The Graduate. After completing law school in January 24, 1970, Scott D. Allen, our founding attorney, did not yet have the vision of helping people in their business and personal legal matters and was not concerned about establishing long-term client relationships. Instead, he was focused on finding a good job, paying his bills and starting a life with his wife, Jenny.
Not long after graduation, Scott received a job offer from a law firm in McKinney, Texas. When the offer came, they were both excited to pack all their earthly belongings into a 5X8 U-Haul trailer and make the move from Austin to McKinney, Texas. His legal career officially began in March, 1970, at a small, two-man firm consisting of one trial attorney, one transaction attorney and Scott, the newest and most enthusiastic member.
Early Experience. Scott still enjoys telling the story of his first jury trial and what he learned from it. Ironically, his second jury trial was set for the afternoon of the same day. As he recalls, in both cases, the defendants were represented by an experienced attorney (who would later become Chief Justice of the Dallas Court of Appeals). Scott represented the City of Allen, Texas in the Municipal Court. During the first trial, Scott’s lack of experience showed when he received a good lesson in lawyering and was beaten significantly. But, what became a satisfying day; he regrouped from his defeat, returned in the afternoon and won the second trial with a unanimous verdict. The two attorneys went on to become life-long friends.
The Call. Scott practiced in McKinney for 2 ½ years until life circumstances warranted his leaving. His time with the McKinney law firm allowed him to learn the practice of law from both the trial and transactional side and to recognize the value of the relationship that a client builds with their attorney. While there, he provided legal services for financial institutions, contractors, physicians and other business clients, many of whom were his personal friends and used his services exclusively. However, neither the friends nor the experience could delay the call from his family informing him of his mother’s need for his help following the recent death of his father.
(A personal and trusted friendship between a client and an attorney results in extra effort to represent a client’s interest well and a long-term client who trusts your advice and follows it. – Scott D. Allen)
Today, we still following this approach to the practice of law and it has served us and our clients well for over 40 years.
The Relocation. After discussing the call with Jenny, giving the appropriate notice to his employer, saying their good-byes to friends, Scott and Jenny relocated to Scott’s hometown of Stephenville, Texas, in order to assist his mother.
The New Beginning. Scott was now back in town and jobless. Being an entrepreneur at heart, he decided to open a solo law practice in town. So, with the assistance of Jenny as a receptionist and secretary, an old set of legal books, and a small, two-room office building located downtown Stephenville, Scott hung a sign on the front door and The Allen Firm, PC (formally known as Scott D. Allen, PC) had its simple beginnings when it opened its doors for business on June 20,1972.
It did not take him long to realize that starting a law firm with limited resources was going to be difficult, but the citizens of Stephenville were receptive to a new attorney.
After a few months, Scott was approached by an established local attorney with the proposition of forming a law partnership. After much discussion and hard decision making, the two joined together as a newly formed partnership operating under the name Coan and Allen, PC. In a matter of time, their business increased and the partnership employed another associate. Scott began to develop a reputation in the community as a skilled, competent and honest lawyer and soon, Scott was representing several local businesses as well as doing some legal work for financial institutions in the area.
Scott’s belief that (It only takes a little more effort and time to turn a medium job into a high-quality job) became a standard for his law firm and remains a principle of The Allen Firm today.
As his law practice grew so did his volunteer and civic work. He became a member and later an officer and director of several local and still ongoing civic organizations in town. Both Scott and Jenny adapted to life in Stephenville and knew they had found their home.
A Turning Point. After practicing law for a while, an unexpected turning point in Scott’s career occurred. It happened when a group of men approached Scott to be a board member and General Counsel for the new charter bank to be located in Stephenville. Shortly thereafter, he received a demand from an existing local bank president whom he represented and his current law partner to decline the offer or lose both the existing bank’s legal business and his law partner. Looking back, he recalls that the demand was a personal defining moment in his legal career and established a principle which still exists with attorneys at The Allen Firm today.
(Every Lawyer must maintain his objective independence and his personal integrity in his relationship with each client. Give either of them up and your client will not respect you, remain as your client nor follow your advice in the future. – Scott D. Allen)
The events following the demand by the existing bank president and law partner ultimately resulted in Scott losing the existing local bank as a client and led to the dissolution of his law partnership.
Once again, the Scott D. Allen, PC firm was reestablished. Scott then became the General Counsel and Board of Directors member of the incoming new bank and served in those capacities for over 34 years until the bank ultimately sold. The Firm continues using that valuable experience in its representation of financial institutions to this day.
The standard of independent advice regardless of what the client demands was engraved as a standard for the law firm and endures today.
New Associates and Building. Although some time passed in the solo practice, it became evident that Scott’s trial and business practice had grown significantly. Scott realized that he and the staff could not personally give clients the individual attention they expected and deserved. The solution involved not only the addition of more associates but the purchase and careful remodeling of a historic bank building on Stephenville’s town square. Today, the historic bank building remains the location of our Firm. When completed, the building renovation provided the office space for The Allen Firm to grow and meet the needs of its trusted clients and friends.
A Generational Associate. A special moment occurred for Scott on September 1, 2004 with a generational addition to the Firm. Josh C. Allen, son of Scott and Jenny, graduated from law school (cum laude) and returned to Stephenville in fulfillment of a decision he made during his sophomore year of high school to follow his father’s path and become a lawyer. Despite the availability of other employment options, he remained true to his continuing plan. Since association with the Firm, he has developed his practice by applying the principles taught to him by his dad from childhood and operating under the value system of the Firm. Today, Josh is actively involved in the daily operations of the Firm while spending time practicing law and continuing the long term relationships established by his father.
The Resulting Law Firm. Over forty years has passed since the Firm’s founding and The Allen Firm continues to grow and expand its long-term clientele by its deep commitment to relationships, helping people, and outstanding professional service. Many of today’s clients are second generation clients in their families and businesses.
Today, attorneys with the Firm practice law as The Allen Firm, PC. Each attorney and legal support team member has been carefully evaluated and chosen in order for the Firm to maintain its high standards and values.
The lasting relationship with long-term clients provides a purpose for the Firm’s continuing existence. As adopted, today’s established mission and focus of The Allen Firm is to improve people’s lives by providing reliable and practical help in all of our client’s business and personal legal matters. Just as our slogan says, we are “Guided by Values. Focused on People.”