News and Information
May 27, 2021

Amy Disel Allman Receives the 2021 Legal Aid Award

Amy Disel Allman, Director of Advocacy for Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS), Managing Attorney of the VLAS Foreclosure Prevention & Consumer Protection Project, and VLAS representative within the ACES Justice Project of the Virginia Legal Aid Community, has received the Virginia State Bar 2021 Legal Aid Award honoring excellence in legal aid society work. 

The award recognizes those who exhibit: 1) Innovation and creativity in advocacy; 2) Experience and excellence in service; and 3) Impact beyond his or her own program's service area.

Allman was nominated by David B. Neumeyer, executive director of the Virginia Legal Aid Society, who noted that Allman “..has been a strong advocate and program leader since she began work for VLAS in 2008, but she has accelerated her impact since the start of the pandemic.”

Allman devotes much of her practice to advocating for tenants facing evictions and those living in unhealthy conditions. Allman was able to assist a group of elderly and disabled low-income tenants who were plagued by a bedbug infestation in an apartment complex, but who were afraid to complain about the issue.

Despite facing many obstacles from the landlord and the housing authority, Allman attended and spoke at the housing authority board meeting every month until her tenacity paid off. Ultimately, the board agreed to remedy the bedbug situation for the entire complex and to provide residents with specific protections and prompt responses to complaints. Allman achieved this for her clients without resorting to the expense and time costs of litigation. 

The Hon. Alfred W. Bates III, Chief Judge of the Suffolk General District Court, wrote of Allman: “Since the inception of the COVID crisis, Ms. Allman has appeared at practically every civil docket here in an effort to assist litigants seeking the benefit of the Commonwealth rental relief program and alternatives to COVID-related evictions.” 

A former legal aid lawyer himself, Judge Bates noted that although, “Ms. Allman only represents tenants (and she always makes that emphatically clear), both landlords and tenants routinely and regularly praise her in open court and favorably remark about the depth of her knowledge, her keen intellect, her integrity, her persistence, and general helpfulness to all.”

Neumeyer said of Allman’s contributions to Virginia legal aid, “She has saved hundreds of low-income households from eviction and dozens of landlords from financial loss or foreclosure.”

The recipients of the Legal Aid Award are asked each year to choose a quote that best represents their legal philosophy and Allman chose: "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." -- Ray Goforth

A graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, Allman will receive her award at the VSB Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 17. For more information about the award, please email Crista Gantz, Director of Access to Legal Services, at cgantz@vsb.org. Updated: May 27, 2021