After graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law, Tommy served as a Captain in the USAF in the Pentagon from 1975-77. He then practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama with the firm of Cabaniss Johnston. In 1984, along with 10 other partner, formed Maynard Cooper & Gale. In April 2023, the firm he helped form merged with Nexsen Pruet, based in SC. The combined firm of Maynard Nexsen has over 550 lawyers in 24 cities from last to coast.
Tommy served as President of the American Bar Association in 2008-2009.