Vancouver lawyer appointed Executive Director for TWU School of Law
Trinity Western University is pleased to announce that Earl Phillips, a former Vancouver managing partner of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP, has been named the Executive Director for the TWU School of Law. President Bob Kuhn announced the appointment on September 2, 2014.
“As a practicing lawyer for more than 30 years, Earl understands the ethical and practical demands on those seeking to enter the legal profession,” said Kuhn. “He is a leader with experience in national legal issues and provides a broad-based perspective, which will assist Trinity Western in refining its proposed high-quality legal education experience. I look forward to working closely with Earl as we plan for the opening of the TWU School of Law in September 2016.”
In his new role, Phillips will lead the development of the School of Law, and manage operations in preparation for its 2016 opening. As a member of the law school leadership team, he will serve in a strategic role to ensure the law school is on track to give its first Dean a running start in welcoming the first class of 60 students.
“I am drawn to the idea of having a law school that really prepares lawyers for practice,” said Phillips. “Specifically, one that is focused on serving the types of clients that are underserved today and that appreciates law as a serving profession with broad obligations to the communities in which they work, and to our society as a whole.”
For 28 years, Phillips was a partner of the national law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP, practising Labour and Employment Law. As the Regional Managing Partner from 2001 to 2004, he provided leadership for 90 lawyers and 100 staff members. From 2002 to 2007, he also served as the National Practice Group Leader in Labour and Employment, responsible for 50 lawyers across five offices.
“I had a very fulfilling legal practice but I was ready for a change,” said Phillips, who retired from full-time practice at the end of 2013—which happened to coincide with approval for the TWU School of Law.
Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria. He has received various recognition awards including the Client Choice Award for outstanding employment and labour work in British Columbia from International Law Office’s Lexology (2013) and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
In 2013, Phillips was recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in Canada in the area of labour and employment law, and has been listed each year since 2011 in the Canadian Legal Expert Directory as a leading lawyer in the area of employment law, labour, and workplace human rights.
Phillips is also involved in many community initiatives. For the past 11 years, he served as a Board Member for The Children’s Foundation, and as a Member and Chair of the Board of Governors at Regent College between 1992 and 2001. Currently, he is a Trustee of the Regent College 2000 Foundation.
“My goal is to ensure that everything is in place for the graduating class of 2019 to get a great legal education and have an outstanding experience,” he said.