Adrian D. Thompson

Partner-in-Charge / Chief Diversity Officer Cleveland


Adrian provides counsel for private sector clients on issues including equal employment opportunity litigation, wage-hour problems, employment of the disabled, federal housing and other labor matters. Co-partner-in-charge of the Cleveland office, Adrian is also a member of the firm's executive committee and serves as Taft’s chief diversity officer. He helps to drive the firm’s commitment and strategy regarding diversity and inclusion across our offices and in the communities that we serve.

Adrian represents school districts in contract negotiations, grievance arbitration, litigation, education of the disabled and employment discrimination matters. He served as chief legal counsel for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for eight years.

Adrian is president emeritus of the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. He helped to oversee the activities of Legal Aid’s 55 staff attorneys, 90 staff members and 1,400 volunteer lawyers across four offices that serve low income clients in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Adrian is also the co-chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Strategies Committee.

Adrian formerly served on the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts, having been appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. In this role, he was one of 19 members who represented various judges, associations, attorneys, magistrates, clerks of court and court administrators. Adrian is also a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio's Task Force on Commercial Dockets.

Adrian is an active member of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He is an active member of the Norman Minor Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where he serves on the Thought Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, and Community Trust Committees, as well as being one of nine Professionalism Conciliation panel members. He is listed as "Lawyer of the Year" - Cleveland, by Best Lawyers in America, for Education Law in 2020. He is also honored as a Leading Lawyer for Education Law and as an Ohio Super Lawyer for Labor Law.


  • "Lawyer of the Year" Honoree - Cleveland, Best Lawyers in America, Education Law (2020)

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America® (2012 - present)

  • "Best in Class for Diversity in the Legal Profession" Honoree, Greater Cleveland Partnership (2018)

  • Top 100 Honoree, The National Black Lawyers

  • Honoree, Ohio Super Lawyers

  • Taft Legacy Award Honoree, Taft (2017)

  • Honoree, Ohio Board of Professional Conduct

  • Honoree, Inside Business Magazine Leading Lawyers, Education (2007)

All Service Areas


  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1986)
  • Bowling Green State University (1983)


  • Federal - 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - Northern District of Ohio
  • State - Ohio

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association


  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association


  • Greater Cleveland Partnership

    Member, Advancing Middle Market Progress (AMMP) Steering Committee

  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • Supreme Court of Ohio

    Member, Commission on the Rules of Superintendence for Ohio Courts

  • The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

    President Emeritus, Board of Directors

  • Norman S. Minor Bar Association


  • The National Black Lawyers Top 100


  • Ohio Board of Professional Conduct