Lynn Allen is the managing partner of Tyson & Mendes’ Phoenix office. After running her own practice for more than 10 years, she saw an opportunity to grow even further with the help of T&M’s unique defense methods, training program and marketing strategies. Read on to learn about some of her biggest accomplishments and how she maintains work-life balance.
T&M: What drew you to Tyson & Mendes?
LA: Bob Tyson and Pat Mendes. I founded and managed my own small firm from 2004 to 2015 and was looking to take my practice to the next level. I had been approached by several national firms about merging but it was never the right fit. I knew from my first conversation with Bob that he and Pat had created something special. My decision was based on the opportunities to grow my practice, learn new ways to successfully try cases, and the amazing marketing team.
T&M: What is the strongest distinguishing factor about Tyson & Mendes that sets us apart from other firms?
LA: The T&M method of arguing damages and the T&M University – our training program for all attorneys. This is the first firm I have worked at where the partners have actually implemented a comprehensive training program for trial attorneys (instead of just talking about it). The firm is committed to giving all attorneys the opportunity to be the best they can be.
T&M: What has been your favorite case to work on?
LA: This is a difficult question, as there are several. I enjoy defending insurance agents in professional negligence cases because the cases are very personal to my clients. I recently obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for an insurance agent accused of failing to properly advise his client to purchase commercial auto UIM coverage. It was very satisfying to deliver a win (and vindication) for my client. Another case was a first-party property bad faith case in which I obtained a defense verdict for my insurer client after a two week jury trial. This was a high-exposure case in which the plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $7 million. It was a challenging, but rewarding case. The plaintiff ended up appealing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (and lost!), which presented a new and exciting opportunity to brief a case with the Supreme Court.
T&M: What is the accomplishment/win that you are most proud of?
LA: I was proud of myself for taking the risk in 2004 to leave a comfortable law firm practice and open my own firm. I am also proud to represent a large personal-lines insurer in Arizona as its lead attorney on cases involving insurance coverage and bad faith.
T&M: What is the biggest challenge you face as a practicing female attorney?
LA: Combatting perceptions of female trial attorneys and the double standard. Qualities praised in men (strength of conviction, assertiveness, persistence) are often described as negative qualities in female attorneys. I learned a long time ago to ignore those who expect a female attorney to be passive (or name call those who are not) and to vigorously defend my clients to the best of my abilities.
T&M: What singular piece of advice would you give a fellow female professional – in the legal profession or not?
LA: It is difficult to maintain a work-life balance, particularly as a mother. It is important to develop a strong support network of family and friends. One of the hardest things to do as an independent female professional is to ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help and to take some time for yourself. You will be a better professional and person for it.
T&M: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?
LA: A high school social studies teacher
T&M: What’s the last concert you went to or the last song you downloaded?
LA: Last concert was Paul McCartney – 10th row center. It was amazing!
T&M: Which five people would you chose to have dinner with – living or dead?
LA: Hilary Clinton, Sandra Day O’Connor, John Lennon, Larry Fitzgerald and Julia Child
T&M: What is your idea of an ideal weekend?
LA: Getting away from the Phoenix heat to the beach and relaxing with a good book.
T&M: What do you have streaming regularly on your TV?
LA: CNN, and my guilty pleasure of reality competition shows like The Bachelor, Survivor, and Amazing Race.