • "Inside the Minds: Dealing With Employee Lawsuits." Defending & Defeating Employee Lawsuits. Thomson West, First Edition (2005) [Chapter Author]
  • "Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon." Pleadings and Claims. Oregon State Bar Legal Publication - Editions: 1994, 1998, 2002 & 2009 [Chapter Author]
  • "Internal Investigations – Advanced Topics," Ball Janik LLP Employment Newsletter (April 2012) [Author]
  • "I-9 Audits: Are You Next?" Ball Janik LLP Employment Newsletter (February 2011) [Author]
  • "A New Year: Religious Accommodation in the Workplace," Portland Human Resources Management Association (PHRMA) Monthly Newsletter (November 2009) [Author]
  • "External Investigators: When are they Worth it?" PHRMA News and Views Newsletter (May 2009) [Author]
  • "Is Telecommuting the Answer?" PHRMA News and Views Newsletter (October 2009) [Author]


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