Lawyer Philip SasserAttorney
Philip Sasser went into bankruptcy law by following in the footsteps of his brother, Travis, who founded the Sasser Law Firm in 2000. Philip joined the firm in 2008, having focused his attention on bankruptcy law throughout his three years of study at Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
Even though he had a good idea of what his career course would be, Philip’s decision to become a bankruptcy attorney was also marked by serendipity — in 2005, when he was a first-year law student, Congress passed a sweeping bankruptcy reform law that changed the nature of the practice.
“The law had changed dramatically, and it was an exciting time to be focused on bankruptcy,” he recalls.
Then, after launching his practice in 2008, the Great Recession and the financial crisis were taking hold. “I remember driving to work early one morning, still dark out, and I heard on the news in my car that Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy, and so I knew that something big had just happened,” he says. “In law school, it was an idiosyncratic thing to be interested in, but the first few years out of law school, I was right in the thick of a topic of law that was in the news every day.”
His practice encompasses assisting small businesses and individuals with their bankruptcies, and he has continued to be busy. He goes to court frequently and has recorded some precedent-setting resolutions for his clients. One of them, In re Proctor, was a U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s conclusion that a debtor’s principal residence was his original home in another state and not his second home, in North Carolina.
Philip’s work has earned him recognition as a business bankruptcy “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine and designation as a certified specialist of the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization Committee.
The legal victories and the professional plaudits are satisfying, but Philip considers his contact with clients to be the source of his greatest fulfillment.
“I consider it a real privilege and honor to be brought into the confidence of people when they’re going through a difficult time,” he says. “I don’t take that confidence lightly. I’m aware that people are telling me things they might not even tell their extended families about. It’s not being a doctor or a pastor, but it’s not dissimilar in some ways. You’re not necessarily seeing people at their worst time, but in some ways, it’s when they’re the most vulnerable.”
“I enjoy meeting people and hearing their stories, learning where they’re from and what they like to do. And it’s also nice that people usually leave the office happier than when they came in.”
Philip and his wife have four children. What remains of his personal time is largely devoted to his church, where he is a deacon. He also serves as a musician in residence — he is an accomplished violinist — at historic Oakwood Cemetery, where he organizes musical performances and events. Philip also enjoys beekeeping.