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July 17, 2014 40 Under Forty 2014

Ryan McKeen

Age: 34

Title at work/what I do: Attorney. I practice law. In 2013, I founded McKeen Law Firm. I believe the practice of law is about community – specifically about healing community. Every day, I go to work striving to help my clients. I constantly search for ways to enhance the way I deliver legal services, help my clients, and improve community.

Town where I work: Glastonbury

Town where I live: East Granby

College I attended: Western New England School of Law

My passion, hobby or special talent: Running (passion/hobby; not sure about the talent part).

Twitter handle: @ryanmckeen

No. of LinkedIn connections: 903

Favorite place to network: Online

Favorite drink at a networking event: Whiskey

How do I create connections in my professional life?

I create connections by giving to others. Whether it is helping other lawyers with problems, serving as general counsel to a charity, or listening to a client's problem – it's about being a net positive in relationships with others. Doing good is the best way that I know to do well.

What's been my biggest challenge professionally?

Starting a business. I left a great firm at Leone, Throwe, Teller & Nagle in East Hartford. I worked with lawyers that I deeply admire. Deciding to leave and choose a less certain path was very difficult. Founding a company is difficult. Especially at the beginning, it feels there are more decisions to be made than there is time to make them. And the challenges always change. At first, it was about figuring out how to survive and now it's figuring out how to grow. It's never boring.

What is the best advice I received?

“Hills make you stronger.” – Running group credo. When I started running, I hated hills. As I've grown, I've realized that running hard up hills is the best way I know to become a better runner. The only way I know to improve my firm is to embrace big challenges, attack them aggressively, and push my comfort zone.

What do I want my legacy to be?

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. I represent individuals and small businesses. Being an attorney provides a unique opportunity to do good. Whether it's helping a disabled woman get a tree taken down, guiding someone safely through a divorce, or trying a major case – the opportunities to help people in my line of work are endless. When all is said and done – I want my legacy to be one of seizing these opportunities and spreading the good to the community. The full Emerson quote reads “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition…” I hope my legacy includes all of those things.

Check out the other 40 Under Forty for 2014 winners

Zachary Schwartz

Jarrett Solomon

Erica Ann Thompson

Jason J. Warnke

Tim Yergeau

Jennifer Young

Christopher R. Zito

McKinley Albert

Keshia Ashe

Dr. Jill Buban

Stephen Carrabba

Leticia Colon de Mejias

Erin M. Concepción

Molly Devanney

Jennifer R. Fiereck

Betsey Castle Gainey

Martin Gugliotti

Bryan Hall, II

Benjamin Howarth

Ashley (AJ) Johnson

Garrett Kenny

Vincenzo M. Landino

Heather Loranger

Ashley M. Maagero

Kim Margolis

Lindsey Mathieu

Tracy I. McKaveney

Adam McLaughlin

H. Scott Miller

Alison Morris

Peter J. Murphy

Kristina Newman-Scott

Brandon Ojakian

Michelle M. Pandolfi

Erin Pirro

Ken Procino

Steven Raider-Ginsburg

Brian Rich

Matthew Ritter

Robert Ruffolo

Lindsay Ryan Jensen

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