When Ryan Kurtz, Key Contact Partner at Miller & Martin (Atlanta - USA), participated in a network orchestrated exchange with member firm Gianni & Origoni (Italy) as an intern in 2001, he had no idea that he was laying the foundations of a career-defining relationship. You can read Ryan's article about his exchange for a glimpse of his immediate reaction to the experience.
Fast-forward to May 2023—Ryan was knighted Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) for promoting international relations with the United States. To learn more about Ryan's strong ties to the Italian community and the details of the ceremony, read these articles by Global News Atlanta and World Law Group.
Francesco Gianni, Founding Partner at Gianni & Origoni, commented on Ryan's receiving this honor, saying, "I am very happy to learn about it…because the contribution of Ryan to the relationship between our two countries is really precious."
We asked Ryan a few questions regarding his relationship with Italy and how WLG has played a role in establishing these connections.
1. You were an intern at member firm Gianni & Origoni. What advice would you give to our current WLG | exchange participants or those considering WLG | immersion? How do you think the experience has benefited you as a lawyer?
The exchange program is an important part of WLG. It affords younger lawyers an opportunity to experience the practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction under the supervision of excellent WLG lawyers. For me, the experience was integral to my development as a person and a lawyer and had a profound impact on the direction of my legal practice. It served as a stepping-stone in my career by opening doors that would have been otherwise unavailable. Gianni & Origoni is a highly-respected firm with a known brand. Upon my return to Atlanta, my experience at Gianni & Origoni was instrumental to my ability to get involved in the local Italian business community, which ultimately led to my appointment as the Honorary Consul of Italy. To this day, I continue to work with a number of Italian clients and my friends at Gianni & Origoni.
2. Having started as an intern and now being a Key Contact Partner, what stands out most when you reflect on your journey with WLG thus far, and what do you enjoy most about your network involvement?
The people and the friendships. The WLG is full of high-quality people across the board. These people are not only experts in their field who can be trusted to take care of your clients, many are also lifelong friends.
Congratulations Ryan, from the WLG Staff Team! To wish Ryan congratulations, visit our LinkedIn post.