A Gulfport attorney who has excelled in the areas of personal injury, products and medical malpractice litigation has been named the 2007 University of Mississippi School of Law Alumnus of the Year.
The annual honor was awarded to Harry R. Allen, a senior member of Allen, Vaughn, Cobb and Hood, P.A., at a luncheon earlier this summer.
Allen, who completed his law degree at UM in 1955, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in his fields. He has worked out of a temporary office since Hurricane Katrina heavily damaged his firm's building.
"Harry is very deserving of this award," said law Dean Samuel M. Davis. "He served as chairman of the Lamar Order (the highest level of giving among UM law alumni) this past year, and more than that, he has made a personal commitment to our Law School Campaign and has been of enormous help in the campaign generally."
The award seeks to recognize someone who has been of outstanding service to the law school, Davis said.
Robert T. Jackson Sr., president of the Law Alumni Chapter, has known Allen since he began practicing law in Gulfport 41 years ago.
"Harry was there, so I've known him that long," Jackson said. "He has been, and continues to be, a very distinguished attorney. He has given generously of his time for civic matters, charitable endeavors and service to the Mississippi Bar Association."
Allen, who also received his undergraduate degree from the university, said he was surprised by the recognition because of the many other outstanding alumni of the law school.
"I felt particularly honored because I hold the Ole Miss law school in such high esteem," he said. "During the past 10 years under the leadership of Dean Davis, the law school has produced graduates who are exceptional lawyers. The law clerks and new lawyers from Ole Miss who have been hired by our firm are better equipped to practice law than any I have seen in the past."
Allen has authored numerous published works and is a member of the Mississippi, Harrison County and American bar associations, as well as the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute, International Association of Defense Counsel and Maritime Law Association.