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Thomas E. McClure

Committee Chair (2021-2024)


Tom McClure is the Director of Legal Studies in the Department of Politics and Government and Professor at Illinois State University. Prior to entering academia, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Illinois Appellate Court and was engaged in private practice for 28 years. Tom is a co-author of Fundamentals of Criminal Practice for Paralegals, a paralegal education textbook. He also has written book chapters concerning the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and judicial election funding. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals concerning the effectiveness of court-connected domestic battery diversion, the association between judicial selection and impartiality, and the relationship between judicial impartiality and campaign finance. Tom served on the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals Approval Commission from 2016 until 2021. He has been Chair of the Standing Committee since 2021.


I wanted to serve on the ABA Approval Commission so I could better understand the Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. After becoming a Commissioner and participating in numerous site visits, I learned more about the Guidelines than I had ever expected and put this knowledge into use in my school’s program.   I also met many dedicated program directors on my site visits. These legal professionals become program directors to help students.

As the Standing Committee Chair, I plan to work with members of the Committee to promote initiatives that will have a supportive nationwide impact on the paralegal profession.  In developing and furthering these initiatives, I hope to collaborate with the Approval Commission, national paralegal associations, and other ABA standing committees.