Thursday, March 21, 2013

DW Women in Law Profile – Allison Bach

For Allison Bach, a Member in the firm’s Detroit office, she always knew that she wanted to help people. It may have come from her family: her father is a retired minister, her mother is a nurse and her sister is a social worker.  It’s also why she took a long route to becoming a lawyer.

“I’m actually a second career lawyer,” says Allison as we talked in her office surrounded by photographs. “I have a Masters in Urban Affairs and worked at the United Way here in Detroit for several years before law school. Because I’m not a native Detroiter, my experience at the United Way taught me a lot about Detroit and the numerous non-profit organizations providing services to the community.”

Her desire for being a lawyer may also come from her early love of Perry Mason. “We moved to Ohio from New York when I was in the third grade and the best part of the move was that I got to come home for lunch every day and watch Perry Mason with my mom.  He made being a lawyer look pretty darn cool.”

It is why she had plans to become a criminal defense attorney, but put those to the side when her mentor at Wayne State Law School suggested classes that led her to a career in bankruptcy and insolvency law. After interning with Judge O’Meara and being a summer associate with Dickinson Wright, she ended up at Dickinson Wright and found another mentor in Steven Howell, practice department manager for banking & finance, creditors' rights, municipal finance and international, who helped her develop her practice in the creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and insolvency field.

Although she represents all types of creditors, her primary focus is on representing secured lenders in workout and restructuring situations.  One of her favorite things about being a lawyer is the intellectual challenge and stimulation.  “When a borrower has trouble and defaults, I work with the bank to maximize their recovery,” says Allison. “Sometimes that involves a transactional approach and sometime it involves litigation.  And in some cases, it takes a blended approach.  Either way, I find it interesting because every borrower is unique and I get to learn about a variety of industries.”

This background has led Allison to a niche practice in aircraft recovery and repossession, which is recovering aircraft pledged as collateral for our clients, she says. “These are fun and interesting cases plus I get to be the quarterback – coordinating people in different states as we track the aircraft that we are trying to recover,” Allison says.

When she is not helping clients maximize their recovery, Allison likes to travel, take photographs (as evidenced by the photos adorning the walls of her office), and read. Since Allison and her husband love to travel, they have a goal of visiting all 50 states together.  Nearly half-way to their goal, their plan is to visit Maine and Acadia National Park this summer.

To learn more about Allison Bach and her practice, please click on her full bio here.