The Class of 2019

Leah Phillips

Attorney, Law Office of Leah M. Phillips; Age 36
Education: Westfield State College (BA),
Western New England College School of Law (JD)

How do you define success? My definition of success is knowing that my work and involvement helps others. Assisting a client with legal issues, working with a child or family on one of the youth sports teams, or participating in other community volunteer activities all give me purpose.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I most look up to my husband, Clint. Since the day I met him, I have admired his willingness to help others. As a police officer, EMT, volunteer firefighter, husband, parent, and friend, he is that person you can call at any hour, and he will drop everything to help. I think about all those times he has left for an ambulance or fire call in the middle of the night, sacrificing much or all of his sleep, or when he missed Thanksgiving dinner because he was cutting up a fallen tree for a neighbor who otherwise couldn’t get to their own dinner. This selflessness is what I most admire and love about him. I am truly grateful that our boys have him as a role model.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? It would be incredible to have lunch with my Oma again. She was an amazing woman and made a mean tuna-fish sandwich. Oma was a successful business woman in a man’s world. But family always came first. She raised five kids and still found time for fun. She was that person I would call when I needed some guidance. She had a way of giving advice without really giving you any advice. She would lead the conversation in a way that, in the end, I always knew what to do, but came to the conclusion on my own. Her strength was admirable. Oma had a way of keeping it together during the hardest of times. Even as the cancer took her, she remained the rock I have always known. I remember her telling me in the very end, “I have lived a long, happy life. I have done everything I wanted to do. I have no regrets.” I am trying to live my life so that, when the time comes, I can feel the same way.

Photography by Leah Martin Photography