Stacey Phillips (1989) is a deputy district attorney for Fresno County, where she reviews police charges and decides which of them will go to court for prosecution.
Working for the County of Fresno for over 20 years, Phillips is one of about 100 district attorneys. She personally examines and processes about 150 cases per week, reviewing everything from misdemeanors to domestic violence cases. She’s been especially busy lately, as Proposition 47 has caused some crimes to be reclassified as misdemeanors from felonies.
When asked about when she decided to become a lawyer, Phillips said she made the decision when she was 12 years old. After graduating from Fresno State with a degree in political science, Phillips attended the California Western School of Law in San Diego. During this time, she interned at a district attorney’s office, and loved it.
Phillips is also one of the internship coordinators at the District Attorney’s Office. She said that about half of the interns in the summer program this semester are Fresno State students. During the program, students get a little taste of what it’s like to work in the law system.
Born and raised in Fresno, Phillips loved attending Fresno State, remembering how much fun she had as a student. She noted how great it is to have a higher-learning institute in your own hometown.
Her advice to students would be to have fun, but to remember to pay attention to grades, especially if they plan to attend graduate school. She also advises students to do internships, which allow them to give back to the community while “trying on” a career and seeing if it’s the right fit.
Phillips said her career at the District Attorney’s Office is very gratifying.
“A victim is never going to be completely whole once they’re victimized,” Phillips said. “But if I can bring someone justice, that’s the most rewarding part of the job.”