Lawyer Profile
Julian McPhillips
McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP
516 South Perry Street
Montgomery, AL, 36104
Phone | 334-262-1911
Toll Free | 866-224-8664

Law School - Columbia University (NY)
Bar Admission - 4/10/1975

Law Office Locations: Montgomery

Geographic Areas Served: All Counties in Alabama


Julian McPhillips dedicates his practice to Personal Injury Claims, Criminal Defense, Employment Law, Social Security Claims and Workers Compensation. He practices at McPhillips Shinbaum in Montgomery, Alabama.

Areas of Practice:
Personal Injury Claims
Criminal Defense
Employment Law
Social Security Claims
Workers Compensation

New York, 1972
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 1975
Alabama, 1975
Supreme Court of Alabama, 1975
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 1976
U.S. Supreme Court, 1976
U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1982

American Association of Justice, 1979–2009
Alabama Association for Justice, 1979–2009
American Bar Association, 1972–2009
Alabama Bar Association, 1975–2009
Montgomery County Bar Association, 1975–2009
Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association, 1980–2009
Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 1980–2009
Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 1972–2009
Ordained minister, Global Evangelical Christian College Seminary & Accrediting Commission, January 2005


Julian’s interest in education is a case in point, extending beyond legal practice. As an honors graduate of Princeton, Julian has recruited dozens of bright young Alabamians to his alma mater. He awards an annual scholarship in honor of a deceased brother and helps sponsor a literary contest for local high school and college students through the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, which he and Leslie founded in 1986. The McPhillips's also own a 100 year old home in Old Cloverdale, historic because it honors the memory of Helen Keller who visited her sister in the home from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Another philanthropic endeavor is the Rev. Julian and Eleanor McPhillips International Center for Racial and Religious Recon-ciliation created in 2003 in honor of his late parents. Among other projects, the center built a school in Zambia.Julian remains active in politics. He represented Alabama as a delegate to the 1980 and 2000 Democratic National Con-ventions and was an early supporter of Barack Obama. In 2002, Julian ran a strong race for the U.S. Senate.

Julian is the subject of a biography, The People’s Lawyer written by Carroll Dale Short, and published twice by New-South Books in 2000 and 2005.

Today, Julian continues his law practice as the senior partner, founder, and president of McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP. The six lawyer, fifteen employee firm operates from a renovated 1870s Victorian house near downtown Montgomery. McPhillips’ partners share his belief that law practice is not just a business, not just a profession, but a ministry.

He grew up in Cullman, Alabama (1946-59). His father, a successful industrialist, gave up his business there to become an Episcopal minister, one dedicated to the social gospel. Like father, like son. After Alabama elected a progressive young attorney general in the early 1970s, Julian felt the call to public service and he and his wife, Leslie, moved in 1975 to Montgomery where Julian was hired as Assistant Attorney General.

Over the next few years, he aggressively prosecuted securities fraud, environmental pollution cases, insurance cases, and fought against obstructionist politicians. In 1978, when his boss ran for governor, Julian ran for Attorney General. Both lost, but the commitment remained. Julian went into private practice as an attorney who specialized in tough cases with a public interest in civil rights, personal injury, employment, and criminal defense. Dubbed the Public Watchdog by the Associated Press and the ‘Private Attorney General’ by the Montgomery Advertiser, McPhillips obtained court judgements against three Governors (Wallace, James and Hunt) and one Attorney General (Graddick)for violating the state or federal constitutions.

A civil rights attorney and trial lawyer, McPhillips has received numerous awards from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His suits opened up state employment to minorities and challenged police brutality.


In an Associated Press feature story in state-wide newspapers in 1983, McPhillips was referred to as the "Public Watchdog of Alabama" and a 1984 Montgomery Advertiser column named McPhillips as the "Private Attorney General of Alabama." In the 1997 Montgomery Advertiser "Reader's Choice Award," McPhillips was voted by Montgomery Advertiser readers as "Best Attorney in Montgomery."

Alabama State Conference NAACP Attorney of the Year Award, 2011
Candidate, Alabama Attorney General, 1978 (finished second in a nine-candidate race)
Candidate, U.S. Senate, 2002 (made Democratic Primary runoff, but lost)
Twice-elected delegate to Democratic National Convention (1980, 2000)
Winner, 1985 Communication & Leadership Award, Toastmasters International
Leadership Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 2000
Legacy of the Dreamer Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 2001
Martin Luther King, Jr.  Social Consciousness Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 2003
Humanitarian Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 2005 (presented jointly to Julian and Leslie McPhillips)
Humanitarian Award, Alabama State Association of Elks, 2008
Individual Community Leader Award, Alabama Citizens for Life, 2008

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