Allison Near joins Jacobs & Dow, LLC after several years at the Federal Public Defender's Office where she managed a high volume of federal criminal cases throughout Connecticut. Although Allison's primary focus over the past several years has been on criminal defense in both the state and federal courts, she also has considerable experience in civil litigation. Through different opportunities, she has handled complex business disputes, personal injury cases, housing matters, employment litigation, and general civil litigation. Allison was named a Rising Star by Connecticut Super Lawyers for the years 2012 to 2015, and she was named a Connecticut Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense in 2017 and 2019. In 2016, the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association awarded her the first Diane "Cookie" Polan Award, which is given to a rising female attorney fighting for civil rights.
Allison graduated with honors from Colgate University (B.A. 1997) and she completed her legal education at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts (J.D. 2004). Following her graduation from law school, Allison worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Charles D. Susano, Jr. on the Tennessee Civil Court of Appeals.
In 2006, Allison relocated to Connecticut and has since engaged in a broad range of practice areas as a litigator. In addition to working at small firms focused on general civil litigation, she worked as a staff attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance, and from 2014 to 2018, she was a partner at the criminal defense firm of Sheehan, Reeve & Near, LLC. She has represented hundreds of defendants before the state and federal criminal courts of Connecticut, and has tried numerous felony trials to verdict, including felony assault and murder cases.
Allison is often called upon to teach continuing legal education classes on various topics in the field of criminal defense, and she has served as a guest lecturer at Quinnipiac University School of Law to discuss sentencing practices in state and federal court.
Allison also serves as the Associate Head of College for one of the residential colleges at Yale University. She resides in New Haven with her husband and two children.
- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. - 2004
- Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
- B.A. - 1997
- Honors: cum laude
- Major: English
- Major: French
- Tennessee, 2004
- Connecticut, 2006
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2007
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 2008
- United States v. Williams, 456 F.Supp.3d 414 (2020)
- United States v. Colvin, 451 F.Supp.3d 237 (2020)
- United States v. Epps, 322 F.Supp.3d 299 (2018)
- Melvin Jones v. State of Connecticut, 328 Conn. 83 (2018)
- State v. Fay, 167 A.3d 897 (2017)
- Collins v. Connecticut Job Corps, 684 F.Supp.2d 232 (D. Conn. 2010)
- Ranfone v. Ranfone, 119 Conn. App. 341 (2010)
- Artie’s Auto Body v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 287 Conn. 208 (2008) (on brief)
- Connecticut Public Defender Commission, Chairperson, Present
- Magistrate Selection Committee for the District of Connecticut , 2019
- Local Criminal Rules Advisory Committee for the District of Connecticut , 2016 to 2019
- Criminal Justice Act Committee for the District of Connecticut , 2017 to 2018
- New Haven Inns of Court, 2007-2010, 2019 to Present
- Secretary of the Federal Practice Section Executive Committee, Connecticut Bar Association , 2020 to Present
- Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association , 2007 to Present
- New Haven County Bar Association, Chair of Pro Bono Committee , 2008 to 2010
- Schooner, Inc., Past Board Member