Jennifer Allen remembers saying she would never go to law school or become an attorney. Fortunately for her clients, it turns out she was wrong.
“I definitely get the foot-in-my-mouth awards for saying I would never go to law school and then after I started that, saying I would never be a traditional practicing attorney,” said Allen, an attorney at Alan C. Olson & Associates S.C. in New Berlin.
But Allen is happy she went off plan.
As a lawyer specializing in employment law, she works with clients who are coping with disabilities or workplace discrimination.
“I enjoy helping these people who really don’t have someone else to go to,” she said. “I may be working with a client who has (multiple sclerosis) or fibromyalgia and, because of that, they can’t work anymore. They need someone to fight for them after they have spent so much of their own lives caring for others. I tell them, ‘Let me take care of this for you.’”
Brianna Covington, another attorney at Alan C. Olson & Associates, said Allen dedicates herself to helping her clients.
“She’s especially passionate about helping female clients stand up for themselves and giving them a voice, whether it’s seeking justice for workplace discrimination or helping them obtain disability benefits that they need to support themselves,” she said.
Allen became interested in employee law while spending time as an intern at a human resources department.
“I could see a law degree would be helpful in that career,” she said. “I’ve always had an interest in employee law and helping those with disabilities.”
Allen has found herself turning to other women attorneys for help in answering certain questions — especially those involving life-work balance — and now happily returns the favor.
“Women are willing to be more honest about workloads and their struggles so the next generation isn’t blindsided,” she said. “You can say, ‘These are some things you may want to think about’ or they can ask how you handled mother-related issues.”
The help Allen provides to other attorneys goes beyond her firm. She’s been a member of the Association of Women Lawyers since she attended Marquette University Law School and is a frequent volunteer at events where she encourages women to pursue legal careers and helps them with applications and interviews.
“Jennifer has always been very encouraging and willing to help me with anything I need, whether it’s help with a case that I’m working on or on something more personal,” Covington said.