She Guides Her Clients in a Manner that Helps Them Understand the Legal Ramifications of their Options, Meet Charlotte Attorney Meagan L. Allen
Q: What expectations did you have after graduating and receiving your law degree?
MA: Honestly, I thought that the practice of law would be similar to my law school experience – lots of reading and writing. However, I learned very quickly that the practice of law is much different than law school. It is much more fluid than I expected. There is still a lot of reading and writing, but there is also a lot of social interaction with clients, opposing counsel, and court officials. My firm is a very collaborative space and we constantly bounce ideas off each other. My expectation of being stuck in an office all day quickly went out the window. Prior to Covid-19, I was constantly traveling to depositions or hearings and getting to meet experienced attorneys and judges. The legal profession is very genial, and most attorneys are always willing to offer advice to the new attorney on the block.
Q: Can you share with our audience, the type of law you specialize in?
MA: I practice civil litigation, construction litigation, employment law, general business litigation, premises liability, products liability, and professional malpractice.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
MA: The thing I like most about litigation is that every day is different. Some days I’ll attend depositions or court hearings, some days I’ll conduct legal research and draft motions or memorandums, and some days I’ll conduct site inspections or client interviews. Additionally, each individual case presents different legal issues or fact patterns and, as someone who practices in more than one state, I am constantly learning about the ever-changing landscape of the law in North Carolina, South Carolina, and federally. The practice of law really feeds my intellectual curiosity.
Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you?
MA: My first job out of law school was a clerkship with a circuit court judge in South Carolina. My clerkship was the first opportunity I had to see litigation and trial practice firsthand. During my tenure, I witnessed a number of high-profile civil and criminal trials and had the privilege of watching some of the best attorneys in the state battle it out in the courtroom. The experience really gave me an up-close look at the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence in action. Being able to see the Rules used in real-time, instead of just on paper, helped solidify my understanding of how they work and the feats they can achieve in certain circumstances. The experience gave me a newfound respect for judges and trial attorneys. It is not always an easy job, but they do it with all of the empathy and compassion that you expect from those in the legal profession.
Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career?
MA: Give every task your best – no matter how small it seems. Successfully litigating a case is not attributable to any single step along the way. It takes hundreds (sometimes thousands) of smaller decisions and tasks to get to a successful conclusion in a case. Work-life balance is also key. I exercise regularly, spend time with family and friends (on Zoom, as of late), and soak up some Vitamin D outdoors. I know that I can only give my clients 100% if I am also taking care of my body and mind as well.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
MA: My mother is one of my biggest inspirations. From a very young age, she instilled in me the importance of education, hard work, and self-sufficiency. Growing up, I had the privilege of watching her and my father build a successful business from the ground up. She led by example and taught me to always give my best in everything I do. She is also one of the funniest people I know, and she taught me to not always take myself so seriously. Whenever I’m being too hard on myself, she’ll always say “You live, you learn, you die and forget it all.” It always makes me laugh and reminds me to not take everything so seriously all the time.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
MA: I feel as though our society has certainly made progress in the right direction; however, we still have room for improvement. I think one of the most pervasive problems that women face today is the threat of sexual harassment, sex crimes, and domestic violence. This threat has become especially real in recent months with some victims being quarantined with their abusers. It is important that we all check in on each other and do what we can to help those who need support. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault and needs support, RAINN has a free, confidential, 24/7 hotline at 800. 656.HOPE (4673). If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence and needs support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or test LOVEIS to 22522. You are not alone.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney?
MA: You are capable of so much more than you know. The practice of law is demanding, but so rewarding. The legal profession has historically been dominated by men, but the tide is certainly turning. My firm, Martineau King, is led and managed by women and I have the pleasure of interacting with countless brilliant and hard-working female attorneys, judges, clients, and support staff. Practicing law as a woman certainly presents challenges, just like any other profession; however, it is so worthwhile. The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory!
Five Things About Attorney Meagan L. Allen
1. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
2. What would be your ideal way to spend a weekend?
Hiking in the mountains or getting lost in a new city.
3. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
My dog, sunscreen, and a good book.
4. What app can’t you live without?
5. Favorite dessert?
Banana pudding – I am from South Carolina, after all.