Having worked for the public sector as a teacher and attorney, Tom knows how the bureaucracy operates and he is passionate about representing those who have been injured on the job, disabled by motor vehicle collisions or been harmed in other ways and are being mistreated by the State or by the big Insurance Companies.

Before attending law school, Tom was a high school social studies teacher, and was both the boys’ and girls’ basketball coach. Those responsibilities helped establish a great foundation for pursuing a legal education. Working with students, student-athletes and their families through the challenges they faced on a day-to-day basis, provided essential learning tools for ultimately representing the injured and mistreated.

Tom began his second career as an attorney in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. After graduating, cum laude, from the University of Puget sound School of Law, in 1991, he joined the AGO, representing the Department of Labor and Industries as a trial attorney. Initially, Tom represented the State in a variety of matters, from advising the Apprenticeship Council to enforcing plumbing and electrical citations, arguing cases in the Superior Court, Appellate Court and the Supreme Court.

In 1995, Tom was selected to supervise the Tacoma Section of the AGO, supervising an office of 8 attorneys and the necessary support staff. Shortly after that promotion, Tom was assigned to advise and represent the Department’s State-wide Fraud Section, which he continued to do for five years until he joined Rumbaugh, Rideout & Barnett in 2000.

At that time, Tom excitedly “switched sides” and began representing those injured people who were unhappy, overwhelmed and abused by the Department. The opportunity to represent the citizens was so refreshing, that Tom wishes he had made the transition much, much earlier. Yet, being able to use the nine years of experience in the AGO has been a boon to his clients as he knows the intricacies of the Department as only someone who has worked on the inside can know. The knowledge and respect from the Department, AGO and the Board that Tom has earned over the last 20 years makes him extremely qualified to deal with L&I claims and issues.

On January, 1, 2013, Tom set off on a new path, when he opened his own practice, ADKINS LAW PLLC. As a sole practitioner, Tom continues to represent people who were injured on the job, in motor vehicle accidents, slip & falls and those denied by Social Security. But now, as his own boss, he has been re-invigorated and relishes the opportunity to help those who have been mistreated.

Tom grew up outside Washington DC, during the Vietnam War and saw America at its best and at its not so best. That background has given him an appreciation for working for those who feel they have been taken advantage of by big insurance companies and those who are overwhelmed by the System and are afraid to demand what is rightfully theirs. As such, Tom really enjoys representing working families. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing you are helping a worthy client obtain justice.

Admitted to Practice Law:

    • Washington State

    • United States District Court, Western District of Washington

Professional Associations

    • Washington State Association for Justice

    • American Association for Justice

    • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association


    • B.A., Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia

    • Secondary Ed Certificate, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia

    • J.D., cum laude, University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, Washington