W. Coleman Allen Jr.
Leadership in personal injury plaintiff’s bar, at state and national levels
Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
1809 Staples Mill Rd.
Richmond, VA 23230
BA, Yale College
JD/MBA, University of Virginia
Who was your most important mentor and how did that mentor impact your career?
Cary L. Branch was my most important professional mentor, the impact of his example of how trial lawyers ought to conduct themselves has proven with the passage of time to be even more important than his teachings. My father Wilbur Allen has been my most important personal mentor, in particular with his example of the respect to which every person is entitled, and the courtesy with which they deserve to be treated.
What do you consider your biggest personal accomplishment and why?
Persuading Anne Allen to marry me plainly represents my greatest personal accomplishment, one that I marvel at even more 30 years later, than I did at the time the deal was struck.
What is the best bit of advice you ever received?
From Hunter Thompson: “Keep your affairs in order, at all times!”
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
The short answer is that I have never actually succeeded in achieving that balance, however, I look forward to what I can learn from the responses to this question by the other members of the “Class of 2009.”
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what field would you have entered?
Driving Formula I or the World Superbike Series
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
The portrayal of the ideals to which every lawyer should aspire as characterized by Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is as clear and powerful today as when the book was written by Harper Lee in 1960. In fact, it has never been done better, and then Gregory Peck nails the role in the movie…that’s as good as it gets, the book and the movie have inspired countless young people to consider becoming trial lawyers, in addition to providing new inspiration to older lawyers at all stages of experience.
What are two facts about you that most people, including your closest friends, may not know?
What is not known to even my closest friends should probably stay that way!