Phillip Bahakel

For the Children: Phillip Bahakel, Candidate for Shelby County District Judge

Special Feature


Helping families is at the core of what Phillip Bahakel strives to do in his personal and professional life. Since 1981, he has continually served families as a divorce and family law attorney. He opened his law office in Pelham in the mid-1990s and actively helps clients today. As a proud father and grandfather, he is compelled by the fact that “children are the future.”

Phillip Bahakel with grandson 2
Pictured above is Phillip Bahakel with his grandson Robert, who has Pitt-Hopkins. “He is a blessing, and we all love him,” Bahakel says.

Bahakel is running for Shelby County District Judge in the Runoff on June 21, 2022 with Erin Bell Welborn. Bahakel says his judicial experience sets him apart. Bahakel served six years as a District Judge/Juvenile Court. A graduate of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Bahakel has 40 years of experience as an attorney. He is a member of the RNC President’s Club and Capitol Club.

If elected, he is excited about helping families in the courts and will strive to make the process for them as pleasant and efficient as possible. As a former family court judge in Jefferson County from 2001 to 2007, he is ready to jump back in and serve families to the best of his ability. “If elected, I am going to work hard and get things done,” Bahakel says, adding, “With 41 years of experience, I believe I can efficiently handle any case that is thrown at me. I will be there to help families; that’s what this is all about.” When he served as a judge, Bahakel would request to see the family and their support group to discuss the order before entering it.

Fighting for families. As an attorney, Bahakel advocates for family values. “I’m a big picture kind of guy. I really think about where people will go in the future. I try to help clients based on what is in the best interest for them and their children.” He has a strong work ethic. “I do my homework and I pray,” Bahakel says, adding. “It’s not unusual for me to be in the office after 6 p.m. on weekdays and also work on the weekends.”

Phillip Bahakel Daughters
Phillip Bahakel is the proud father of two daughters.

Many people have inspired Bahakel to serve including several of his cousins, two of which are former criminal judges. Supreme Court Justice Patricia Smith, who was the first female to serve as a Judge on the Shelby County Family Court, was a mentor to Bahakel. “She is the one that taught me the most about what I know about juvenile court,” Bahakel explains, adding, “I learned a lot from her.”

Bahakel is a man of deep faith. As an attorney and former judge, he has experience making decisions that impact the lives of others. “I always pray before making decisions,” Bahakel says, adding, “I ask the Lord for direction and guidance.” In addition to being a guiding factor in decision making, his faith in Christ encourages him to treat all people with respect and kindness. “I have devoted my life to helping families,” Bahakel says. To learn more about Bahakel, visit

-Melissa Armstrong

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