50 Intriguing Women- Attorney Carla Allen
Words by: Ashley Winters
Carla Allen, what can I say about her? Well there is plenty to say, but most of all she is a woman of the law. And no, she’s not a police officer, which I’m sure she could have that career and soared in it because the sista is that dope. However, Carla Allen is an attorney! A graduate of Hazelwood East I’m sure all you Spartans are proud of this gem.
A lover of numbers and business, Carla took her aspirations to Tennessee State University where she majored in accounting. After graduating in 2002 from Tennessee State University, Carla aspired in a new field of study. Her next stop was at St. Louis University where she received her Master’s degree in law. Her goal was to obtain her degree, set up shop at a law firm, and help small businesses succeed. Combining both her accounting degree and law degree, Carla is someone you didn’t want to mess with. She understands the numbers of business and the law of business, making her the perfect candidate for a consultant or legal advisor. Undoubtedly, Carla wanted to be a one stop shop. Which makes a perfect recipe for having her own law firm, but I’ll get to that later.
Starting her career at Armstrong Teasdale Law Firm, Carla started to feel she was straying from her original plan. She felt she wasn’t helping the little guy and business owners that look like her. After spending six years at Teasdale, Carla decided it was time to make a difference, and the Allen Law Firm was born.
Located in the heart beat of the city, tucked inside the newly developed neighborhood of Martin Luther King Blvd, (next door to Friendly Temple Church, which she happens to be a member of) the Allen Law Firm is a strong entity in the community, and is surrounded by up-and- coming black owned businesses. Her goal is to have a practice where she is making an impact; therefore, she wants to be accessible to the surrounding areas. Carla also does legal work for Friendly Temple, and provides legal advice to some of the members. She mentions many members of her church are small business owners, and she wants to ensure they are receiving top notch legal advice. Lending her expertise to help them understand the finances, legal documents, and legal matters that occur when being a small business owner.
However, being in a field that is predominantly male and white wasn’t a cake walk for Carla. She had to endure some pretty unyielding times. As everyone knows the field of law is sometimes referred to the “good ole boys” club, so I can just imagine some of the things said to her and behind her back as she made a name for herself. Carla has had to deal with her counterparts viewing her as incompetent, trying to take advantage of her, and even using belittling terms towards her such as “sweetie” or ” sugar”. Even in 2017, she is still being tested due to the fact she is a woman and African -American. Yet, through it all Carla didn’t let the negativity deter her from her goal, which is to be a successful attorney. She overcame her obstacles by reminding herself she deserved to be a lawyer, and to be prepared for any fight knowing she was doing this for her clients.
Carla’s expertise has allowed her to handle some family court cases, and she is now in a place of her career where she understands the law. Law school taught her how to think like a lawyer but she firmly believes all good lawyers will and ask questions. She reiterates keep asking questions and searching for answers.
Carla hopes to one day join forces with another African American lawyer and open a law firm together to become an all-purpose black law firm in St. Louis. Also, her goals are to become a judge. She also mentors young girls at Berkeley South High School. At the end of the day, Carla is helping her community. Whether it’s a family court matter or something as small as helping someone get their driver’s license back, she is here to make a difference.
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