Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Lee Thorne was sworn in to practice law in the Mississippi Courts. Chancellor Patricia Wise of Hinds County swore him in to practice in the trial courts of the state, and Chief Justice William L. Waller swore Lee in to practice before the Mississippi Supreme Court. This ceremony was the end of a long educational road that led to Lee becoming an attorney.
Lee grew up in Iuka and is the son of Mr. David Thorne, at First American National Bank, and Mrs. Shelia Thorne, who just retired from Tishomingo County High School. Lee caught the legal bug when paging for the Mississippi House of Representatives with Rep. Ricky Cummings and the Senate under Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck. “I loved being around the State Capitol and seeing how decisions were made. Mom loves history and government; this always made me pay attention to what was going on in our town, state, and nation.”
Mr. Thorne graduated from Tishomingo County High School in 2006 where he served as the student body president before moving to Starkville to attend Mississippi State University. While at MSU, Lee served on the Student Association Freshman Forum and Cabinet for three years, most of that time spent as chair of community and governmental relations. As a member of the Iuka-favorite Kappa Sigma fraternity, he became involved with other organizations on campus, one of the most influential being the John C. Stennis Institute of Government. There he worked with Dr. Marty Wiseman and Prof. Whit Waide, Esq. who guided him through a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. His involvement also allowed him to intern two summers in Washington, D.C. with Senators Cochran and Wicker. “I loved every minute at Mississippi State. The friends I made there are second only to my parents in making me who I am today. My roommates there range from a pastor and doctor, to a business owner, physical therapist, and sports marketing director – to me that just sounds like the start of a great joke.”
After graduating from Mississippi State magna cum laude, Ole Miss Law school awaited. Lee spent the past three years in Oxford wading through case after case and honing in his trial advocacy skills. “My favorite classes were Wills and Estates, Mississippi Civil Practice, Healthcare Law, Federal Trial Practice, and Evidence.” Throughout law school Lee worked with Nick Phillips at Phillips and Phillips here in Iuka, as well as numerous other locations around the state including Mitchell, McNutt and Sams in Tupelo, Governor Haley Barbour’s office, Mississippi State University’s General Counsel, and finally with Chief Justice William L. Waller of the Mississippi Supreme Court. “Law School is a challenge, but it teaches you to think in a completely different way, and I’m glad I made it through the dreaded ‘curve’.” Lee was a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council, Sports Law Review, Moot Court Board and Trial Advocacy Board while at Ole Miss. He graduated cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Barristers.
This past summer was spent studying and taking the Bar exam. After passage, Lee decided to begin his career right here at home with Phillips and Phillips. “One of my favorite quotes is by William Faulkner, ‘To understand the world, one must first understand a place like Mississippi’. I love this state, and I love Iuka, that is why I decided to come back and be surrounded by family and friends. What better place to begin a career? Nick, Adrienne, and Terry have always been supportive and helpful, and I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the local Bar. I don’t know if I’ll be here for a year or until I retire, but my hope is that I will live out one of my favorite passages, Galatians 6:9-10, as I work for this community and the Magnolia State.”