Exclusive Interview with Tammy Allison
This interview was first published by Fox34. You can read the original article here.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Allison.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Well, I was a little black girl from Texas who experienced unspeakable traumas at an early age, like most women of color do, but I used that as fuel to propel me to my passion. Specifically, I knew that if I wanted to see a change in my environment that education was my key out. I focused initially on premed courses, but Organic Chemistry had other plans for me, so I ended up attending law school. There I learned that working hard and standing out from the crowd would be the key to success. I worked extremely hard because it did not come easy to me. I invested in tutors and made law school my entire life just to compete at the same level as others who essentially were better test takers. That hard work paid off when I landed an internship at the Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney. I was familiar with the work that the office did and studied up on everything that I could get my hands on. I went in early and stayed late. My hard work did not go unrecognized. Not only did I stay on after my internship as a legal assistant, but when I left for a year to complete a judicial clerkship (shoutout to Magistrate Judge Robert Bloom), I was selected to return to OPA as the second black attorney work at OPA. After working there under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, I left to become a Federal Criminal prosecutor, then a Federal Civil Defense attorney, and finally a senior attorney with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
I’ve had to overcome what we now know is imposter syndrome. That one little trendy phrase that we see very often now is packed with so much depth as it relates to our past traumas, mental health, feelings of inadequacy, and self-doubt. I’ve struggled with all of that in my career, but pushing through and doing the work often times leads to quality work product and undeniable results. In the legal profession results are all that matters. Once the results are consistently favorable, there’s a sense of validation that does not necessarily come from yourself, but others. Again, in my experience hard work never goes unrecognized, even when you think no one is watching. They see you. They’re taking notes. This is one of those things that never goes away. In any profession, imposter syndrome will show up. Doing the work and doing it well is the only way to overcome it.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Okay. Well, I’m an expert in federal executive clemency. When I say expert, that is based on my experience working at OPA under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. There are only two attorneys who have ever launched a firm dedicated to federal executive clemency that worked at OPA. I am the third; and the first minority owned. I do not see anyone as competition. As far as the other two attorneys I am sure they are good at what they do. I am unique in the sense that my approach is different and has never been done before. I share a ton of free information on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to dispel the many misconceptions of clemency and educate other attorneys and the general public about the difference between a commutation and a pardon and why ownership is important in presenting a strong petition. It’s important not to assume that people know what us attorneys think is basic information. In addition, in this climate of social injustice, I am the only attorney reminding people that clemency is the last phase of the criminal justice system and conversations regarding reform must be applied to clemency with the same passion because the same biases seen in the other phases of the criminal justice system are also seen with how a request, essentially for forgiveness, is evaluated for a recommendation to the president.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
It’s simple. Turn your traumas into passion, then Own Your Passion literally and figuratively.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success is passion to me. When you are excited about the work that you are doing and the communities that it impacts. For me, I am passionate about bringing attention to the mysterious world of federal executive clemency so that incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals with federal convictions have the correct information to reasonably manage their expectations.
What’s next for you?
I plan to continue building up my practice, spreading the knowledge and also conducting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting and trainings through my other business, Own Your Passion, ownyourpassionllc.com. I have some other business ventures in the works as well that I believe will benefit another group of individuals that I’m passionate about. For that, you have to stay tuned!