Richard F. Allen received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama) and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army of the United States in May, 1963. After seven years on active duty, including tours in Vietnam and Germany, Richard left the active Army in 1970 to attend law school, but he remained a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. While at law school, Richard was the Managing Editor of the Alabama Law Review, was inducted into the Order of the Coif Legal Honor Society, Jasons Senior Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. He was selected by his classmates as the most outstanding graduating senior in 1973.
Richard then clerked for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Howell Heflin before joining Capell, Howard, Knabe & Cobbs P.A. in 1974, where his law practice centered on business and tax law. He became a partner in 1977.
Starting in January, 1979, Allen served as Chief Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Howell Heflin in Washington, D.C., but he returned to the firm in August, 1981. In 1985, Richard was elected Managing Partner for the firm, a position he held until January, 1995, when Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed him Chief Deputy Attorney General, a position he continued to hold under Attorneys General Bill Pryor and Troy King until he retired from State service in January, 2005. Richard held the honorary position of Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from Alabama from 1998 until 2001. In February, 2005, Richard re-joined the firm in an “Of Counsel” relationship.
In February, 2006, Governor Bob Riley asked Richard to join his Cabinet as the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, generally considered one of the most difficult agencies in State government to oversee. In 2007, Richard’s work in restructuring and revitalizing the Department was recognized when he was awarded the Auburn University, Montgomery, Innovative Alabama Government Award. Richard held the position of Commissioner for five years. When Luther Strange was elected Attorney General in 2010, he asked Richard to return to the Attorney General’s office as Chief Deputy Attorney General, which he did in January, 2011, serving for a year before retiring again, in January, 2012. Richard then once again joined the firm “Of Counsel.”
After leaving active duty with the U.S. Army in 1970, and completing law school in 1973, Richard pursued a dual career as a lawyer and an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. His active duty assignments had included company command in Germany and Vietnam and his reserve assignments included command of the 375th Field Depot in Montgomery, Alabama and the 3rd Transportation Brigade in Anniston, Alabama, a major subordinate command of the III U.S. Army Corps. Richard’s ammunition company in Vietnam was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for outstanding performance before, during and after the 1968 Tet Offensive. Some of his military awards and decorations are listed in the accompanying biographical sketch. He retired from military service with the rank of Brigadier General in 1993.
From January 2013 until April 2017, Allen served as the Parliamentary Law advisor for then LT. Governor Kay Ivey, prior to her assuming the office of Governor.