LEADERSHIP IN LAW 2016: Michael P. Allen

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Michael Allen is tireless in his efforts as an outstanding lawyer and his work in the community, where he will be a fixture in the public finance practice for years to come. He recently served as bond counsel on a $1.1 billion financing of an economic development facility in southern Indiana. One of his clients notes that he has prepared and coordinated a multitude of documents error-free and maintains client communication at the highest level. He is chair of the Joy’s House Governance Committee, which serves the elderly population as an adult day service. Michael reviewed the employee evaluation process of Joy’s House and recommended changes to its bylaws.

allen-michael-15col.jpg (IL photo/Eric Learned)

Why did you become a lawyer?

I have always been interested in the law. I graduated with degrees in history and economics. It appeared that attending graduate school would be required to further either of those disciplines and law school seemed to be the next logical step.

What attracted you to municipal finance law?

Practicing in the municipal finance area keeps me connected and informed of the developments in the community. It is extremely rewarding to be able to take a short drive or walk and visit projects that I am currently working on or have worked on in the past.

What excites you about your practice?

Much of my practice involves low-income multifamily housing development and it is exciting to see an increase in the number of developers and agencies focusing on and endorsing the development of affordable housing around Indiana. Quality affordable housing is the foundation to revive a community.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

Food blogger. I love food. I live to eat. I would describe myself as a “foodie.”  I seek out unique foods and experiences whenever I go out to eat. 

What was the most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

During college at Indiana University, I worked at Red Lobster. I loved working at Red Lobster. I worked in nearly every aspect of the restaurant from kitchen prep and busboy to server. As you can imagine, I met many interesting people and to this day, many of my closest friends are those that I met while working at Red Lobster.

What is the most important lesson you learned from your mentor?

I have been fortunate to have met several people I credit as mentors. And they have all advised that success stems from learning from constructive criticism; that I am my harshest critic; and that family is and should always be your top priority.  

What’s something about you not many people know?

After graduating college, I traveled throughout Europe with a couple of my friends. During our travels we attended the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, and took part in the Running of the Bulls. Easily the most exhilarating and frightening experience of my life (aside from becoming a parent for the first time and then becoming a parent for the second time).

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Hopefully, not only being a partner at Ice Miller LLP with a leadership role within the firm but continuing my involvement in community and civic organizations by volunteering my time and talents to further causes I am passionate about.

Why is it important to be active within legal and community organizations?

The legal community is especially small in Indianapolis. I routinely work with the same attorneys from other firms or fellow classmates and it is important to be active in legal and community organizations to continue to build those relationships. Those relationships may provide an opportunity not only for me to better serve my clients or an organization I am involved with, but to assist others in the practice of law with their clients or community organizations.

What will the legal profession look like in 15 years?

I have absolutely no idea. It seems that the legal market has been ever-changing since starting my practice in 2008. My hope is that the legal profession continues to be a respected profession with priority given to serving clients needs to the best of our abilities.  

You’re an avid runner. What do you like about running and what’s been your favorite race?

I enjoy running because it allows me to decompress from the day or week and refocus. Running throughout the city provides a different perspective to areas that I have driven countless times. I also enjoy exploring the city through new running routes. My favorite race is the Monumental Marathon because fall is my favorite season and the course runs past my house.

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