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James C. Phillips

Key Bank Tower
36 S. State Street
Suite 1900
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Related Info

Mr. Phillips is a member of the firm’s First Amendment and Religious Organizations section. He has trial and appellate litigation briefing experience in state and federal courts across the country, having previously worked for a public interest law firm that focuses on religious liberty, as well as a U.S. Supreme Court and appellate specialist. To date, he has worked on 20 U.S. Supreme Court cases or petitions.

Mr. Phillips was also a visiting assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law, where he conceptualized and supervised the initial development of the Corpus of Founding Era American English. He is one of the pioneers of applying corpus linguistics to constitutional interpretation, having published five articles on the topic, and has published over two dozen academic articles in all. He has a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from UC-Berkeley, and is currently a Nonresident Fellow with the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a member of the Executive Committee of the Religious Liberty Practice Group of the Federalist Society.


Constitutional Law Fellow, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (2017-18)

Law Clerk, Judge Thomas B. Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2016-17)

Law Clerk, Justice Thomas R. Lee, Utah Supreme Court (2015-16)

Visiting Assistant Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School (BYU) (2015)

Law Clerk, Law Offices of Gene Schaerr (2014-15)



Arizona State University, B.A., History, magna cum laude

Brigham Young University, M.A., Mass Communication

UC-Berkeley, J.D., 2014

  • Order of the Coif
  • California Law Review
  • Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, executive editor/editor (symposium editions)

UC-Berkeley, Ph.D, Jurisprudence & Social Policy, 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Religious Freedom Student Writing Competition, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, 1st Place (2013)
  • John Marshal Fellow, Claremont Institute (2012)


  • Executive Committee Member, Religious Liberties Practice Group, Federalist Society
  • Nonresident Fellow, Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School