His interest in football and law provided many opportunities for Mitchell Hamline law student Jeremiah Allison. His talented abilities on the field sent him overseas, while his passion for law sent him to work for a senator.
When NFL teams refused his athletic prowess in the 2016 Draft, they told his story through their EMMY nominated show “Undrafted.” Allison also gives back through volunteering with different organizations and schools.
His interest in law originated from his desire to protect himself from possible loopholes and unjust practices in the justice system.
“Growing up in L.A., I wanted to know my rights,” Allison said. “A lot of people, where I come from, get taken advantage of because they don’t know their rights.”
Dorsey high school provided an outlet for both passions through their Law Magnet and their Division I football team.
“I didn’t mind doing the research and I’m kinda nosy anyway,” Allison said. “I love to read other people’s cases and what happened to them and how the court system [deliberated] on the case and I would think ‘How could I have created a different outcome?’”
Allison was excelling in his classes with a 4.31 GPA while being scouted. Washington State head coach Mike Leach left a lasting impression on Allison and he soon signed to the university. He later helped revive the ailing WSU program and bring them to their first bowl game in over a decade.
“[To] win the first bowl game against a prestigious institution like Miami was definitely amazing,” Allison said. “That win was something special for me because that’s what I told everybody when we wanted to bring that culture back to Washington State.”
During his sophomore year in college, he met Washington senator Michael Baumgartner. When football was not working out for Allison, he requested that Allison work for him. Baumgartner allowed Allison to be involved in a bill that bans job applications from having the question ‘are you a felon?’ on them. The bill was called “Ban the Box.”
“I did a lot of research on it and it actually passed in Washington,” Allison said. “I felt that a lot of people didn’t get a fair shake at life again.”
He had his sights set on law school, when he got a call from former Nevada coach Chris Ault, who was recruiting him to play professional football for the Milano Rhinos in Milan, Italy.
“I lived in Milan, I went everywhere in Italy, I went to Rome, Florence, Venice…then I went to France twice, I played in Nice,” Allison said. “We actually went to the championship game and we lost by one.”
Allison had a desire to volunteer in Washington as soon as his first summer workouts ended. He helped build a house through Habitat for Humanity and would help elementary school kids with their reading after school. When he returned to Los Angeles, he went on to mentor youth at Dorsey.
Other volunteer efforts in the WSU community included peer tutoring, creating Christmas parties for youth and playing games with the elderly at senior citizen homes.
“I love playing dominoes,” Allison said. “One thing I’m not gonna do is lose, I don’t care who you are, so it got very competitive with the older people, but they respected me for it.”
Helping others was a lesson Allison learned from his late mother, Lucille, who dedicated her time helping the Dorsey football program.
“She was one of those individuals who is hard to replace,” Allison said. “My mom was a great spirit, she had a good heart.”