Professor of Legal Studies Thomas McClure has been appointed by the President of the American Bar Association (ABA) as chair of the Paralegals Approval Commission for a one-year term.

Members of the commission conduct site visits to colleges and universities across the nation seeking ABA approval or re-approval of paralegal education programs. As chair, McClure will oversee the commission and act as a liaison to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee recommends approval or re-approval of paralegal programs to the ABA House of Delegates based on the final report of the Approval Commission.

“I am very honored to receive this appointment,” said McClure, an attorney who serves as Illinois State University’s director of the Legal Studies Program. “It gives me an opportunity to look at other programs to see if Illinois State is performing efficiently and effectively.”

Site visits generally last two to three days, and members of the commission will spend upwards of 30 hours planning for the visit, and at least 10 additional hours preparing a final report. During each visit, commission members meet with students currently enrolled in the paralegal program, as well as with those who have graduated from the program. Additionally, they review the program’s curriculum to make sure it meets certain requirements.

“Professor McClure’s appointment as the chair of ABA Paralegal Approval Commission speaks for the depth of his knowledge and experiences of legal studies education,” said Department of Politics and Government Chair T.Y. Wang. “We are sure the Approval Commission will strive to much greater achievements under his leadership. The department is very proud of him.”

This will be McClure’s third term volunteering on the commission. Illinois State University received their first ABA approval for the Legal Studies program in 2010 under the direction of McClure, and was recently reapproved for a second seven-year term.