Todd Allen works as the General Counsel in the Office of Legal Services for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
His original career ambition, though, was to become a public accountant after he was exposed to career and technical education (CTE) courses in business during high school and received a co-op opportunity at a bank.
“My experience in CTE was very positive, because it helped me with my social skills and confidence, which helped me take the step of being the first in my family to go to college,” he said. “I want every student to have a similar positive experience in education.”
He graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but then decided he wanted to pursue law.
After graduating law school, he worked in civil litigation. He was introduced to education law when represented several school boards in private practice.
That experience made him interested in practicing education law full time, and in 2014, he officially joined the legal team at KDE.
“When I was in private practice, the universal focus was on how much money you could make,” he said. “But this job is universally focused on the outcomes of the kids in the public education system.”
When an office at KDE needs legal advice to ensure that they are following state and federal law, they reach out to Allen’s office for support.
“Following federal law is crucial for receiving funding for schools in the state. However, the reason we follow the law is to ensure we are doing right by the students we are representing,” he said.
Outside of the typical office setting, Allen also represents the department in courts of law.
“A lawyer’s role, regardless of the type of law, is to provide advice and representation,” he said. But ultimately, the client that we are representing makes the final decision in legal matter.”
Outside of work, Allen enjoys gardening at his home in Lexington and hiking.
“I really enjoy my job, and the most rewarding thing about working at KDE is the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment I get by helping advance the public education system,” he said.