Attorney Marc Lopez recently welcomed Attorney Jamison Allen to the firm. The two of them shared a brief introductory discussion about the nature of personal injury law, the ideal vacation, and what gets Attorney Allen out of bed in the morning. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.
What is personal injury?
Personal injury law allows people to put their lives back together. When you end up in a car accident, as the victim of a slip-and-fall, or perhaps a victim of someone else’s poor decision—even medical malpractice—you need somebody to fight for you, and personal injury has given me an opportunity to help so many people. I’ve helped them get lost wages back, helped them get their medical bills paid when they didn’t know what was gonna happen or how they were gonna be able to afford it, and of course, helped them get compensation for what they went through.
Why did you become an attorney?
On some level, I think I’ve always wanted to be an attorney. I’m not going to go into politics, but when I was like, 10 years old, my mom says that I was watching the presidential conventions—I was a weird 10-year-old kid—and she asked me if I wanted to be president, and I said, No, but I wouldn’t mind being governor.
So I’ve always had an interest in law and public service, and then my grandfather was a teacher—taught history and government, and I followed in his footsteps initially. Then I realized I wasn’t meant to be a teacher for my whole life and ended up going to law school, but it’s helped me, because I’m able to continue helping people. As a teacher, it was my goal to help kids and families, and as an attorney, it’s really the same goal, and it allows me to use my skills and intellect differently.
Now I’m just drawn to the fight and having a job that’s active. I drove a forklift for a while—23 years ago, something like that—for a sea company, and I remember thinking for the first few weeks, Oh this is nice, because I went home without work to do essentially, right? You don’t take the forklift home with you. But over time, I realized that I want to do something where I do take work home with me.
You know how it is, Marc—we never stop thinking. You’re driving, you’re in line at an amusement park and thinking about some strategy, or you hear something and you get an idea—You know what? I can use that strategy with this witness at trial. And having that type of purpose in life—it’s great.
I love the professional law. I know attorneys—we’re often the butt of jokes, and sometimes we deserve that, a few times we don’t—but I love attorneys and the respect that the profession has, that we have for each other, and that we’re all working—even our opponents—they are working to make society better, and that’s something I’m very proud of.
Jamison, what is your favorite part of being an attorney?
I would say it’s when I get up in the morning, and I have something to do. There’s something important that I need to accomplish. Somebody needs something from me and that really is important, because when you have a job that you don’t like or a career that you don’t like, it just affects every aspect of your life.
It affects your friendships, your marriage, your relationship with your kids—everything. And so knowing that, I always have something important to do that day. And that’s very valuable to me.
Jamison, what is your ideal vacation?
Well I’d say it’s probably ones that we’ve done. We tend to combine amusement parks with history and nature. We’ve done that several times, and didn’t even realize it till recently that when I plan a vacation, I get excited planning vacations and putting something in that’s a favorite for each of my kids and my wife.
Last year we went to Minnesota and Iowa, and the kids were very excited and wanted to go for a while. But we went up and saw where the Mississippi River begins. We went to two different theme parks—the Mall of America theme park, and then we swung down through Iowa to hit Adventure Land, which has a few cool roller coasters that my daughter adores.
So I think if you can combine those types of things—and I know that everybody in my family has something that they love—and I always throw in something that’s an element of history, or something along those lines. I think that’s a great vacation. Everybody got something they loved, and we all spent time together.
I feel like if we were at the Magic Kingdom, I’d be like, Hey, let’s go to the dwarf mine train, and you’d be like, No, I want to go to the Hall of Presidents. We might have to split up if we went that way—just keep that in mind.
History and an amusement park—what a combination that is! A teacher and a lawyer married together like that. I love it. Jamison, we are so excited to have you with us. Anyone has any questions, anyone wants to send a message to us, just reach out. Jamison is super nice and easy to talk to.
That’s it, you have a great day. Thanks for joining us, Jamison.
Thank you, Marc, and thanks to everybody for watching.