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Curtis "Trey" Allen was born in Robeson County to Curtis and Elaine Allen. He obtained a bachelor's degree from UNC Pembroke and a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. 

Trey began his legal career as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. He spent most of his time in the USMC overseas, and his military service included a deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  As a judge advocate, Trey advised commanding generals and subordinate commanders on military justice and operational law matters, prosecuted violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and helped fellow Marines resolve personal legal issues.

After being honorably discharged, Trey completed a clerkship with Justice (now Chief Justice) Paul Newby of the NC Supreme Court. He then practiced education law and became a partner at Tharrington Smith LLP in Raleigh. While in private practice, Trey successfully litigated cases involving constitutional and other claims before administrative agencies, federal and state trial courts, and appellate courts, including the NC Supreme Court. In 2013 he joined the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill, where his research, writing, and teaching focused on local government law. Trey was named Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Law and Government for 2020-2022.

Following Paul Newby's installation as Chief Justice in January 2021, Trey was appointed General Counsel for the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. In that capacity, he provides legal guidance on a broad range of subjects to court officials across the state.

Trey is married to Teryn Melissa Smith Allen, another Robeson County native.  Together they have five (awesome) children, all of whom they homeschool. Church activities, sports, and Scouting take up much of the family's free time.

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Photographs of Trey Allen in uniform do not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or the United States Marine Corps.