April 18, 2023 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
Anabel Taylor Hall, Founder’s Room
Chesterton House and Cornell Christian Legal Society present:
A Conversation with District Judge Ryan Larson
Register Here to join remotely
As a judge seeing a tremendous flow of brokenness and despair in an urban public family court system, Judge Ryan Larson wanted to find an alternative to the prison pipeline and never-ending child protective services interventions. He pioneered an innovative community-based program that brought together judicial and political entities across the ideological spectrum along with local churches, community groups, and other faith-based organizations. Judge Larson will talk about his own journey developing this program and its ongoing challenges in seeking justice and helping families to flourish amidst crippling disadvantage.
Ryan D. Larson was sworn into office on April 4, 2016. Judge Larson launched and leads Williamson County’s first-ever Family Recovery Court, an alternative to the traditional processing of Child Protective Services cases involving substance abuse and mental health conditions. The Family Recovery Court applies an evidence-based, non-adversarial, collaborative approach and utilizes a multidisciplinary team. By coordinating local faith-based organizations, non-profits, and other community stakeholders, the Court builds Williamson County’s capacity to develop, implement and sustain the community’s own solutions to address needs within the child welfare system.
Prior to taking office, Judge Larson was an administrative law judge for the State of Texas, responsible for managing administrative law judges in energy and environmental matters, ensuring the quality of the issued orders, and maintaining the integrity of the hearings process. Prior to that, he served as an assistant attorney general and an attorney in private practice. As a litigator, he has been successful at every level of Texas courts, from trial courts, intermediate appellate courts, to the Texas Supreme Court.
Outside the courtroom, Judge Larson served as the judicial appointee to the legislatively created Prevention Advisory Task Force. The high-level task force was charged with making recommendations to the Texas Legislature on statewide child safety strategies that help prevent child abuse and neglect. This work involved working with leaders across the state to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable Texans.
Judge Larson is married with two beautiful children that greatly enrich his life. The family worships and serves at a local church.