Thompson graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, receiving his Bachelor of Laws in 1922.
He practiced law in Abingdon, Virginia, from 1922-1957. He served as deputy clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, from 1928-1938. He was the Commonwealth"s Attorney for Washington County, Virginia from 1939–1947, and town attorney for Abingdon from 1940-1957.
The United States Senate confirmed the nomination on August 28, 1957.
Thompson acted as chief judge, from 1958-1960. He was succeeded on the bench by Thomas J. Michie.
Board of Education. Thompson ordered the integration of the public schools in Floyd County, Virginia and Galax, Virginia in 1959 and Pulaski County, Virginia in 1960, noting that more than five years had passed since the Brown decision.