Tom was born and raised in Pendleton, Oregon. In 1982 he graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland with a degree in psychology. Prior to attending Northwestern School of Law, Tom worked for four years, including two years as a legal assistant at the local respected law firm of Schulte Anderson. While attending law school, he also worked as a law clerk for the firm. In 1989 Tom graduated from law school, magna cum laude.
Following law school, Tom was privileged to clerk for the Honorable Mary Deits on the Oregon Court of Appeals and then for the Honorable Otto Skopil on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Tom joined Schulte Anderson as an associate in 1991 and became a partner in 1998.
Tom's practice focuses on family law, where he has developed a reputation in the community for being straightforward and reasonable. Tom has been recognized as one of Oregon's Super Lawyers Top 50 Attorneys in the State of Oregon 2010, a "Super Lawyer" since 2006, and a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated Attorney. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial lawyers since 2003.
In addition to practicing family law at the trial level, Tom also handles domestic relations appeals. He is a family law mediator and frequently serves as such for the Oregon Court of Appeals. Tom's experience has led him to recognize the emotional, logistical, and legal challenges families face in family law litigation. This led Tom to add Collaborative Law as an option for his clients. Tom believes that Collaborative Law offers clients a method of reaching meaningful and lasting agreements without the pressure and uncertainty of the court process.