Meet Tom

Background and Family

Tom grew up in Hershey, PA, as the oldest of three boys. His brother Jim earned a double major from St. Joseph’s University, graduating with honors before embarking on a career in business. Matt, a senior at the University of Delaware, is a First Sergeant in the Army ROTC program and is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Tom’s mother, Terri, has worked for years as reading specialist at a local public school. His father, Tom Sr., recently retired after working for more than three decades in public service. 

Tom graduated with high honors from Hershey High School in 2010, where he and his brother, Jim, led their basketball team to its first Keystone Division Championship in 20 years and its first and only Mid Penn Championship. 

Tom then went on to earn his liberal arts degree from Dickinson College, where he studied philosophy and English. During his time at Dickinson, Tom was inducted into multiple educational honor societies, spent a semester working for Judge John F. Cherry in Dauphin County Juvenile Court, and was a member of a men’s basketball team that made back-to-back appearances in the Centennial Conference semifinals for the first time in school history.

Throughout his time in high school and college, Tom spent each summer working at Bricker’s Pizza & Restaurant in Hershey, PA, where he learned the value of hard work from his mentor, Mr. Chuck Bricker. He also worked in the constituent services office for Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., in both Harrisburg and Washington, DC.

Tom’s next stop was Penn State Law, where, over the course of his three years, he presented a cybersecurity paper to high-ranking members of the FCC; published research in two of the country’s leading legal treatises; received multiple awards at the world’s largest international moot court competition; earned induction into the Order of the Barristers for excellence in advocacy; was the recipient of the Joseph Leyburn Kramer Award for his “adherence to strict ethical standards, fidelity and loyalty to other students and to the profession, and involvement in extracurricular activities”; and was voted by his classmates to be the class of 2017’s commencement speaker.


After law school, Tom spent a year working as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where he had a hand in drafting legal opinions that affect millions of individuals in Pennsylvania and beyond.

After his clerkship, Tom entered private practice at an international law firm in Philadelphia, where he played a significant role in several multi-million-dollar lawsuits and worked closely with the SeniorLAW Center and other pro bono organizations to provide legal assistance to low-income families. He also volunteered as a “Reader” in the Philly Reads Program, spending time each week reading with local elementary school students. Additionally, Tom published articles in a number of leading legal publications on issues relating to biometric data, cryptocurrency, and the Internet of Things.

In his spare time, Tom serves as a volunteer with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, where he provides free legal services to families and individuals across the Commonwealth. He is also a member of the NAACP Harrisburg Chapter and is enrolled in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Development Institute.


In 2018, Tom published a book called While Reason Slept, a nonfiction piece that examines the ideological origins of the Revolution and the Founders’ belief in the power of reason. Soon after its release, the book received high praise from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who described it as “brilliant” and a “must read for those who want to use an argument grounded in reason to change the nature of political discourse.”

Tom has been invited to discuss his book at dozens of universities, book clubs, and civic organizations since its publication in 2018. He was also interviewed on multiple occasions on WITF’s Smart Talk, which you can listen to here and here, as well as Pennsylvania Newsmakers, which you can watch here.

educator & Coach

Like his mother, Tom understands the value of education. Each year since 2016, Tom has returned to Hershey High School to teach lessons on law and civics to Social Studies classes.

Tom has also served as a visiting lecturer at Dickinson Law School, where he has made multiple presentations on the intersection of law and technology.

Basketball has played a huge role in Tom’s life, not only as a player, but as a coach as well. His coaching career began in 2011, when he spent a season coaching his younger brother Matt’s AAU team in Harrisburg. Several players from that team, including Dylan Painter and Kobay White, have gone on to play at the Division I level.

Tom also volunteered as a coach at Hershey High School and East Pennsboro High School, and recently sponsored a Brier for Congress basketball team in the BMD Brotherhood Basketball Summer League.

Meet dawkins (Tom's dog)

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