The Young Guns: Phillips and Carson
There's a new generation of young professionals in Savannah. Energetic, hungry and ready to take on the world, these young guns are aimed right at the top.
There’s a certain image one has of the veteran attorney. Nice suit, sharp tie, designer watch and, above all, gray hair. The world of the legal system can be something of an old boys’ club, one where anyone south of 50 is considered a young buck.
So when Boone Phillips, 33, and John Carson, 38, enter a courtroom, people take notice.
“A lot of it is, we both have baby faces, so to speak,” said Carson with a laugh. “It’s a pretty common reaction we get. ‘Who are these young guys?’”
“I kind of look at it as trying to earn your stripes,” said Phillips. “The younger guys in the courtroom are typically the last ones to get their case called. That comes with the territory.”
This despite the fact that both attorneys have years of experience in the courtroom setting, an arena in which many attorneys simply never find themselves. “We’re both in court pretty much every day,” said Carson, who was, in fact, leaving a trial in Augusta when he spoke with South. Although we look like we just got out of law school yesterday, we’ve been in the trenches. We cut our teeth in the courtroom.”
Putting themselves in the court, building those relationships, has been key to these young lawyers’ success. Of course, it’s also been one of the biggest challenges, as building those relationships means breaking into the old boys’ club. “When you’re a young lawyer in any kind of courtroom you’re dealing with older judges and attorneys who have long-standing relationships,” said Phillips. “One of the biggest hurdles has been forging those relationships and building our credibility.”
Of course, their youthful energy is informed by seasoned experience thanks to the guidance of the third partner in Phillips, Carson & Phillips (bplawsavga.com), Boone’s father Bobby Phillips. In addition to growing up immersed in the legal world thanks to his father’s work, Boone has benefited greatly from his advice.
“The best advice he’s given me is, your word is your bond,” said the younger Phillips. “You have to stand by your word, no matter what.”
“Bobby has always taught us to be honest with your clients,” echoed Carson. “He’s always been forthright and honest. At the end of the day, we’re trying to do this for clients. It’s about them and about improving their lives through our practice.”
And as these young guns of the legal world approach 40, they begin to eye the advice they’ll give to the next youthful upstarts.
“We have an intern who’s going to be in the trenches with us,” said Phillips. “My advice to someone in his position is to get all the experience you can upfront. And find a good mentor.”
To up-and-coming young attorneys, we can think of no two better mentors than Savannah’s own young guns.
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