Criminal defense attorney Phillip Linder is the founder and managing partner of The Linder Firm based in Dallas, Texas.
How Phillip became a lawyer. From a very young age, Phillip became drawn to the criminal justice system. “My father was involved in the federal criminal justice system for his entire career as a federal agent for the Treasury Department. Growing up, I was always around lawyers, judges and law enforcement. Each day it was a different case or a different challenge. It was never the same thing over and over.”
He was naturally drawn to that kind of career. Plus, he liked having the opportunity to help people if he worked hard.
Why Phillip chose to practice criminal defense. From his days watching his father and his colleagues in the federal criminal justice system, Phillip knew that was the practice for him. As soon as he graduated from Baylor University School of Law in 1991, he went to work for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. For four years, he worked tirelessly as an assistant district attorney.
While Phillip was given the opportunity to try more than 100 jury trials to verdict in those years, he also became disillusioned.
“Defendants were often backed into a corner and felt compelled to take a plea deal because they couldn’t afford to properly defend themselves. Defendants walking into criminal court at a disadvantage because they are going up against all the manpower and resources of the state or federal government.”
So, 25 years ago, Phillip, handed in his resignation and opened up his own criminal defense firm so he could better arm those defendants.
“I knew I could make a difference.”
Phillip’s philosophy for criminal defense. “Work hard and practice with integrity. Be patient and realize that the long game is usually more important than the short game.”
He learned early on that you need to look at a case from many different angles and decide early on where you want the case to be when it is all over. “Is it a guilt/innocence case? A punishment mitigation case? Once you’ve decided on a goal, you cannot become distracted from the path to accomplishing that end result.”
The origins of The Linder Firm. Before attending law school, Phillip earned finance, entrepreneurship and accounting degrees from Baylor. “I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.”
As he entered law school, he knew that he would eventually open his own firm. In 1996, when he left the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, to step across the aisle and represent defendants, he took that opportunity.
“I have grown the firm to more than 20 lawyers. I am lucky to have found a group of people – lawyers and support staff alike – who share my same business ideals and who work hard and with integrity.”
The highlight of Phillip’s workday. For Phillip, it is the new challenges brought each day. “It can be mentally and physically taxing, but that makes the reward of achieving a great result for my client and helping them through a tough time in their life all the more worth it.”
Phillip in the community. Currently, Phillip sits on the boards for several local companies and practices pro bono work for members of the community. He also serves as a part-time judge in his city. He and his family are also heavily involved with their church.
Phillip outside the office. Phillip is a true outdoorsman. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and skiing. He and his family also travel as much as they can. His ultimate pastime, however, is cycling.
“I travel all around the country to do road bike races and tours.”