Susan O. Phillips

Of Counsel / Office Manager
Susan O. Phillips


Susan Phillips has built a diverse career at Steptoe & Johnson on the foundation of making things happen. Having spent a number of years as a busy trial attorney, Susan understands the business of law and what it takes to be a successful lawyer. Now, Susan wears multiple hats within the firm and is an integral part of the firm’s growth in Kentucky and in the higher education arena. As the Office Manager for the Lexington, Kentucky office of the firm, Susan ensures that the lawyers in the office have everything they need to serve their clients. In that position, Susan is able to pivot quickly and add value in whatever situation is at hand.

Susan is also a vital member of the firms Higher Education team and helps manage the business development and marketing activities of the team, as well as manages several client relationships. Within the higher education practice, Susan is able to use her experience as a litigator and regularly represents institutions when they manage Title IX situations, including assisting with investigations, attending hearings, and negotiating outcomes.

Representative Experience

  • Handled multiple Title IX complaints for both public and private institutions at the hearing level and before the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
  • Represented higher education institution in sexual misconduct investigation and hearing where consent due to intoxication was questioned
  • Represented public university in Title IX complaint alleging quid pro quo sexual misconduct by a graduate assistant who requested sexual favors in exchange for improved grades
  • Recommended policy and procedure changes to an independent university involving board of trustee ratification of faculty tenure
  • Defended multiple long-term care facilities in claims involving medical negligence (including wound development, infection, falls, understaffing, and malnutrition) and punitive conduct
  • Defended multiple hospital clients in complex medical negligence claims involving death, birth injuries, quadriplegia and amputation

Licensed In

  • Kentucky
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law
  • B.A. University of Kentucky


  • Graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • Journal of Mineral Law & Policy, Staff (1987-1989)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Foster Care Review Board Member, Fayette County, KY
  • Volunteer, Lifeline Christian Missions
  • Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

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