Women Worth Watching 2015

DeAnna D. Allen

Cooley Litigation Star Shines a Light on the Importance of Diversity


web Cooley_allenDeAnna Allen is a partner in the litigation department, and member of the intellectual property litigation and patent counseling & prosecution practice groups, in Cooley’s Washington, DC office. Her practice involves various aspects of intellectual property, including patent litigation and counseling, as well as trademark litigation, copyright litigation, and computer technology. In addition to litigating and counseling on cases involving patents directed to inventions in a variety of technologies, DeAnna is an active member of the Cooley community.

As chair of Cooley’s firm-wide diversity committee, DeAnna leads efforts among attorneys in all Cooley offices to promote communication and understanding among all firm attorneys and staff. In 2015, she was selected as the firm’s Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) diversity fellow, and will participate in a year-long program created to identify, train, and advance the next generation of diverse leaders in the legal profession.

“Who I am defines what I do, not the other way around.”

“My biggest career leap,” said DeAnna, “was when I briefly stepped away from full-time practice when I had young children; I learned that a successful career can follow many paths.”

Her leadership extends beyond Cooley, as she serves as co-chair of the Programs Subcommittee to the American Bar Association Section of Litigation IP Committee, and is an executive board member and diversity committee liaison of the National Association of Women Lawyers. DeAnna is also a seasoned orator, speaking on topics pertinent to patent litigators, as well as on the importance of diversity and the advancement of women in the legal profession.

DeAnna has often been recognized for her professional accomplishments. In 2012, she was selected as a Future Washington DC Star by Benchmark Litigation and as a national and Washington DC Litigation Star by Benchmark Plaintiff. The Legal 500 has referred to Allen as a “hi-tech specialist” and recommended her in 2011 in the Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution category. She was also recognized in 2010 by the National Diversity Counsel as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region.

Education: University of Miami School of Law (JD), University of Maryland College Park (BSEE)

First Job: Design Engineer, Florida Power & Light

What I’m Reading: “A Game of Thrones” series by George R. R. Martin

The most important quality a woman leader should have is…


The career advice I’d give my former self:

Be fearless.

Words I live by:

Who I am defines what I do, not the other way around.

The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…

…I would be more deliberate about making time to develop personal connections with colleagues.

When I really need to focus on a project, I…

…lay out my thoughts in a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation.

My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…

…briefly stepping away from full-time practice when I had young children; I learned that a successful career can follow many paths.

Being a woman in my profession has been…

…rewarding but full of challenges.

I’ve learned that failure is…

…necessary for achieving perspective, maturity, and success.

I maintain a healthy personal life by…

…working out in the morning, (mostly) healthy eating, spending time with people I love, and occasionally just doing what I want to do even if it means doing nothing at all.

I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…

…I first got to lead a litigation.