Bruce Allen

Law firm partner who played leading role in legal aid in Sacramento including creating the Legal Aid Society there.

Person details

Where most active professionally: California
Law type: Civil
Lists: In Memoriam
Source: CNEJL
Date deceased: Sep 12, 2009


Bruce Allen graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1949. After law school, Mr. Allen went back to his hometown, Sacramento, CA, to work with the law firm of Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer.

In 1953, Mr. Allen left Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer and formed McDonough Holland & Allen PC with two of his colleagues. At this new firm, he specialized in representing public and private entities and individuals throughout California. With the support of Archibald Mull, who had inspired him to do legal aid work, Mr. Allen developed a legal aid program modeled after a program in Portland, OR. He developed this program in cooperation with other attorneys and Dorothy Littlefield, a social worker.

The Legal Aid Society was incorporated in 1956, and endorsed by the Sacramento County Bar Association (a 1953 vote by the Bar Association to establish a legal aid society had initially failed). Initial funding came from the United Crusade and from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. Bruce Allen continued to work with the Legal Aid Society of Northern California.

McDonough Holland & Allen, PC eventually grew into a 100-attorney law firm with offices in Oakland and Yuba City by 2005. At one point it was the second largest law firm in Sacramento.

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