“What should I name my firm?” That’s one of the first questions any new solo attorneys asks himself.
In the summer of 2013, I toyed with a number of names including “The Law Office of Ryan McKeen”. Ultimately, I decided against it because I didn’t want to have to redo the letterhead in the event it made sense for my wife, Allison McKeen to join the firm. I decided to leave a door open. McKeen Law Firm, LLC was born.
Over the past 16 months, the firm has grown to the point where it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage both the caseload and administrative burdens. Fortunately, I had some outstanding help by way of colleagues, independent paralegals, family, and my assistant Ruth.
But in order to take the next step for the firm – I needed a partner. And luckily for me, I just had to look across the kitchen table. Allison has been my partner for the past 18 years. She is one of the smartest, toughest, and kindest people that I’ve ever met.
Looking back, McKeen Law Firm, LLC was born in a run down apartment in the Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield. Allison and I were 1Ls at Western New England College School of Law. We were in the same section meaning we had all of the same professors. We supported and pushed each other throughout law school to be our best.
At the end of our third year, Allison was selected by our professors for an award honoring the student who best exemplified academic success and community leadership. She was Senior Note Editor for the Law Review. During law school, she received an offer to join Shipman and Goodwin as an associate.
Following law school, our career paths diverged. She practiced land use and municipal law at a large firm. I was fully engaged in the general practice of law at a small firm across the river. She then accepted a position as an attorney for the Legislative Commissioner’s Office at the Connecticut General Assembly where she wrote bills and legislation pertaining to land use, municipal law, housing, and banks.
Throughout our respective careers, we dreamed of working together, at a shop of our own. For many years working together seemed impossible. The dream was tucked away. Some opportunities presented themselves but they weren’t the right opportunities.
Right now is the right opportunity.
Professionally, I’m thrilled to add such an outstanding lawyer to the firm. Allison is a gifted writer. She has written petitions to the US Supreme Court, Appellate Briefs, Statutes, and her novels have been published on 3 continents. Her addition instantly increases both the quality and scope of work the firm can handle.
Personally, I’m excited for the flexibility this gives our family and for the opportunity to spend more time together.
Allison shares the firm’s vision. She helped craft it. She was there when I was looking for office space, working with Hartford Prints on designing business cards, and is my constant go to for advice on both legal and business issues. She has spent countless hours with me watching David Ball “Opening Statements” and “Voir Dire” videos on Saturday nights. CTLA videos are also a hit in our house.
More than that Allison has supported both me and the firm in taking risks and serving my clients. Whether it is staying home with our children while I’m listening to David Ball teach in DC or encouraging me to take and try different cases – she has stood by my side, encouraged me, and provided me with countless insights.
Allison is leading McKeen Law Firm’s real estate, land use, legislative drafting, and appellate practice. She will also be handling the bulk of the briefing and research for the firm. We’ll have more on exactly what she’s doing over the coming weeks and months as things settle in. Allison is a significant asset to all of the firm’s existing and future clients.
The move allows me to further narrow my practice areas and really focus on civil trial work while allowing Allison to further grow the firm’s real estate practice. It’s not that I’ve done my last closing or anything it’s just close to impossible to be in court as much as I am and cover closings.
You will be hearing from Allison on this site. Look for her posts about land use and municipal legislation pending before the General Assembly this session.
On January 5, 2015, Allison simply begins working as a partner in the traditional sense of the word. She has been part of McKeen Law Firm since it opened on a humid July morning in our kitchen right after we had reserved a vacation at Sesame Place.
You Can Contact Allison Through The Form Below: