My wife, Allison McKeen, is an attorney. Allison is my best friend. Allison is remarkable. Allison is my partner on this small blue marble.
FreedMcKeen exists because of Allison’s support. If FreedMcKeen was a theatrical production, Allison would be the stage manager doing a job that is unseen by the audience yet vital to the production.
When I mentioned talking to Meghan about forming a partnership, Allison said: “Meghan is the perfect partner for you. She’d be great. You two would do great things together.” Words that Allison has repeated many times this year.
I first met Kristen at a charity event for the Hartford Children’s Theater in October. It was an event Meghan had planned. It was an event that Allison and I had tickets for. It was an event that I attended without Allison because our daughter was sick.
In mid-February I first met with Meghan and Kristen to discuss opening a firm. We talked. Mostly about subjects unrelated to opening a firm. The threshold question in any partnership is “do I want to work with this person?” The three of us were out late that night.
When I came home, I told Allison, “I think you’ll really like Kristen”. Time would prove me right.
I’m not even the first McKeen to work with Meghan. Allison and Meghan worked together at Shipman and Goodwin.
I wouldn’t form a partnership with someone Allison didn’t think was fantastic.
Starting a law firm is daunting. It is time consuming. It is stressful. For me that has meant time away from family, late nights, and lots of after work meetings. Laying the groundwork for firm while working for a firm isn’t easy.
For Allison, it meant coming home alone. Putting our daughter to bed by herself. Eating dinner by herself. All so I could do the things I needed to do.
Allison also helped Meghan, Kristen, and me build FreedMcKeen, LLC. She provided counsel on decisions both large and small. Decisions that were made in the wee hours of late winter Sunday mornings. Decisions made after Allison cooked dinner for us.
Allison believed in us and our ideas.
When we open our doors this September we’ll do so with Kristen on board and Meghan and I as partners. Allison’s name will not appear on our website. Allison will not be working with us. Allison will continue working at the Legislative Commissioners Office.
Allison has been a “partner” in FreedMcKeen from the beginning. This has made all the difference.
Allison writes laws during the day. At night she writes under the name Natalie Charles. A version of her award winning story will be published on September 21, 2012 by Mills and Boon. It is available here. It will only be on the shelves in the UK.
A full length version of her book “The Seven Day Target” will be published worldwide by Harlequin in April of 2013.