Allison Jones, '09

Major         English Literature & Communication Studies

Career       Contract Lawyer 

English Lit and Communication graduate Allison Jones, '09, chose Bryan because upon first visiting, she felt like she “had come home.” While uncertain as to what career field to pursue, she knew she enjoyed literature and writing, and so focused her studies there.

In the following years, professors urged her to consider law, and in 2012, she graduated from the University of Richmond Law and passed the bar exam. Today, she actively practices in the contracting department of a corporate bank.

Allison can attribute her initial thoughts of becoming a lawyer to Dr. Ray Legg and Col. Ron Petitte. A summer internship at a small firm in Richmond gave her the chance to shadow a lawyer, and consider what it meant to be a Christian in the field of law. She recounts the support of her professors through the process of planning her future. When communication professor Michael Palmer first heard that she was thinking about becoming a lawyer, he took Allison down to the local courthouse in Dayton.

“We sat through a session of court, and on the way back, talked about Biblical justice, and that’s when I started thinking about how maybe I could be a Christian and could practice law,” she said. “And Col. Petitte really walked me through all the steps toward law school.”

After passing the LSAT, Allison was accepted into the University of Richmond Law. When she thinks of law school, her carrel immediately comes to mind.

“Everyone gets assigned a carrel in law school – it’s essentially an assigned desk – and you spend a lot of time studying there, such as studying for eight-hour finals. When your entire grade rests on one exam, there’s lots of stress,” she said. “While you do study all semester, class is more of a discussion back and forth. You spend the majority of your time reading cases in preparation for discussion. You’ve got to know the facts and holdings of certain cases, and know the answers when the professor calls on you using the Socratic Method.”

“My first day of law school, I was called on to brief one of the most difficult civil cases,” she said. “I shook the whole time!”

Now that law school is behind her, Allison spends her days immersed in contracts, negotiating terms and conditions, drafting contracts, and going through “the entire process to put a contract together with any vendors my company might need.”

“It’s perfect for me – I get to work with words,” she said. “I draft, edit, and argue with people over words. I told Dr. Legg just yesterday that I had a discussion with my boss about where to place a comma – for 30 minutes. It really brought me back to Advanced Grammar with Dr. Impson.”

Allison still keeps in touch with Dr. and Mrs. Legg, “her second family,” and the kindness and graciousness of professors who welcomed her into their lives and took an interest in her own stands out among her memories of Bryan.

“Dr. Hollingsworth reached out to me when my dad passed away right after the bar exam – that meant a lot to me. Bryan is very academically rigorous, and it teaches you how to think,” she said. “But the professors are what makes Bryan truly unique.”