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Justine M. Kasznica Thornton

Chair, Innovation Practice Group
T 412-577-5114

    Justine M. Kasznica Thornton, chair of the Firm's Innovation Practice Group, focuses her practice on providing full service legal and ancillary support to clients that are in the business of creating novel, better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas in industries with high growth and high impact potential. These industries include, but are not limited to: energy and sustainable innovation, life sciences and medical devices, robotics and advanced manufacturing, software and entertainment technology, life sciences and medical devices, and social innovation. Clients served by the Innovation Practice Group include technology and high growth potential start-ups, universities and research institutions seeking to commercialize new technologies, later stage companies developing innovative products and services, as well as investors.

    Ms. Kasznica Thornton is committed to Pittsburgh's economic development and is actively involved in a variety of entrepreneurial and community outreach endeavors. Ms. Kasznica Thornton is a founding member of ReefBot, a collaborative partnership between Carnegie Mellon's Robotic Institute, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium to develop autonomous underwater vehicles for the purpose of oceanographic exploration and coral reef conversation. She also served as counsel to BeatBots LLC, an international start-up robotics/toy company. She currently serves on the boards of the Thrill Mill, MIT Enterprise Forum, and the Yale Club of Pittsburgh.

    Prior to joining Schnader, Ms. Kasznica Thornton served as Executive Director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Innovation Practice Institute. She currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the law school, co-teaching the course, Law & Entrepreneurship.


    • Rutgers University School of Law - Camden, J.D., 2006
    • Yale University, B.A., Political Science, 2003

    Court Admissions

    • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 2006


    • Honorable Thomas M. Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

    Professional Affiliations

    • Thrill Mill, Board Member
    • MIT Enterprise Forum, Board Member
    • Yale Club of Pittsburgh, Board Member

    Other Distinctions

    • Recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times Fast Tracker Award, 2013
    • Recipient of Pittsburgh's Forty under Forty, 2012