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Philip Vance McCalister

Family Attorney at Lower Burrell, PA

4.5   21 reviews
  • Licensed for 33 years
    State PA
    Acquired 1990
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Philip

Learn Philip’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    Support, Separation, Child Support

    36 years

  2. Family
    Child Custody, Support, Separation, Divorce.

    36 years

  3. Bankruptcy and debt
    Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

    36 years

  4. Business
    I represent small businesses in all matters from formation to litigation to dissolution.

    36 years

  5. DUI and DWI

  6. Criminal defense
    Traffic, Misdemeanors, Felonies

    36 years

"Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1953, Attorney Philip (Phil) V. McCalister grew up in California. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in United States History (with an emphasis on American Religious History) from California State University Fullerton, he continued his studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he was awarded a Master of Divinity Degree. As an ordained American Baptist minister, he served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Lewiston, Idaho.


He later completed law school at the University of Idaho, immediately passing the Idaho, Washington, and Pennsylvania bar exams. A trial lawyer since 1989, Phil currently maintains a solo practice in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Here, he has earned a reputation for strong negotiation and litigation skills in family law matters. 

Believing that confrontational litigation is not always the best way to resolve differences, Phil is a committed member of the International Academy of Collaborative Law Professionals (IACP) and the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania (CLASP). He is also an active participant in numerous attorney professional groups.

Community Involvement

Phil has volunteered/mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters for at-risk children in the New Kensington-Arnold School District and currently volunteers as Chairman of the Board of the Westmoreland County Community College Foundation. He enjoys spending his free time as an aspiring golfer, committed cyclist, and spin class instructor, believing that a good weekend is one spent outdoors.


McCalister Law Office
3850 Leechburg Road
Suites 10 & 11
Lower Burrell, PA, 15068

