Ask any associate or friend of Allen Lewis Smith, Jr. to describe the man and you will receive a variety of stories that leave you wondering if they are all about the same person.
The summary of them would go something like this: Smith, a 1964 graduate of the LSU Law Center, is a great trial lawyer and highly respected by attorneys, judges, and juries alike. He was an entrepreneur from an early age, helping manage a successful snowball business. He is a great joke teller, an avid motorcyclist, a hunter, and last but not least, responsible for the success of NFL Hall of Famer Jim Taylor.
“Allen pushed Jimmy Taylor hard and if it weren’t for Allen, he wouldn’t have had the success he had,” said Gerald Walter (’62), a lifelong friend of Smith’s.
Smith, a native of Woodville, Mississippi, has enjoyed his own success in life, working as a partner with Plauche, Smith, and Nieset in Lake Charles since 1964. He has also served as legal counsel for the Police Jury for the last eight years—a task he pursued out of an interest in becoming a student, so to speak, of local government law. In that role, he has helped to make possible the development of parks, infrastructure improvement, and a number of other improvements in Calcasieu Parish.
For the LSU Law Center and its faculty and students, Smith and his wife Shirley have created other opportunities. In April 2007, the couple created the Shirley and Allen L. Smith, Jr. Endowed Scholarship and the Allen L. Smith, Jr. Endowed Professorship. On December 9, 2008, the pair was recognized at a reception held at the Law Center to commemorate their gift.
The scholarship will provide support to students who received little or no scholarship assistance as entering students based on their academic predictors at the time of admission, but whose actual performance as law students has demonstrated the kind of academic merit that should be recognized by scholarship assistance.
The professorship will support faculty research and scholarship.
If you talk with the Smiths for any length of time, you’ll know that their support comes not from a desire for recognition, but from their hearts. The Smiths share a true desire to give back to an institution that helped them to have “a wonderful life.”