Tom Sharbaugh

Professor of Practice for Lawyers: Charting a Course With Purpose 

Tom Sharbaugh is a professor of practice at Penn State Law, where he teaches business-related courses and also serves as the director of the Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic. Before joining Penn State Law approximately six years ago, Tom was the firm-wide managing partner of operations at the Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP law firm, based in the firm’s Philadelphia office. In this position, which he held for 15 years, Tom was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the global law firm with more than 3,100 personnel. As a partner in the firm’s Business & Finance Practice Group, he represented a wide variety of clients in transactional and corporate matters, including private equity funds in M&A and investment transactions. He has a particular interest in start-up and early-stage businesses and their funding. He has written a number of articles and delivered many presentations on the legal issues confronting small businesses and the securities laws applicable to capital raising through unregistered offerings. From 1982 to 1988, he was a partner of Saul Ewing LLP, where he represented middle-market companies in general corporate matters.

Tom also serves in several volunteer roles for a number of educational and non-profit institutions. At Penn State, he is the chair of the Annual Giving Advisory Council, the chair of the President’s Club, and a member of the Campaign Executive Committee for the current capital campaign. Tom is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Penn Medicine Health System in Philadelphia, the chair of the Board of Managers of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mount Nittany Conservancy.

Tom recently published a post on the “Legal Evolution” blog regarding a proposal to have senior lawyers serve as volunteer supervisors in law school clinics titled “Could a purpose deficit fill an unmet legal need?”