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4.5 / 5.0
  21 customer reviews
Posted by anonymous | September 22, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Lorna Torres
I would recommend The Law offices of Philip McCalister in a heartbeat. He is cordial, dedicated, and as an Alimony Master, he is passionate about getting the job done for every client, big or small. Thank you Philip for taking the time to give me a free phone consultation just minutes after I left a message inquiring divorce, alimony, and other legal advice. You are a blessing to many.
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Posted by Brittany | November 13, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He helped my family out a lot with the custody battle. He was my fathers attorney and basically took my brother and I under his wing.
Posted by anonymous | April 19, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
It was a long time ago, but very caring...
Frightening time for me but he Helped me understand and gain the strength I needed and was very good to my young child.
Posted by Chelsey | October 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A very knowledgeable and supportive lawyer
Phil has assisted me in my divorce and custody case with my ex husband. He was incredibly easy to work with and understanding. He personally cares about his clients. His goal is that his clients are “ the most informed individuals in the room”. He kept me aware of progress the whole way through. I felt very comfortable knowing Phil was doing everything to help me in my individual case.
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Posted by Shawn | September 20, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce and bankruptcy
I will definitely be using Phil again if needed. Phil and jackie made the process go smooth for me.
Posted by Jeannie | September 6, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Custody Consultation
I met Mr. McCalister, while searching for a custody attorney. I'm going through a divorce and have a very complicated custody case. Philip McCalister cares a great deal about helping other people, it's not just about a paycheck to him. As far as attorneys go, Mr. McCalister is one of the most sincere that I've met. He took his time listening to me. I didn't feel like I was being rushed out the door. He was very respectful, and I felt like I was looked upon as an absolute equal during my appointment with him. In my opinion, Philip McCalister is well suited for family law. My basis for that opinion , is how Philip McCalister acted when I spoke about my 4 children. I would absolutely recommended Philip McCalister , to anyone in need of a custody attorney.
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Posted by Alex | June 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Smooth quick divorce
I started my divorce using a mail in service to generate documents. There was a bump in the road so I decided to look for a local lawyer. I found and hired Phil to help me close it out. After hiring Phil the process went extremely smooth and quick. It was also very affordable. Phil and Jackie both responded quickly every time and were great to work with! They kept great communication the whole time as well and explained every piece of the process as needed. If I need a lawyer in the future, I will be going back to Phil for sure and I'd recommend you do as well!
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Posted by Ken | April 27, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mr. Kens Divorce
Hired Philip to handle my divorce settlement, from the first contact and throughout the entire process Mr. McCalister was intimate with my concerns and need of understanding. His professional guide and knowledge of the law was instrumental in my stability. Philip was like family and a friend that was always available for me without restriction. His legal advice was sound, to the point, l always knew my options, and he fought for them. I recommend McCalister to anyone who needs a dedicated and sympathetic, yet stern and driven, lawyer to set a consultation meeting up, it will be the best decision you will make to find closure.
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Posted by Jim | April 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great attorney, Personal, Professional and always available
Phil & Jackie are a winning team. I have used them for multiple legal needs. Phil's approach is straight forward and he is always more then happy to explain in great detail if need be. I would recommend him to anyone.
Posted by Jason | April 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer
I have been dealing with Mr McCalister for several years now and I could not have chosen a better lawyer for my divorce case. He has always been there for me and is very knowledgeable about divorce and separation laws. I would give him 4 stars and recommend him to anyone seeking a well skilled lawyer. His pricing is very reasonable and he will work with you on a payment plan is necessary. He maintains his cool under pressure in the court room and will stand up for what is right and owed to his client. Overall a great lawyer and highly recommended.
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Posted by Von | April 20, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Financial settlement
Attorney McCalister handled my financial settlement in a professional manner. His customer service and professionalism was exceptional. I would highly recommend his services!!
Posted by Scott | May 19, 2015
Professional !!!!
I was in a bad situation that could have turned worse due to lies and abuse of the system from my ex-wife. Phil explained everything with precise knowledge and confidence. Everything moved smoothly and in steps which I expected with real results that I feel confident I would have gotten NOWHERE else. I was granted FULL custody of my son and all her attempts at baffling the system were thwarted because of the experience that Phil posseses.
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Posted by Rich | November 11, 2014
divorce/custody 06-2012
First I would highly recommend this law office for any of your needs! Phil represented me in a very intensive lenthly custody issue in Westmoreland county ex accussed me everything that you can think of and then some.I ended up with shared custody for 5years and then primary custody in 2012. The mother and grandmother were very vintictive,uncooperative, spiteful over the custody orders,and made alot of false accusations agaist me,168 to be exact!!Trials as we know are 2 days long, mine was 10 days over a 1 1/2!! Phil and jackie his secretary did a fhonominal job on this case! Ive definitely been thru alot during this time and phil was there for me! I must add one more comment: phil will get justice done in your case, i have alot of faith in him! Look no further for an attorney! Thanks again!
