A champion of legal education, Thomas R. Kline is acknowledged to be one of America's most respected and influential lawyers. He is a founding partner of Kline & Specter, described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "one of the nation's leading personal injury firms." The National Law Journal has listed Kline among "Ten of America's Top Litigators." His groundbreaking cases have helped shape the law and have resulted in corporate, institutional and governmental change and justice for his clients.
Kline has been selected every year as the #1 ranked attorney among 65,000 active Pennsylvania
lawyers by the publication Super Lawyers since its inception in 2004. Lawdragon lists Kline as one of the top 500 lawyers among 1.3 million active lawyers in America.
He is the past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, which The Washington Post described as "a select group of 100 of the nation's most celebrated trial lawyers."
Kline achieved many landmark jury verdicts dating back to the 1980s with seven- and eight-figure jury verdicts in each of five decades. Recent accomplishments include his groundbreaking jury verdicts in the Johnson & Johnson/Risperdal litigation, winning an $8 billion verdict for his clients, and his leadership as Chair of the Plaintiffs Management Committee, which achieved the historic Amtrak 188 settlement. Kline's advocacy in the Penn State/Sandusky litigation and the Piazza fraternity hazing case have likewise gained national attention.
A graduate and recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Albright College, Kline earned his M.A. from Lehigh University and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 1978, where he received the Distinguished Student Award and later earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008. He is also an inductee into the Century Club of distinguished alumni at Duquesne University.
After completing law school, Kline clerked for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas W. Pomeroy. He later served four U.S. senators over two decades, including chairing the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the Federal Courts in Pennsylvania for more than a decade.
The Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University was named for him in 2014, along with the Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy. The Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education, the first of its kind in the nation, was launched at Duquesne University during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Most recently, Kline committed $50 million to provide transformational support to Duquesne's 111-year-old law school. Duquesne University President Ken Gormley recognized the gift by naming the law school the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University.
In naming the law school at Duquesne, Kline is energizing his alma mater on new fronts: This is the first school to be named at Duquesne University in over three decades.