Fighting for Great Outcomes for Clients ... and Pets
Heather Hawkins, partner at Thompson Hine LLP
Photo by Tracy Doyle
Heather Hawkins, a partner at Thompson Hine LLP, knows what it takes to win in many areas of life, from the male-dominated construction industry to helping pets in need. She is a two-time winner of Benchmark Litigations’ Under 40 Hot List for legal professionals.
Hawkins thanks her mother for pointing her to the legal profession. “Since I was little, my mom told me I was going to be a lawyer,” she says. “I’m not sure if it was because I argued every point or because she liked the idea. At law school, I found litigation was my niche. I enjoyed the advocacy and arguing on behalf of people who feel what they are doing is right.”
With a focus on construction litigation, Hawkins is a creative advocate for clients. She has numerous first-chair victories in multi-million-dollar jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations across the country. She also finds that being a woman can be a positive in this field. “Being a woman allows me to provide a different voice and perspective,” she says. “It allows me to connect with jurors and explain cases in a way that’s human, understandable and that they are ultimately able to agree with. And that’s the goal.”
Hawkins has a strong competitive streak, which no doubt helps in the courtroom. She was a Division I field hockey player at the University of Louisville. During her tenure, she was selected by her peers to serve as team captain and was recognized as a first team All-American. As Hawkins points out, “My athletic background has also prepared me for a very important task at my firm – leading the softball team to a law-league championship.”
Hawkins is dedicated to Cincinnati and improving life for people. In 2015, she was appointed by the board of directors to serve on the firm-wide Lawyer Personnel Committee. This committee is comprised of nine partners and is responsible for mentoring, evaluating, setting the compensation and recommending promotions for approximately 160 non-partner attorneys throughout the firm. Outside the firm, she was recently selected to participate in Leadership Cincinnati, which is the region’s flagship development program for the established, senior leader who is passionate about making a difference in the community. Hawkins plans to use her knowledge from her time spent in other cities to help fast-track development efforts here.
Hawkins notes that by far her most rewarding experience in the community is working with rescue animals. She is a proud volunteer with Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue. “Louie’s Legacy is a foster-based rescue that saves dogs and cats from high-kill shelters and abusive situations. I was new to animal rescue about a year ago and read about a litter of five basset hound puppies on Facebook. Louie’s Legacy had taken in a mom and dad from a hoarding situation and didn’t know the mom was pregnant at the time. After reading about Linus, one of the five puppies, I applied to adopt him and I was chosen. I began volunteering at adoption events such as the annual My Furry Valentine and our weekly PetsMart adoption events.
“Today, I have three rescue dogs, including Linus, and a foster dog, Curry, a Jack Russell/Beagle mix who will be available for adoption soon. Outside of helping my clients succeed, helping foster rescue dogs is the most rewarding part of my day.” It also provides an important perspective. “At the rescue, I see the worst of humanity in the mistreatment and abuse of animals, and I see the best of humanity in the love and compassion that every rescuer, foster and adopter gives to these animals.”
Thompson Hine is located at 312 Walnut Street, 14th Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.352.6700 or visit thompsonhine.com.