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Posted by anonymous | November 14, 2013
The Best Guy in Town and All Around
My husband and I recently needed an affordable and knowledgeable attorney to file for equal custody of his 2 kids. After calling 4 local attorneys from the phone book, we finally called Phil. He returned our call the same day and took the time to explain the entire, confusing process to us. Only 1 of the other attorneys called us back but, she couldn't talk as she was going out of town for vacation. Phil was very personable and approachable. He always considered our busy schedules and met us after normal business hours on many occasions. His secretary, Jackie, understood why a hard working couple with 4 kids needed to set up a payment plan in order to lower the impact of this unexpected expense. She continually worked with us on paying down our bills. Phil's office made it a point to keep us updated on any new information involving our case via email, cell phone, and snail-mail. If we had a question, he quickly made us feel at ease with his extensive knowledge of the law and relationship he had with the courts. We are VERY pleased with the results of our case and I know we couldn't have done it without him so we just wanted to say, THANK YOU PHIL!!!
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Posted by Jennifer | November 7, 2013
Top notch attorney - fair, honest, respectable
It's been my pleasure to know Phil McCalister for more than 15 years now. He is the only attorney I trust for all of my legal matters. I have recommended him to countless friends, family members and clients and have known, without doubt, that they would be met with a degree of knowledge and professionalism that is unmatched. Phil has represented me both in personal and professional matters. I chose Phil to handle my divorce because it was important to me that it be handled fairly. (Yes, some people do want fair divorces.) I've always appreciated the honesty with which he addresses his (potential) clients. At times, his frankness can be shocking - but a quick digestion of his candidness reveals something that makes him exemplary as an attorney - he's honest. A specific example of this attribute involves my elderly parents. They sought Phil's counsel regarding a family matter that was more a matter of principle to them than anything else. Most attorneys would have taken the case, taken all of their money and left them with (what would have been the end result through litigation or not) - nothing. His ethics dictated that he share this with my parents and discuss with them their motives for wanting to take action....allowing them to make an educated decision on whether or not to proceed with legal action. They chose not to. Phil didn't get the case - but instead, he got two additional clients that will trust him with their future legal needs. Phil has also been my counsel in that matters of establishing my small business. The breadth of his knowledge and expertise is immeasurable. I feel confident trusting all of my personal and professional affairs to his counsel.
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Posted by anonymous | November 7, 2013
Very professional
I found Phil to be very attentive to detail and always responded immediately, by email or phone. He was always on top of what needed to be done on the case. Understood how to get things done. A real professional.
Posted by Colette | June 23, 2010
Phil McCalister is an excellent lawyer
Phil has worked for friends of ours as well as family members (not his, but ours) and has surpassed our expectations. He's to the point and trustworthy. A family member was in trouble and we paid for their defense.
Posted by Chris | February 13, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phil is a good guy...His secretary is phenomenal.
My husband and I filed Chapter 7 with Phil and had him settle an estate. Although we decided to convert the chapter 7 to a chapter 13 when the trustee became aggressive, I do not regret working with Phil. He took a lot of time to educate my husband and I about the process, and was passionate about helping our family. As far as the estate goes, documents had lightening quick turn around time, and required processes were done ASAP. This office is run like a well oiled machine.
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Posted by anonymous | September 2, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
knock out
Phil, was very up front with my case, Phil and his staff kept me well informed always. Very helpful answered all my questions and concerns. Smart as a fox in the courtroom. Thanks!!
Posted by Virginia | August 6, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hired for divorce attorney
Hired him as my divorce attorney 17 years ago, I did not know my rights my divorce was handled horribly. My ex husband passed away 2 years ago went to collect what I was entitled to & found out Phillip McAlister never filed the papers that I paid $500 for, so I lost everything!!!! Called to talk to Phillip McAlister and his reply was quote ( Oops I dropped the ball ) then I set up a meeting with him and he told me that he was financially disabled to help me out at the moment because his secretary embezzled his money, I cannot afford another attorney to sue him he has made my future very unaffordable, he has never show any restitution for what he has done, very highly not recommended
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Response from Philip McCalister August 19, 2019
While my recollection of these events is different than your own, I am deeply saddened that you feel I let you down. It is always the practice of this office to follow through with all matters our clients pay us to do.
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AVVO RATING 7.8 (Very Good)


  • University of Idaho College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1989
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • M-Div Master of Divinity
  • 1979
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976
  • College of the Sequoias
  • AA
  • 1974
View all education


  • WCCC Educational Foundation
  • Board of Directors-President
  • 2013 - Present
  • Westmoreland County Bar Association
  • Committee Chairman
  • 1993 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Best Attorney Silver Award
  • Trib Total Media
  • 2015
  • Best of 2010 Best Collaborative Divorce Law
  • Pittsburgh City Paper
  • 2010

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (6)
Endorse Philip
Family Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Philip for a number of years by working within the same legal office. He is an invaluable attorney for this office and the community."
Family Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Lower Burrell Family Lawyer Philip Vance McCalister
Philip Vance McCalister
Family Attorney
Lower Burrell, PA
Licensed for 33 years