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Released on Apr 3, 2024
Alumni Profile: Sarah Flannery ’02

Cleveland State University College of Law alum and Hall of Fame member Sarah Flannery ’02 leads Thompson Hine’s immigration practice group where she manages numerous relationships in the corporate sector, being the liaison who facilitates matching foreign national talent with U.S. companies’ hiring needs.  Flannery has been with Thompson Hine since graduating CSU|LAW. She originally joined the firm’s labor and employment group, but she quickly discovered an interest in immigration work.

“I have the privilege of being in a practice area where I continuously see individuals achieving big dreams, and it is exciting to witness,” said Flannery. 

Flannery has provided visa solutions for Fortune 500 IT companies, helped secure visas for foreign national golfers invited to the PGA or LPGA Tour, sent green card approvals to researchers and scientists who are making big changes in how we live, and helped foreign national students launch careers in the U.S. She enjoys working as a valued-added resource for her clients opposed to the adversarial nature of litigation.

In 2023, Flannery was admitted to the a U.S. Supreme Court Bar alongside a group of CSU|LAW alumni attorneys.

Recently, Flannery was recognized for her work by Crain’s Cleveland Business, named as one of the publications Notable Women in Law 2024.  The list recognizes women throughout Northeast Ohio for their notable legal accomplishments, guidance provided to fellow attorneys, advocacy for inclusive workplace practices and meaningful contributions to their communities.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to build the career recognized by this award,” said Flannery.  CSU|LAW provided a tremendous launch and Thompson Hine has been an extraordinary platform to build a practice that has direct, meaningful impact.”

At Thompson Hine, Flannery played a key role in launching the firm’s women’s initiative, “Spotlight on Women,” and chaired the program for a number of years.

Flannery had no exposure to the legal field growing up and had not contemplated it as a career until midway through undergraduate studies at John Carroll University.  She chose CSU|LAW based on a recommendation from one of her undergraduate professors as well as a scholarship opportunity she received. She has been one of the law schools most adamant supporters ever since and wants to continue the pipeline support and scholarships available to current and future students. 

Flannery, who served as research editor for Cleveland State Law Review during her time in law school, has dedicated much of her philanthropic work over the last decade to CSU. She is currently Chair of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors and has served on the CSU Alumni Association Board, CSU Foundation Board and CSU Law Board of Visitors.

“Many students come to CSU|LAW with life experiences and skills that are difficult to teach: resiliency, grit, an ability to balance many commitments concurrently,” explained Flannery.  CSU|LAW provides the education needed for a law career and also shows students how to apply those unique life skills to excel and thrive in a law career. A look through the CSU|LAW Hall of Fame inductees shows there is no limit to where a CSU|LAW grad will take their career.”

The CSU|LAW Hall of Fame includes Flannery, who was inducted in 2022 into the distinguished collection of alumni, faculty, staff, friends and community leaders.

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