About Thomas R. Kline

Duquesne Law Class of 1978 alumnus donates largest individual gift in law school's history to create judicial education center

Thomas R. Kline is acknowledged to be one of America’s most respected and influential lawyers. He is a founding partner of Kline & Specter, PC, described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "one of the country's leading personal injury law firms." His groundbreaking cases have helped shape the law and have resulted in corporate, institutional and governmental change and justice for his clients.

Kline has consistently been named a top lawyer by leading publications. He has been selected every year as the attorney ranked first among 65,000 active Pennsylvania lawyers by Super Lawyers since its inception in 2004. Lawdragon, listing Kline as one of the top 500 lawyers among 1.3 million active lawyers in America, has described him as “the leading personal injury plaintiffs’ lawyer in Pennsylvania.” 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 in product liability and medical malpractice dating back to the 1980’s with seven- and eight-figure jury verdicts in each of four decades. Recent accomplishments include his groundbreaking jury verdicts in the national Risperdal litigation and his leadership as Chair of the Plaintiffs Management Committee in achieving the historic Amtrak 188 settlement. Kline’s work in the Penn State/Sandusky litigation and the Piazza fraternity hazing case have gained national attention. 

A graduate and recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award of Albright College, Kline earned his M.A. from Lehigh University and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, where he received the Distinguished Student Award in 1978 and Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008. 

After completing law school, Kline clerked for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Thomas W. Pomeroy. He later served four U.S. senators over two decades in chairing the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for more than a decade.  

The Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University was named for him in 2014, followed by the Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy. The Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education of Duquesne University School of Law, the first of its kind in the nation, launched during the 2017-2018 academic year. 

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Read about the Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education of Duquesne University School of Law.