Philip grew up in South Arkansas in the 50's and early 60s within 50 miles of the hometowns of Johnny Cash, Bear Bryant, Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee and Barry Switzer. He graduated from University of Arkansas Robert A. Leflar School of Law, with Honors, in 1967 where he is the only person to twice serve as Editor-In-Chief of the Arkansas Law Review and the youngest person to graduate after World War II.In addition, he won both of the Robert A. Leflar Awards ( Torts & Conflict of Laws) and the J. William Fulbright Award ( top graduate) plus AmJur Awards for Labor Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence Social Legislation Law & Corporation Law while in Law School. He practiced Environmental Law and Labor Law until the mid 80's when he left his position as Managing Partner of a 65 member firm in Little Rock to help found Jack, Lyon & Jones in 1986 where he served as President. In 1987 he started up a Nashville practice and in 2007 he and his son Bruce Phillips spun off the JLJ Nashville office and formed Lyon & Phillips, PLLC.
Philip has been rated AV (the highest) by the leading peer rating firm, Martindale Hubbell, for over 30 years. He has taught a law school course on Labor Issues in the Entertainment and Sports Industries and chairs the Entertainment and Sports Law Institute at the Center for American and International Law in Plano, Texas. He has served as a Governing Council Member for the ABA's Forum Committee on the Entertainment and Sports Industries since 1996 and also serves as Director of Recruitment, Membership, and Promotions. He served as the initial Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Arkansas Bar Association, as well as an officer in the ABA's Labor & Employment Law Section, most recently as Management Co-Chair of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee from 2000-2003, and the Pro Bono Committee from 2003-2005. In 1996, he was elected as a Member of the Inaugural Class of Fellows of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. He was also listed in the inaugural edition of the Best Lawyers in America and has consistently been named a Mid-South Super Lawyer in the areas of Labor/Employment Law and Entertainment/Sports Law. He has recently been named the 2010 outstanding Professional in the Entertainment & Sports Industries by Strathmore's Who's Who. He served on the Planning Committee for the Center for American and International Law's (formerly The Southwest Legal Foundation) Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute for nearly 30 years.
Philip started as a corporate lawyer where he did environmental law for industry and utilities. He was involved in one of the first major environmental case before the United States Supreme Court (Calvert Cliffs) and licensed nuclear and coal powered power plants all over the country where he became recognized as one of the most outstanding environmental lawyers in the country. In 1968 he was involved in the first EEOC case in Arkansas as well as the first class action suit.
In 1978 his practice shifted to full time Labor & Employment where he developed the largest and most successful labor practice in the Southwest and represented major employers on a nation-wide basis including the City of Little Rock , Pulaski County and the State of Arkansas.
He was and remains one of the most prominent and successful labor & employment lawyers in the country. In 1984 he undertook the representation of a major public school district which had been consolidated out of existence and was successful in getting the ruling reversed. He also handled major voting rights cases in the late 1970's up through the middle 1980's. During his 40 plus year career to date, he has been recognized as one of the most successful lawyers in the country in the distinct and diverse fields of Environmental, Labor & Employment and Entertainment & Sports law. To say that he is constantly reinventing himself and his practice is an understatement. He says that he has spent long hours in the trenches but has never worked a day in his life - He truly loves the practice of law. He and his wife, Jayne, are the parents of eight grown children and currently have 16 grandchildren; which is his real reason for living and why he still works hard.