Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) presented a 2021 Life-Saver Award to Professor Tom McClure at the annual holiday luncheon for the McLean County Bar Association (MCBA). Each year, the PSLS Bloomington office presents the award to outstanding volunteers who have provided legal services to indigent clients.

(Left to right) Professor Tom McClure and Adrian Barr, PSLS Managing Attorney

McClure has been a volunteer pro bono attorney for PSLS since 2009. He first worked in the Lawyer in the Courtroom program to give advice to indigent clients who were being evicted from their homes. He then moved to family law cases where he represented clients who were involved in the dissolution of marriage proceedings.

In 2020, he entered into an agreement with PSLS to form an expungement clinic to provide hands-on legal experience for legal studies students, who assist low-income individuals seeking to expunge and seal old criminal records. Students, working under McClure’s supervision, analyze criminal records and prepare requests for relief, notices, and orders for expungement and record-sealing cases. 

During his presentation of the award, PSLS managing attorney Adrian Barr noted that since the clinic has been in operation, McClure has involved 51 students who assisted 40 clients in 45 cases. Not only did McClure provide help to Prairie State clients, but he also helped the next generation of paralegals and attorneys appreciate the value of pro bono work.