Legal Aid of Western Michigan recently announced that Varnum attorney John Allen is the recipient of the 2018 John N. Vlachos Award for pro bono service.
The Vlachos award is given to a member of the Kalamazoo legal community in recognition of exceptional commitment to Legal Aid of Western Michigan and its goal of providing equal justice without regard to economic status. The award was created in memory of John N. Vlachos, the first legal aid attorney in Kalamazoo in the early 1950s when the program started.
Allen, a commercial litigator who also handles family law matters, has practiced law in the Kalamazoo area for over 40 years. While his career has been distinguished by numerous high points and recognitions, he said pro bono work “has always been one of the most personally rewarding parts of my professional life.” He noted that he has always had the support of his law firm.
“The best fun of being a lawyer is helping someone who really needs it,” Allen said. “Throughout my life and legal career, I have been blessed with many good examples and mentors. They taught me, and showed me, how to assist those who needed legal services, but who could not always afford them. “
Among Allen’s pro bono work is defense of those accused of crimes, assisting children and parents in Juvenile Court matters, representing parties in civil matters and advising at local clinics.
Allen’s law practice focuses on business and commercial litigation. He is also a certified civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is admitted to the AAA International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Allen has written and co-written dozens of articles and books, and he is a frequent speaker to business and law groups. On a regular basis, he teaches courses in law and trial practice to other lawyers, often serving as an expert witness.
The Vlachos award will be presented at an event set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 18 at Niko’s Landing in Comstock. To register, visit the John N. Vlachos Award event web page.