Phil received his Bachelor's degree in journalism from Marquette University and his law degree from Northern Illinois University. After passing the bar, Phil opened his own law practice in DeKalb, Illinois, focusing on personal injury, criminal and family law cases. In 1993, he took an appointment as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in the General Law Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General's Office in Chicago. There, he focused on civil rights cases on behalf of several departments and agencies in the state. Since then, Phil has worked in a variety of areas - in both the private and public sector - including real estate, land use and zoning, municipal, government and administrative law, labor and employment security, charitable trust law, whistleblower cases, health care and pharmaceutical law, elder law, estate planning, tax law and debt collection. In 2002, he became the Director of the Rockford Regional Office for the Illinois Attorney General's Office.