The Clatterbuck family moved to Illinois the summer Thomas was born over 30 years
ago. He and they lived in Central Illinois ever since. He attended public school in Jacksonville,
before attending state university at the University of Illinois (both Urbana-Champaign and
Springfield). He graduated (with honors) in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in history from UIS.
After graduating, Thomas joined the Springfield startup scene centered in the Innovate
Springfield incubator. While working on his own technology startup, Thomas joined with other
entrepreneurs in the incubator to start an independent media company. Springfield Daily would
provide watchdog coverage in Springfield and the surrounding area for the next three years.
Concurrently Thomas also worked in the Sangamon County Circuit Clerk’s office. As the
first point of contact with the office, Thomas helped litigants without lawyers get the legal
information they needed to navigate the court system. Thomas saw first-hand the challenges
such citizens face when trying to figure out the legal system without help while also dealing with
whatever personal crisis brought them in. Thomas also joined the office union and still proudly
carries his LIUNA card.
The Covid shutdown made in-person reporting impossible, ending Thomas’ media
company. Thomas was free to leave the courthouse and enter the University of Illinois College
of Law in Urbana-Champaign. While in law school students are encouraged to get hands-on
experience, and Thomas’ first legal job was at the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid clinic in
Champaign, followed by work for both the Illinois Senate Republican caucus and
Congresswoman Mary Miller’s district office in Mahomet.
Thomas currently lives in Champaign where he is completing his final year of law school.