The University of Houston Law Center Faculty

Ryan   McConnell
R. McConnell Group PLLC


Ryan McConnell is a lawyer at R. McConnell Group PLLC - a boutique law firm focusing on corporate compliance, criminal defense and internal investigations.

Ryan has represented clients in lengthy regulatory investigations and has assisted companies around the world with compliance matters, including program design, tracking, assessment, and due diligence. Ryan advises clients in industries ranging from retail to energy on how to use empirical data to leverage internal resources and create risk-based compliance programs—routinely traveling to Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Outside of his practice, Ryan teaches international corporate compliance and criminal procedure at the University of Houston Law Center. In 2011, he was named faculty member of the year by the UH Advocates. His corporate compliance course was featured on The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog and other trade publications. Since 2011, Ryan has written the Risky Business column for Corporate Counsel magazine—focusing on compliance and risk issues. He is also listed in the Who’s Who list of Business Crime Defense lawyers and has been named to Ethisphere’s list of Attorneys Who Matter for the past four years.

From 2011 to 2013, Ryan organized an Ethics and Compliance Symposium at the University of Houston Law Center that has received national attention in publications ranging from Corporate Counsel to the Wall Street Journal. He is currently helping the law school develop a compliance LLM program. In 2011, he led an empirical study that analyzed the codes of conduct of Fortune 500 companies that the University of Houston Law Center took over in 2014 with three years of data on corporate codes of conduct. His research on deferred and non-prosecution agreements was mentioned in two separate New York Times articles and cited by Congress in an effort to institute reform for corporate charging. Ryan regularly speaks at conferences around the U.S. on risk-based compliance programs.

Before entering private practice, Ryan served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Louisiana and Houston. As part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Strike Force in Houston, Ryan tried numerous criminal cases and conducted significant grand jury investigations of international scope on matters ranging from violations of the U.S. trade laws to complex fraud. He also regularly briefed and argued criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In addition to his trial work, Ryan participated in the planning and execution of undercover operations to enforce U.S. trade controls and was involved in some of the most significant worksite enforcement investigations in the United States. Ryan was also involved in training Department of Justice (DOJ) federal prosecutors at the DOJ National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, including preparing DOJ training materials on criminal procedure, corporate compliance, and charging.

Ryan began his career as a law clerk for Judge John C. Godbold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Before founding R. McConnell Group PLLC, Ryan was a partner at three international law firms.