At first glance, the two parts of Susan Allen’s legal practice may seem as if they have little in common. But to Allen, a partner at Stafford Rosenbaum in Milwaukee, her litigation practice and work for municipalities are a natural combination.
“I work a lot on statutes for municipalities, and having that litigation background is helpful since it helps me identify in advance any potential issues with what the municipality is looking to do,” she said.
Allen’s litigation practice ranges from liability defense and lemon laws to breach-of-warranty and insurance litigation. She represents clients at both the trial and appellate levels. Although her litigation clients change frequently, Allen’s municipal clients do not, allowing her to enjoy both a sense of familiarity and a chance to work with someone new every once in a while. In representing municipalities in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, she has served as a municipal prosecutor and as counsel in insurance-liability claims.
Allen went to law school with no plan to become a litigator. That all changed during a summer internship at an insurance company, where an in-house lawyer handed her a file and told her “to figure it out.”
“I realized that practicing the craft of litigation was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I’m always learning something new.”
Christopher Hughes, managing partner at Stafford Rosenbaum, said Allen holds herself to the highest of standards.
“Since joining the team at Stafford Rosenbaum, Susan has been an emerging leader for both our litigation practice and our Milwaukee office,” he said. “She is an outstanding example of someone who takes pride in her profession and it shows through her continued dedication to excellence in everything she does.”
Outside her busy practice, Allen spends her time volunteering at the Milwaukee Justice Center, something she started when she was enrolled in classes at Marquette University Law School.
“I started out with the phone clinic answering questions for people needing legal help. I now am a source for those wanting to talk to a litigator,” she said. “It is satisfying to provide help to those who need it, but cannot afford it.”