After pursuing L.L.B. from Patna University, Prasad has been practising at the High Court in Patna, since 1980. He advanced in his professional career and was then appointed as the senior advocate at the Patna High Court in 1999. Following year he was appointed as the senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India.
Prasad started his political career by becoming a student leader in the 1970s mobilized protests against then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. He was one of many who were sent to jail when the emergency was declared by Indira’s government in 1977. He koined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and ABVP and worked for them for several years and held various posts. In his college days he was made General Secretary of the University’s Students Union and also a member of the Finance Committee, Senate and Arts and Law Faculties of the Patna University.
From 1995 Prasad has been nominated as a member of BJP National Executive, the party's head body of policymaking. During NDA government from 1998 to 2004, Prasad held few prestigious posts such as; The Ministry of Law and Justice, and served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal and Mines and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
On personal front Ravi Shankar Prasad married Dr. Shrimati Maya Shankar in 1982 and has one son Adtya and one daughter Aditi Shankar.