Phillip Hayes


Phillip Hayes has been one of the most successful criminal defense attorneys in North Texas. He started his career in the Dallas District Attorney’s office where he concentrated on the prosecution of aggravated offenses. When he left and began a defense practice he followed a similar path defending accused citizens on violent, aggravated offenses as well as drug and gang-related prosecutions. He has an inordinately high acquittal rate–he had 4 acquittals on murder cases in just one year. Phillip Hayes takes every case seriously and works his absolute best to achieve the best resolution for all of his clients

Where did the idea for your career come from?

I love the law and I love helping people–no better way to combine the two than being a criminal defense attorney.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

With zeal and effort.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I enjoy changes in the law and learning how to deal with those–sometimes it makes my job easier and sometimes much harder

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I work harder than anyone else in this business. I will not be outworked by the prosecutor in trial and will always leave 100% on the field

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to pay more attention to everything. Pay attention to the older attorneys, pay attention to the experienced prosecutors, and pay attention to the judges. You can learn from everyone that has been working in your field, sometimes you learn new ideas to try and sometimes you learn what NOT to do, but you always learn something.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I think the criminal justice system tends to work. A lot of people focus on the bad things but generally the system works. Generally the innocent people are shown to be innocent and the guilty get a fair sentence. There are certainly times when it doesn’t but those a few and far between and are often such outliers they make for a good documentary.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Treat your clients right. Most of them have never been in the situation that they find themselves in. They are scared and confused so it is incumbent on their attorney to be patient, answer questions (even if you think they are silly) and help them feel some relief and comfort. You are not just their attorney but counselor as well.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

When you treat clients the right way they remember it. When their friends or love ones need an attorney they remember how you treated them. If you treated them right then they will refer you to their loved ones–if not then they tell them to stay far away.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Adobe and zoom have become very important in the pandemic and post-pandemic practice of law, without those we not have been able to get much done.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

One of the best books that I’ve read in the last 10 years in “Devil in the White City”. Everything Erik Larson writes is great. It takes a genius to write about a book turn of the century serial killer and compare it to the Chicago World’s Fair and make the reader sad when the ride is over.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be nice until it’s time to not be nice” -From Roadhouse Patrick Swayze