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Date News Item
10/21/2016 Bloomington Managing Attorney Adrian Barr Receives Prestigious Fellowship

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is proud to announce that Adrian G. Barr, Managing Attorney of Prairie State’s Bloomington office, is a recipient of a 2016 Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship. These fellowships will provide loan repayment assistance to 50 outstanding recent law school graduates who have chosen to pursue careers in legal aid or public interest law at a Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF)-funded organization or at a qualifying legal organization serving other parts of Illinois. First awarded in 2007, the CBF awards five annual fellowships to individual legal aid or public interest law attorneys.

Adrian’s strong commitment to making our justice system more fair and efficient for all has been the hallmark of his 13-year legal career. Upon his graduation from the University of Illinois College of Law, he joined Prairie State as a staff attorney where he handled landlord-tenant, public benefits, and disability cases. After five years in that role and facing financial pressure from his student loans, Adrian shifted to private practice for three years. During his time at a law firm in Peoria, he handled several pro bono cases for Prairie State clients and realized legal aid would be his path long-term. He returned to Prairie State’s Bloomington location as Managing Attorney in 2011.

In his role as Managing Attorney, Adrian supervises the delivery of civil legal services to low-income people and seniors in McLean, Livingston, and Eastern Woodford Counties. Under his leadership, Prairie State has implemented many innovations to expand access to justice, including playing an important role in the launch of an early Illinois JusticeCorps collaboration in McLean County with the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court and The Chicago Bar Foundation. Over the past three years, Adrian has focused his efforts on improving access to justice for victims of domestic violence. Thanks to Adrian’s work, a collaboration with court staff, law enforcement, legal aid, and social services has formed in order to resolve issues faced by victims of domestic violence. Even though it is fairly new, the collaborative has already resulted in improved and more comprehensive services to domestic violence victims.

Adrian also serves on the board of directors of The Immigration Project, a non-profit organization in Bloomington providing immigrants with affordable immigration legal services. He serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice Name Change Standardized Forms Subcommittee, and chaired it in 2015. In addition, he is a member of the PILI Eleventh Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and is active in the McLean County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee.

Adrian joins several other Prairie State attorneys in receiving this fellowship, including Director of Volunteer Services Marisa Wiesman in 2015; Rock Island Staff Attorney Michelle Fitzsimmons in 2014; and St. Charles Staff Attorney Kathleen Finn in 2011. More information about the fellowship can be found at

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