Phil studied at Messiah College, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies in 2008. Before attending law school at Duquesne University School of Law in 2011, he lived in his hometown of Altoona, Pennsylvania, working as a grant writer to rebuild and rehabilitate a community center in an abandoned church building. Ultimately, through some of the grants he was able to secure, the sidewalks in the neighborhood were rebuilt, and several community parks and programs were built.
While at Duquesne, Phil gained extensive real estate experience working with the Urban Redevelopment Practicum and as an intern with Rice Energy. That internship opened up doors after graduation, and he was able to work in the energy industry, further developing his legal and real estate skills. Later, after relocating his family to the North Hills, he decided that he wanted to refocus his legal practice on the community in which he was now located.