Alumni Reflections: W. George Allen
“I am grateful to be a recipient of an excellent education from the University of Florida College of Law. Being a law school graduate opened many doors when I started practicing in Miami. (Early in my career, I was appointed attorney ad litem in a case thanks to a call from my Evidence professor to a local judge.) I have since honored that tradition by looking out for other College of Law graduates by mentoring them and hiring them as law clerks and as lawyers in my firm. UF students are always prepared, motivated and trustworthy.”
— W. George Allen (UF JD 62), Distinguished University of Florida Alumnus and namesake of the Levin College of Law W. George Allen Chapter of the Black Law Students Association. Allen earned his B.A. from Florida A&M University and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. In 1962, he became the first African-American to graduate from the UF College of Law. He was named a Distinguished University of Florida Alumnus in 2000, partly in recognition of his leadership role in equal rights on the state and national level. Lawsuits he filed in the late 1960s — against a restaurant that refused to serve him and the Broward County School Board — led to a ruling that helped open public buildings to minorities and to a federal decision ordering desegregation of all county schools.
Allen owns his own practice in Fort Lauderdale, and is a former president of the National Bar Association and Broward County Bar Association. He is former vice chairman of the Broward Expressway Authority, and former chairman of the United Way of Broward County.
Allen and his wife, Enid, are major contributors to the UF College of Law Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, and he is a member of the UF Foundation Board of Directors and Law Center Association Board of Trustees. He provides summer clerkships to UF law students, helps recruit students for the college, judges Moot Court competitions, and speaks often on campus.