DBF Homepage
Contact DBF
Dallas Bar Association


The Dallas Legal Community lost an icon in 1982 when leukemia took the life of Stephen Philbin  when he was  39 years old. 

He was a partner with Locke Purnell Boren Laney & Neely and was a leading authority on media law, advising many of the large media organizations in Texas.  He advised The Dallas Morning News and other publications and broadcast companies, owned by what was then known as the A.H. Belo Corporation, on libel law, regulations and licensing of broadcast properties and fair comment rulings.  Stephen was a graduate of Harvard Law School.  He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Yale University.

Stephen Philbin had a great dedication to the freedom of the press and a love for newsgathering.  He was at his best when he was asked to give pre-publication review to stories that had some risk, as far as the reporting was concerned. Stephen loved working with the reporters in ironing out the problem he could spot with his expert eye to help avoid unnecessary risk and still get the essence of the story across.  It was a great passion of his.  He has been described as being an enthusiastic, dedicated, driven advocate for the press.  While Stephen had a broad ranging law practice, it was his representation and championship for the media which was the most important aspect to him personally. 

This six- week memorial internship was established by his sister, Susan Rowan Philbin, in 2016 to celebrate Stephen's dedication to the legal profession and to encourage law students to follow their passion of First Amendment / Media Law.