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Allan Townsend

Allan has fought to protect workers' rights his entire career in all types of employment law cases. He has successfully represented clients in court, including in jury trials, and before government agencies. Allan is "AV Preeminent" rated by Martindale-Hubbell©. From 2010 to 2018, Allan served as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), Civil Rights Division, in Washington, DC, where he protected the rights of employees of state and local governments as well as military service members. DOJ entrusted Allan to represent the United States in some of its most high profile cases including a large class action challenging the New York City Fire Department's (FDNY) pattern of discrimination against Black and Hispanic applicants-which settled for about $100 million-and the first-ever employment discrimination lawsuit that DOJ filed to protect the rights of a transgender individual.

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Allan served as a member of the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group. The LGBTI Working Group advised the Division’s leadership on legal and policy issues relating to discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, and HIV/AIDS status. Through his work with the LGBTI Working Group and his experience in litigation Allan became very well versed in the legal issues that LGBTI workers face and the laws that protect them.


J.D., The Ohio State University, 2002

B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1999

  • Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award
  • Civil Rights Division’s Distinguished Service Award
  • Special Commendation Award from Civil Rights Division
  • DOJ Pride’s James R. Douglass Award (DOJ Pride is the recognized organization for LGBT DOJ employees and allies)
Significant Cases