About Attorney Allison Belcher
I was the first attorney hired by the firm seven years ago and my past experience serving as both a public defender and a prosecutor handling child dependency cases for the Florida Attorney General’s office gives me the tools to handle the toughest family law and criminal cases. Nothing came easy for me growing up in a family that had its struggles, but I’ll always remember getting hooked on the courtroom dramas like L.A. Law that starting coming on television way back when. I eventually went to the University of Tampa and obtained a criminology degree then years later took the plunge into law school. That too was not easy. It taught me the value of hard work as my mother, Melinda, worked around the clock to get me through school. I just realized law school was it and I couldn’t have done it without her.
After graduating in 1999, I began working as a public defender in Florida’s Sixth Circuit covering Pasco and Pinellas counties for six years. Then I began practicing the other side of criminal law serving as a prosecutor for the attorney general’s office working child dependency cases. Both jobs drew out my empathetic side as I helped children through the worst situations. And both jobs drew a focus out of me that the stakes were extremely high. I feel like that experience working both legal sides has made very relatable to my clients. I don’t think I come across as the attorney who thinks she is above anyone. I also have the ability to work with other attorneys to come up with a solution to difficult problems and it’s a big pet peeve when I come across opposition that resorts to personal attacks. It’s in the best interest of the clients not to resort to personal attacks and not take everything so personally.
What I Find the Most Exciting in Legal Practice
I get excited when it comes to resolving children’s issues in a way that protects them with as little trauma as possible. I also still love handling motion to suppress hearings in court. Being in the courtroom will always be exciting to me going back to my days as a public defender and prosecutor. I loved arguing the law in the courtroom and still do.
My Personal Life
I’m not shy about saying my upbringing was very difficult but it gives me a worldview I think that has been key to my success in serving my clients. I know firsthand what it’s like when families face tough legal issues. My father went to prison for fraud and by the time I was 19 my parents were divorced. Those painful times caused uncertainty and even homelessness for me and my family. And seeing my father incarcerated crushed me. It was devastating visiting him in jail. It’s definitely made me less judgmental because I really know the pain that families are going through. I do think it has made me a better more attentive mother too. I have two young children and my biggest goal is to provide them with stability that so eluded me growing up. Sometimes I feel like I shelter them too much. I want stability for them more than they need it sometimes. Balancing home and work life has also developed a patience and level of understanding for my clients efforts to be stable for their children. My kids have taught me that.
Qualifications tend to be a poor measure once you reach a certain point in your legal career. Every attorney has long lists to display that tell the reader absolutely nothing about their determination to win, their desire to do what is best for their clients. But to satisfy those that go strictly by qualifications, here is the list:
- Member of the Florida Bar
- Ayo & Iken Associate Attorney
- Former 6th Judicial Circuit Public Defender
- Former Florida Attorney General’s Office Assistant Prosecutor
- Juris Doctor from Stetson University
- Bachelor’s degree in criminology from University of Tampa