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The Beginning of the National Firm

Before Frank Ginn died in 1938, he had designated by written instrument (the standard practice today as well) Thomas H. Jones as his successor. Jones had been an outstanding football quarterback at Ohio State while simultaneously maintaining an academic record which saw his election to Phi Beta Kappa. Immensely popular with the clients of the Firm and its lawyers, Jones, like Ginn, had their admiration and respect. He continued the strong leadership traditions that Frank Ginn had established and gave the institution the warmth of his personality during a very turbulent time.

Recognizing the public significance of Ginn's death, Jones engineered a merger (somewhat unusual in those days) of what had become a corporate law-focused Tolles, Hogsett & Ginn, with a well known litigation-focused firm – Day, Young, Veach & LeFever. The leader of the latter firm, Luther Day (whose father had been a justice on the United States Supreme Court), was later described in a federal district court opinion as "possibly the greatest trial lawyer in Ohio's history." The resulting combined Firm, which was named Jones, Day, Cockley & Reavis, opened for business on January 1, 1939.

The advent of World War II confronted Jones Day with a tremendous drain on Firm manpower, as its lawyers were recruited for a wide variety of military and government positions while the demand for the Firm's services continued at a record pace. The Firm was determined to preserve the positions of those who had left to serve while still accomplishing the task of serving the Firm's clients, and it did so by adopting a policy of hiring no new lawyers for the duration of the war, instead recruiting wartime help from law school faculties. In 1948, Tom Jones' tenure was tragically cut short by a recurring heart ailment. The Cleveland Plain Dealer mourned his passing in a lead editorial stating: "Thomas Hoyt Jones was a splendid citizen, a brilliant lawyer, a good businessman, and above all, a fine friend. His passing leaves a void in the community." It also left a void in the Firm, which Jones had provided for by designating as his successor John W. ("Jack") Reavis.

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