Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1963-1975
Phil C. Neal was born in 1919 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in neighboring Oak Park. He graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1936. Neal attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, graduating summa cum laude from the former in 1940 and magna cum laude from the latter in 1943. A member of Phi Beta Kappa while in law school, Neal also served as the president of the Harvard Law Review as well as the Student Council.
Neal clerked for Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson for two years following law school. In 1945, he left his clerkship a few months early to assist State Department official Alger Hiss in his role as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Neal then worked at the firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco before joining the faculty at Stanford Law School in 1948. Neal was appointed to several important government committees in the 1950s and 1960s: he chaired the Pacific Regional Enforcement Commission of the Wage Stabilization Board as well as a White House task force on antitrust policy. He also served on the Coordinating Committee for Multi-District Litigation for the United States District Courts and the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Dean Edward H. Levi hired Neal to the UChicago Law faculty in 1961. Neal taught at the Law School for 21 years and served as the Law School’s sixth dean between 1963 and 1975. Upon stepping down as dean, Neal was named the Harry A. Bigelow Professor of Law. He also began working once more in private practice, at the Chicago firm of Friedman & Koven. In 1986, Neal retired from the Law School and became a founding partner of Neal Gerber Eisenberg, a Chicago-based boutique law firm. Throughout his career, Neal was an active member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the American Bar Foundation, the Chicago Bar Association, and the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
In 1944, Neal married Mary Cassidy and the couple had four sons, Richard, Stephen, Timothy, and Andrew. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1985, Neal married Linda Thoren Neal (University of Chicago Law School ’67). Neal passed away in 2016.