Ronson J. Shamoun '98, '02, '03

CEO and Principal Attorney

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Ronson J. Shamoun '98, '02, '03
begin quoteA passion for helping others has been a defining staple of Shamoun’s personal and professional life. With three USD degrees in hand and a few nice suits in his closet, he went on to establish what would become the “Best Tax Law Firm in San Diego.&quo

RJS Law

Ronson Shamoun is a triple USD alumnus as well as an adjunct professor and board member for the USD School of Business and the USD School of Law. In 2017, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the USD School of Law.

Spend another year at USD? How can you turn that down?

When the opportunity arose to pursue his LLM degree, Ronson Shamoun had been a Torero for far longer than he had been formally enrolled at the University of San Diego — first as an undergraduate accounting student in the USD School of Business, then as a JD student in the USD School of Law.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a lawyer,” he said. “And even as a young kid, I knew I wanted to attend the USD School of Law.”

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Shamoun’s decades-long tenure with the school began as a young kid — albeit in an unofficial capacity — tagging along to study groups with his older sister, “the first generation of Shamouns to attend USD.”

“I remember walking through Olin Hall as a kid — the same Olin Hall that I still walk through to this day as adjunct faculty,” he said. “I knew then that USD was where I wanted to be.”

As Shamoun neared the final semester of the JD program, his father suggested he continue his studies at USD, asking if the school offered any other degree programs that aligned with his career path. Excited by the prospect of spending another year on USD’s award-winning campus, Shamoun decided to enroll in the LLM in Taxation, where he was able to further the knowledge and passion for tax accounting he developed as an undergrad, most notably with USD School of Business Professor of Accounting and Taxation Thomas Dalton.

“Through the LLM program, I found an area of tax I love — tax controversy and litigation,” he said. “Defending people against the IRS and state agencies is incredibly rewarding.”

With three USD degrees in hand and a few nice suits in his closet, Shamoun went on to establish what would become the “Best Tax Law Firm in San Diego,” as designated by The San Diego Union Tribune from 2014-2018. But like most entrepreneurial ventures, RJS Law started small — with one big case, to be exact — and a bit of mentorship. In fact, it was USD Adjunct Professor of Law Richard Carpenter who encouraged Shamoun to start his own firm.

“With a foundation in both business and law from USD and the support of Professor Carpenter, I hung out a shingle, hired an assistant and made myself look like a lawyer,” he said.

Shamoun credits the growth of RJS Law — from one lawyer and an assistant in 2003 to 10 lawyers and more than 25 staff members today — to a simple philosophy, though one not often seen in the arena of tax law. 

“Lawyers are notorious for not returning phone calls, not responding to emails and for a general lack of customer service,” he said. “Conversely, customer service is something I’ve stressed in my business and lived by from the start.”

While customer service has always been number one, Shamoun’s passion for helping people has undoubtedly served as a catalyst for his success. From the earliest days of RJS Law, he would take the time to listen to even the smallest of cases, eventually building an impressive portfolio based largely on word of mouth referrals and local advertising. 

“As people would come to me with their tax problems, I would always go the extra mile — treating them like my own family and helping out as much as possible,” he said.  “I learned to have a helping attitude because I was helped so much by my USD professors and mentors.”

A passion for helping others has been a defining staple of Shamoun’s personal and professional life, though he admits he didn’t fully realize the depth of this passion—or the magnitude of its impact—until he started teaching. In addition to being San Diego’s most sought-after tax lawyer, Shamoun serves as an adjunct professor of law at the USD School of Law, teaching tax practice and penalties, and adjunct professor of tax at the USD School of Business, teaching federal tax procedure and policies. 

“As I was fulfilling my passion by inspiring my students and helping them grow, I was also expanding my network through the people I met and the friends that I made,” he said. “I didn’t have to wait to become a board advisor or a professor to realize the value of the USD network.” 

Reflecting on his time as a USD student, board member, active alumnus and faculty member, Shamoun has traced his affinity for helping people to the virtues that have been ingrained in him since he set foot on the USD campus — conceivably before he was officially a Torero. 

“Getting involved with USD from the start and continuing to be an active member of the university has helped my career tremendously,” he said. 

Today, the Shamoun family legacy continues at USD, with two of Shamoun’s nephews and his niece following a path similar to his own. One of his nephews is currently studying accounting at the USD School of Business, while the other graduated from the USD School of Business with his degree in accounting and is currently pursuing his law degree at the School of Law before pursuing a Master of Laws in Taxation.

In addition to teaching, Shamoun serves on the Board of Visitors for the USD School of Law and the Board of Advisors for the USD School of Business. He received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Law.

“As a student, every one of my professors knew my name,” he said. “Even today, if I want to visit one of my fellow professors during office hours, I can walk in like any student, and they are always available to help. The hands-on, one-on-one environment USD offers has been a key factor in my career success.”

USD alumnus, Ronson J Shamoun, and family

Ronson J. Shamoun with his wife and future Toreros

Contact:

Renata Ramirez
renataramirez@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4658