Allison Adams is one of the new federal public defenders at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Early LifeEdit

She has lived in New York City for half her life, though she never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Swearing-in CeremonyEdit

On the day she was set to be sworn in as a new FPD, Allison arrived at the courthouse early and joined the growing group of attorneys waiting. She was steadily joined by the other new attorneys. At eight, Leonard Knox came in and walked into the courtroom, despite Kate Littlejohn informing him that Sandra had arrived there first to wait. Inside the courtroom, Tina Krissman introduced herself and had the two sides sit on opposite sides, knowing they wouldn't want to sit together. She then explained to them what would be happening and introduced Nicholas Byrne, who gave a speech about their work and swore them all in.[1]

First CaseEdit

After meeting Jill Carlan and being assigned her first case, Allison started work on the case of Madeline Locarno, who was accused of insider trading via her ex-husband, who traded stocks and made a little over $9000 on a merger between the company Madeline worked for and another. She was surprised to find herself in court against her boyfriend Seth. After Allison and her client wouldn't make a deal, Seth filed additional charges against her to put the pressure on them, but privately told Allison he wasn't going to prosecute them. In order to win her case, Allison revealed this to the judge, which got the case dismissed and Seth put on probation. Later, Seth and Allison argued at their apartment and Seth left.

Later that night, Allison and Sandra, disillusioned after their first cases, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and looked at the Mother Court from afar. They agreed that they both are worthy of being there and Allison asked Sandra to stay with her permanently.[2]


When Allison learned that Diane Barish was planning to use an algorithm to sentence her client, she asked her brother to help her figure out how the algorithm worked. He refused to help her discredit the math, but told her to appeal to the human, not the machine, excuse the math couldn't be biased. She went back to Barish and informed her that her recidivism rate was 19%, much lower than the national average. Evaluate's was higher than both hers and the national average. Barish told her the technology would get better, but she may have been hasty in trusting it. She chose to sentence Keenan to six months instead of the recommended two years.[3]

Chloe DanielsEdit

Chloe Daniels was arrested for attacking a mailman. Because there was a chance he could die, Jill took the case and had Sandra, Jay, and Allison assist. They quickly became suspicious of Chloe when holes appeared in her story, but Jill believed Chloe didn't attack him with an intent to kill him. She continued to look for answers and eventually got a diagnosis of CTE for Chloe. The prosecution agreed to deferred prosecution in her case.[4]

Wine ForgeryEdit

While on duty, Allison picked up the case of Toby Mahler, who was arrested for wine forgery. She didn't know how to defend him because they wound a lab and the wine he'd forged, so instead, she went to the prosecutor and showed off Toby's impressive palate. She made a deal for him to help them detect forgeries and go after bigger players in exchange for not prosecuting him for his forgeries.[5]

Piracy CaseEdit

Allison was given the case of Arturo Marquez, who was arrested for piracy. When she met with him, he told her the ship was just sitting there for days. He went out to the ship and they ignored him, so he went back with a gun and took the supplies. He distributed them to people who needed them. Allison wanted to use that to defend him, saying he didn't have intent to harm or profit from the theft. Then she learned he had sold some of the supplies. When she asked him about it, he said he had to sell some of the supplies to pay of police and gangs to keep them from stealing the supplies. He also used the money to buy more supplies people needed and kept only a small amount for himself, which he used to bury his son, who died five days after the hurricane. Taking a risk, Allison put Arturo on the stand to testify to all of this, hoping for a jury nullification. It worked and the jury found him not guilty.[6]

Slotkin HearingEdit

Allison represented a client and got the case dismissed, which she celebrate by taking the rest of the team out to drinks because she felt guilty for not being around for Sandra, who had a difficult day.[7]




Seth OliverEdit

Seth is Allison's boyfriend. They lived together in her apartment in Upper East Side.

They work on opposite sides, so they agreed to keep things professional and set aside their personal lives. After they went up against each other in court and Allison used a conversation between them to win the case, Seth was suspended. He then decided he needed to leave. He packed his bags and left the apartment.[8]

After some awkwardness seeing each other at work, Allison took the plunge and just asked Seth to come back. He told her he was tired of her making all the decisions for them and he wasn't coming back.[9]

Despite their breakup, Seth called Allison for advice when he filed charges against Jack Lewis. She help give him confidence for the case, but after he won, he came back and apologized to her, saying it wasn't fair for him to come to her for help after leaving her.[10]

After some time apart, Seth came to Allison and said he was still in love with her and asked for another chance. However, she'd also been asked out by Toby Mahler, a former client, and she ultimately chose Toby.[11]

Toby MahlerEdit

Toby flirted heavily with Allison while she was defending him for wine forgery, but she made it clear to him that they couldn't have a relationship because he was her client.[12] However, after he got back on his feet, he hired another lawyer and the asked her out. At the same time, Seth also asked her for another chance. After deliberating, she went to Toby's apartment.[13]


Eddie AdamsEdit

Allison doesn't have a very close relationship with her brother Eddie, believing that their parents favored him because he followed in their footsteps while she became a public defender. However, after he helped her with a case, she brought him home to spend time together.[14]


Her mother is the president of Yale.[15]


Sandra BellEdit

Sandra is Allison's best friend, roommate, and colleague. They met in the front row of Torts on the first day of law school.[16]

When Allison noticed that Sandra struggled with keeping all her belongings in a single bag, Allison bought a stand so he could keep her things in the bag still, but not on the floor.[17]


Jill CarlanEdit

Jill is the Federal Public Defender overseeing the newest lawyers in her department.


Allison is a federal public defender. She previously worked for the ACLU.[18]

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • The character was originally named Allison Anderson and portrayed by Lyndon Smith before she was replaced by Jasmin Savoy Brown.
  • It takes 45 minutes to get to work from her apartment on the train.[19]
  • She went to Yale.[20]
  • She has a playlist just for when Sandra's not home.[21]
  • She's played tennis since she was four.[22]


A more complete gallery with pictures of Allison Adams can be found here.

Notable EpisodesEdit

These episodes are either Allison-centric or are otherwise very informative about her life:

Memorable QuotesEdit