Vermont Bar Journal
Winter 2007 - #8.
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE LAW R. Allan Paul: The law has become more complicated and Vermont lawyers are tending more toward special specialization
THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL WINTER 2007
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE LAW R. Allan Paul: "The law has become more complicated and Vermont lawyers are tending more toward special specialization"by Virginia C. DownsThe following profile of R. Allan Paul is the twenty-third in a series published in the Journal under the general title of "Yankee Justice." The profiles are based on interviews of members of the bench and bar conducted by free-lance writer Virginia Downs in 1978 and 1979. The project was proposed at a meeting of an ad hoc committee of the Vermont bench and bar in
April of 1978 to tie in with planned bicentennial celebrations of the state's legal beginnings in 1779. It was in that year that Stephen Bradley and Noah Smith were sworn in as Vermont's first official lawyers. The profiles include biographical material and anecdotes from the interviewees' legal activities.
"I was born and raised in Albany, New York, graduated from Albany High School in 1949, came to Burlington and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1953. While I was at UVM I met Elsie, who later became my wife. We were college sweethearts. Elsie was a Burlington girl, one year behind me at UVM. I graduated and went on to Columbia Law School. We were married in September of 1954, just before I started my second year of law school.
"Elsie became a legal secretary in New York in the law firm then known as Davis, Polk and Wardwell, Sunderland and Kendall--now Davis, Polk and Ward. The senior partner was John W. Davis who had run against Calvin Coolidge for the presidency in 1924 and lost. As a matter of fact, Elsie used to put in quite a bit of overtime working down there and I used to go down and study nights in the library of the firm and met several of the partners. I never met John W. Davis, although I had the privilege of sitting in his chair behind his desk--he did not do that, of course, because it was late in the evening. Mr. Davis died while Elsie was there, and as senior as he was and as famous as he was, the firm managed to close down for only a half a day to observe his funeral.
"Elsie worked for some people whose families are renowned. She worked for a while with F.A.O. Schwarz of the Schwarz toy family. But...