September 11, 2019
Taylor Porter Partner Skip Philips will receive the prestigious Baton Rouge Area Volunteer Activist (BRAVA) Award from The Emerge Center and The Emerge Foundation. The 48th annual Baton Rouge Area Volunteer Activist awards will take place on Friday, November 22, 2019, at The Renaissance Hotel. Each year, this awards luncheon honors a class of individuals who give of their time and talents to organizations across our community, above and beyond volunteer requirements, for the betterment of the Greater Baton Rouge area.
The 2019 honorees are:
Combined with his many, dedicated hours of personal volunteer service, and embodying a model of “corporate community citizen” through his years of leadership as former Taylor Porter Managing Partner, Philips encourages his colleagues to continually give back to the community, and there are very few organizations in Baton Rouge that Philips hasn’t positively impacted. He has devoted 35 years to his legal practice, and recently closed out his very successful and impactful tenure and service as Taylor Porter Managing Partner for the last eight years.
In the community, Philips is a member of the board of directors and secretary of the Louisiana Bar Foundation. He is on the boards of directors of Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Louisiana Appleseed, Cadets of the Ole War Skull (LSU Military Alumni), and Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School, in which he chairs the school's Corporate Work Study program board. He is a member of the Baton Rouge and Louisiana State Bar Associations. He is a former president of the Louisiana Association of (Civil) Defense Counsel. He previously served as a chair of a Disciplinary Hearing Committee appointed by the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. He is the former Director of Character and Fitness for the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions and has also served as a bar examiner and assistant examiner. Philips is an adjunct professor of law at Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he teaches courses on Professional Responsibility, Advanced Healthcare Law, and Insurance. He is a frequent lecturer on ethics, professionalism and litigation skills. He is a member of the Council of the Louisiana Law Institute and is a member of the Alumni Board of Trustees of the LSU Law Center.
In 2018, Philips received two prestigious awards for his service to the community in the LSU Law Center Distinguished Achievement Honoree Award, and the Baton Rouge Bar Association President’s Award. The LSU Law award recognized graduates for professional achievement and career distinction, service to and support of LSU Law, and service to the community. Philips, a 1983 alum of LSU Law Center (J.D.), and 1972 alum of LSU (B.S. in Business Administration), is a longtime supporter and donator to the LSU Law Center’s events, operations and programs, including scholarships to law students.
Eight years ago, Philips helped launch the tradition of the U.S. Army War College Eisenhower Series College Program at LSU, bringing U.S. Army personnel to LSU Law Center’s McKernan Auditorium to hold a panel on current national security and military issues as well as government policies. During the trip, U.S. Army personnel also visit local high schools and talk to students about leadership issues. In addition to personally donating to the LSU Law Center and the Taylor Porter financial contributions to the Law Center, Philips helped establish the Taylor Porter Memorial Scholarship to an LSU Law student, making a positive impact on the future of an LSU Law graduate and making it possible for students to graduate less burdened with financial debt.
In 2016, Philips positioned Taylor Porter to the forefront of playing a vital role in the creation of the Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School Corporate Work Study Program, streamlined with the opening of school also that same year. Taylor Porter was one of the first businesses to “hire” Cristo Rey high school students and enable them to work one day a week to help pay for their high school tuition, and also learn corporate skills and professional etiquette as preparation for college education and the workforce. Now in its third year, the program has commitments from close to 50 businesses across the Baton Rouge area, and Philips has led the way in the emergence of the program by serving as Chair of the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program Board, and also on the Board of Directors and Vice Chair of Cristo Rey.
Through Philips' leadership and board service with Our Lady of the Lake, Taylor Porter annually hosts “Driving the Future Downtown Day” to fundraise for Children’s Hospital, which is driving the future of pediatric healthcare for Louisiana’s kids by building a new, freestanding hospital that will serve as a premier destination for high-quality, advanced medical care.
Philips serves on the Board and as Treasurer of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the largest state funder of civil legal aid supporting non-profits throughout Louisiana that provide free, civil legal representation to the indigent, law-related education to the public, and administration of justice projects. Since 1989, the LBF has distributed nearly $78 million to hundreds of Louisiana non-profit organizations to meet these goals. Each year, the LBF awards grants to more than 70 non-profit organizations that provide access to the justice system and civil legal assistance to Louisiana's low-income citizens. Through grants, the LBF assists women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, the newly unemployed, those facing loss of their homes, disaster victims and many others.
For eight years, Philips successfully managed Baton Rouge’s oldest and most prestigious law firm, Taylor Porter, which at its core of culture gives back to many organizations in the community, represents many of the major players in the Baton Rouge business market, and upholds a commitment to excellence and quality representation. Philips has helped Taylor Porter embrace the role of “corporate citizen” with an understanding for all attorneys and staff that community stewardship requires an ongoing commitment from our entire firm through our pro bono work and community service through various organizations impacting the Baton Rouge community. More than 40 Taylor Porter attorneys have leadership roles within nonprofits, community, and professional organizations across Baton Rouge, and much of that firm-wide commitment is due to the “leadership by example” role of Philips. Whether serving on the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations or making contributions to worthwhile causes, our attorneys and staff make significant contributions to the communities in which they live and work.
In addition to Philips' commitment to community service, he has enjoyed a very successful legal career and practice, representing clients in state and federal civil trial and appellate litigation, including banking, commercial, insurance, personal injury, insurance coverage, and products liability cases. His practice also includes corporate law, in which he serves as counsel to non-profit organizations. Philips has been ranked by his peers and clients in Benchmark Litigation, Chambers USA, Louisiana Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. In both 2017 and 2018, he ranked among the Top 50 Overall Louisiana Super Lawyers Attorneys. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and of Litigation Counsel of America. Prior to attending law school, Philips was an investigator in the public corruption section of the Criminal Division of the Louisiana Attorney General’s office. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was last assigned as Commanding General, 377th Theater Sustainment Command, New Orleans, Louisiana, where he commanded more than 30,000 Army Reserve soldiers in the United States. He is the Army Reserve Ambassador for Louisiana.