Walker Opens Law Office On Main Street

Ryan Walker opened his law office in The Hendricks building in June.

WATER VALLEY – The global pandemic may have dampened the economy, but in Water Valley several new businesses have launched in recent months with more to open soon. This list includes Ryan Walker’s new law office upstairs in The Hendricks Building.
Walker previously practiced law in the Delta for seven years, most recently commuting daily an hour-and-a-half to Indianola. Earlier this year Walker and his wife, Addy, were walking down the hill from their Dupuy residence when he noticed an office for rent sign on The Hendricks Building. This seemingly insignificant stroll nudged Walker to open his own practice.
“I decided that the best thing for me was to go out on my own and be a small town attorney in my community,” Walker explained as he opened for business in June.
But that is getting ahead in his story, first we have to backtrack almost two decades to explain how a five-year stint as a Navy Corpsman led to a California native’s trek to the University of Mississippi and Water Valley.
Walker’s story starts back in junior college when he enlisted in the Navy.
“I was looking for a change in pace,” he recalled. He had been inspired by stories about Navy Corpsman as well as the death of his childhood’s friend’s brother, a Green beret killed in Afghanistan.  After joining, Walker attended the field medical service school at Camp Pendleton and was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.
During his service, Walker explained he was also committed to continuing his education. He decided to see what his options were during a trip to the University of Maryland’s satellite campus in Japan.
“I walked in one day to have my transcripts read and there was probably the most beautiful woman I have ever seen sitting there. She was an academic advisor for the University of Maryland,” Walker recalled.
He had Addy analyze his transcripts in that first meeting and visited her office for advice several times while he was stationed in Japan.
“We had nothing but a professional relationship, she was way out of my league,” Walker continued. But he would learn more, she was Addy Mills from the Lafayette/Panola County line and an Ole Miss graduate.
“She was very nice to me, I probably made more trips than needed,” Walker recalled.
When his time in the Navy was coming to an end, he visited Addy and explained his desire to apply to several universities.
“I asked her if she would write letters of recommendation for me, she knew a little about my desire to be an educated man,” Walker continued.
He ended up applying to five universities, the fifth being Ole Miss.
“It was really a tribute to her, I didn’t know much about Ole Miss, but she would talk about it from time to time,” he explained.
A few weeks later, in April, 2007, his time in the Navy was up and he went back to his hometown near Bakersfield, CA and worked in construction that summer while waiting for acceptance letters. He was admitted to four of the five universities, but in the end  Ole Miss was the best fit for him – more of his earlier college hours were accepted along with the cost of tuition and availability of housing.
“And also, everyone at Ole Miss, when I told them I was going to use the G.I. Bill, they thanked me for my service. They wanted me there, they said they would love to have me,” Walker continued.
In August, 2007, he loaded his pickup and drove across the country to Oxford. He arrived not knowing a single person, but Addy had put him in touch with her mother who worked on campus in the School of Engineering. He checked in with her a few times and spoke to Addy, probably once or twice a year, via email.
“Just to say ‘hi, everything is going well,’” Walker explained. Addy was still in Japan, now working for the Department of Defense as a teacher.
During the next two years, Walker logged long hours in the classroom, earning a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Classics as well as a second bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in English.
“It was a natural fit to go from my humanities background to law school,” Walker said about applying to the University of Mississippi School of Law. He also recalled the economy was soft back in 2009 and he had portions of his G.I. Bill remaining that would help fund the final leg of his education.
During his final year in law school Addy reached out to him.
“Because of FaceTime and other technology, we were able to pull it off,” Walker said about the long distance relationship. She came to visit during spring break and again for his graduation. Then in 2013 she moved back to Mississippi to work as a teacher in the Oxford School District.
“Unfortunately, that was when I got my first job in Cleveland, but the economy was still kind of bad so we were grateful for my job,” Walker said.
Although he lived in Cleveland and Addy in Water Valley, the relationship strengthened and the couple were married on Nov. 1, 2015.
Legal Experience
Walker explained his legal experience is ideal for operating a general practice firm in Water Valley. His first job was working for Judge Catherine Farris-Carter, a Chancellor in the 7th Chancery Court District.
Next he worked as a staff attorney for Circuit Judge Albert Smith and later for the District Attorney in the 11th Circuit Court District.  He also briefly was an attorney for the Mississippi Department of Human Services before going into private practice.
Walker also shared that his ambition is to serve as a small town, Christian attorney that people look up to as a good guy.
“Community based, community driven – wills and estates, bankruptcy, family law, criminal defense. I do a little bit of everything,” he explained. Among his new clients is the Water Valley School District where he was hired as the board attorney last month.
Walker’s office is located at 102 South Main Street, Suite 2, upstairs in The Hendricks Building.
He can be reached at (662) 506-2702.

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