At its annual Law Day event, the McLean County Bar Association presented Professor Tom McClure with the 2022 Lincoln Award of Excellence, which is awarded to attorneys recognized within the legal profession for their service to the legal community as well as their contributions to the community. 

Adrian Barr, managing attorney for the Bloomington office of Prairie State Legal Services, the 2020 Lincoln Award of Excellence recipient, gave McClure the award. McClure became a member of the Illinois bar in 1979 and worked as a judicial law clerk to an appellate judge for two years before entering private practice. He was a 50 percent shareholder in the Kankakee County firm of Elliott & McClure P.C.

After practicing law for 28 years, he became a full-time professor at Illinois State University where he has served as the director of legal studies. Under McClure’s leadership, the Department of Politics and Government received ABA-approval for its legal studies program, created a legal studies major, and created an expungement clinic for all students who complete the legal studies program.

McClure currently serves as the chair of the American Bar Association Committee of the American Bar Association. Past recipients of the Lincoln Excellence Award include notable Illinois State University alumni: Judges James Knecht, John Freese, Davis Butler, and Robert Freitag.