Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1963-1975
Phil C. Neal was a noted scholar of antitrust, administrative, and constitutional law as well as a talented litigator. He taught a wide array of subjects as a law professor, including Elements of the Law, Antitrust, Constitutional Law, Competition and Monopoly, and a Supreme Court Seminar. Students praised him for cutting to the core of complex issues and deftly arriving at creative solutions.
Neal taught future Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Conner and William Rehnquist while at Stanford Law School early in his career. Their class celebrated its 35th Reunion at the Supreme Court building, which Neal attended as an honored guest.
After stepping down from the deanship in 1975, Neal began a second career in the private practice of law, in addition to teaching part-time at the Law School. He argued the limits of constitutional remedies in the landmark Supreme Court case, Pasadena Bd. of Educ. v. Spangler, 427 U.S. 424, in 1976, and litigated major antitrust cases as of counsel to a Chicago law firm. Neal took emeritus status at the Law School in 1986, when he and a group of other attorneys founded the firm of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg. He served on the firm’s Executive Committee for more than two decades. He also led the firm’s Litigation, Antitrust & Trade Regulation, and Corporate Governance practice groups for many years, while handling trials and appeals (including more arguments in the Supreme Court) and counseling clients nationwide.
Although Neal remained an active and ardent practitioner for the rest of his life, his passion for legal scholarship never abated, but was channeled into his work at the firm. He was known for using his encyclopedic legal knowledge to think up novel approaches to the firm’s cases. One student who later became his colleague at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg told the Chicago Tribune in 2016: "He was always the teacher, able to connect with anybody and anyone. When you went in to talk to him, you were tapping into a resource like none other. He was a walking law library."
Neal Appointed Dean, Law School Record Staff, 1963
News of the Quadrangles: Law Dean, University of Chicago Magazine staff, 1963
Grad Depts Increase Student's Role, Daily Maroon Staff, 1969
Phil Neal Signs Amicus Curiae To Support Conspiracy Brief, Daily Maroon Staff, 1970
Neal Resigns as Dean of Law School, Steve Durbin, 1975
Neal Named Bigelow Law Professor, Daily Maroon Staff, 1975
Phil C. Neal, 1919-2016, Law School Record Editors, 2017
The Dedication of the Laird Bell Quadrangle, University of Chicago Law School, 1966
The Functions of a Law School, Phil C. Neal, 1967
Freedom From Coercion, Phil C. Neal, 1969
The Role of Students in the Governance of Law School, Phil C. Neal, 1970
The Young Lawyers: Bane or Boon?, Phil C. Neal, 1972