“Improving fairness improves the quality of justice,” says Tracy Beckham Phipps. “I became a lawyer because I have a passion for achieving fairness. I’m also fighting for those who haven’t had fair treatment in our profession.”
In her practice, Phipps focuses on civil litigation defense in products liability, premises liability, toxic tort defense and asbestos defense. She represents a wide variety of corporate clients and small business owners. Over the past 17 years, she has successfully defended thousands of cases in St. Louis and Madison County, Illinois, as well as throughout Illinois and Missouri.
“In our defense work, we are successful if we keep companies from losing money,” Phipps says. “Being efficient is the best way of handling law on the defense side. Not going to trial is a good thing. We strive to keep things steady, predictable and calm on our side of the law.”
One of the hallmarks of Phipps’s practice is helping her clients understand the litigation process and keeping them apprised of the case status. She is especially mindful of each client’s economic concerns.
Sensitivity to her clients’ needs developed while she was attending Saint Louis University School of Law, where she earned her JD degree. She interned for Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, representing low income clients in dissolutions, child custody matters and contract disputes. She holds a BA from Indiana University and paid her way through college by working as a preschool teacher.
In her younger days, Phipps served as a camp counselor and enjoyed living in the woods. Now, she describes herself as a hotel girl all the way. She continues her involvement with camp, however, by serving as president of the board of directors for Camp Ondessonk Catholic Youth Camp in Illinois.
While in high school, Phipps made a life-changing shift in her career aspirations. She wanted to be a theatre teacher until her theatre teacher took her aside for an honest conversation. “I’m thankful she told me that I probably wouldn’t love my life if I had a classroom full of students,” Phipps says. “She was right. I love my career as an attorney.”
Today, Phipps is committed to the advancement and retention of women in the legal profession. She is a shareholder in the firm and serves as co-chair of the Sandberg Phoenix Women’s Affinity Group. Their work has led to an expanded family policy plus numerous leadership development opportunities for Phipps and her female colleagues. She also chairs the firm’s Paralegal Management Team.
Phipps definitely understands the importance of family. Just before the pandemic, she and her husband built a new home with room for her parents to live with them. “We now have all generations living together in our household,” she says. “I don’t know how I would have survived the pandemic without my parents’ help. They cared for our children, ages 4 and 13, which helped me work more efficiently. My work never slowed down, and I had to learn how to be most efficient in our hybrid work environment.”