The J.D. Program Mission

The Juris Doctor program at Trinity Law School is a rigorous program of legal education that prepares its students, upon graduation, for admission to the bar and for effective, ethical, and responsible participation as  members of the legal profession. 

J.D. Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Juris Doctor program, the graduate shall, at a minimum, include competency in the following:

1. Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law;

2. Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context;

3. Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system; and

4. Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.

Degree Requirements

To graduate with a Juris Doctor degree, students must successfully complete the prescribed program of 90 units of study within 5 years. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above is required for the degree.

Students wishing to complete the program in three years should maintain a unit load of 15 units per semester. Students wishing to complete the program on a part-time basis should maintain a unit load of 12 units. Students may be able to reduce their unit load by enrolling in summer session courses.  Students are required to take a minimum of 9 units each semester.

Students wishing to enroll in more than 16 units or less than 9 units in any given semester must submit a petition to the Registrar’s Office for approval.

Academic Year

The academic calendar consists of fifteen-week semesters each fall and spring with the option of taking additional courses during the summer session. Courses are offered throughout the day and evening, as well as on Saturdays to facilitate full and part-time programs of study. Please see the calendar in this catalog or at tls.edu for semester start and end dates, registration deadlines, and holidays.

Saturday Classes

Trinity Law School is one of the few law schools to offer classes on Saturdays. Qualified students have the option to earn their entire JD degree by attending class on Saturdays only. Incoming students with an LSAT of 145 or higher will be permitted to take up to nine units of class time in a single day. This allows these qualifying students to take all the required first semester classes on Saturday. In later semesters, those students with a cumulative GPA of 2.66 or higher can continue to take up to nine units of class time in a single day, and thus can continue to complete the program by taking classes only on Saturdays.

Saturday classes are open to all students. The LSAT and GPA requirements noted above only apply to students taking nine units on Saturdays.

Please be advised that should you need to retake a course, you must retake it during one of the weekday sessions as it will not be re-offered on Saturday.

Accreditation

Trinity Law School is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. Trinity Law School is a school of Trinity International University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Trinity Law School’s degree-granting authority is in connection with its students qualifying to take the California Bar Examination and obtain admission to the practice of law in California based on accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California.

Admission to Practice Law in California

Accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California, the law program fulfills the requirements pertaining to admission to the practice of law in the State of California. Graduates are qualified to take the California Bar Examination.

Admission to Practice Law Outside of California

Applicants intending to practice law in states other than California are encouraged to investigate the educational requirements, as well as the rules and regulations, governing admission to practice in those jurisdictions. Study at, or graduation from, this law school may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be admitted to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admission to practice law outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.

Out of State Students

Students coming to Trinity Law School from out-of-state should make sure that they have secured suitable housing and transportation to ensure that these issues do not become an impediment to academic success. Trinity does not provide on-campus housing. However, there are several apartment complexes with one, two, or three-bedroom units located near campus offering a range of rental rates, leasing and amenities options.

Out of state applicants should contact the Admissions office for information on housing and essential services.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities requiring special arrangements will be accommodated upon petition, with supporting documentation of the disability and upon approval of the Registrar. Special accommodations will be carefully tailored to meet the documented need in accordance with the Trinity Law School disability policy. An informational packet detailing the services available for students with disabilities can be obtained from the Records Office.

Students with a First Degree in Law from a Foreign School

Trinity Law School accepts students who have earned a first degree in law at a foreign institution who wish to complete a year of legal education at a California Bar Accredited law school in areas of law prescribed by the Committee of Bar Examiners to become eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam.

Students with a first degree in law from a foreign law school will be required to enroll in Professional Responsibility and Ethics and at least three of the following:

LA 541Torts 13
LA 542Torts 23
LA 521Contracts 13
LA 522aContracts 23
LA 531aCriminal Law3
LA 783iCriminal Procedure3
LA 673bCivil Procedure 13
LA 674bCivil Procedure 23
LA 661Property 13
LA 662Property 23
LA 600iConstitutional Law 13
LA 601iConstitutional Law 23
LA 671iEvidence 13
LA 672iEvidence 23
LA 702aBusiness Organizations3
LA 764Community Property2
LA 803Wills, Trusts, and Estates3
LA 822aRemedies3

Students matriculating with a first degree in law from a foreign law school may matriculate in either the fall or spring semester, with the exception of students matriculating from Handong International Law School who may matriculate in the summer session as well.  Students matriculating with a first degree in law from a foreign school must earn a TOEFL score of 100 or higher to be eligible for admission to Trinity Law School.

All students with a first degree in law from foreign law schools will be held to the same grading scale as all Trinity Law School students. Their grades will not be included in the calculation of the curve for any courses taken at Trinity Law School. However, they will receive a grade, which shows how they compared with the other students in the course.   Any course in which the earned grade is below C- will not count toward the 20 unit requirement to be certified by Trinity Law School to sit for the California Bar Examination.   Students with a first degree in law from a foreign school are held to the same expectations of academic honesty and integrity in their work.

Student Handbook

Academic policies and standards in addition to those in this catalog are contained in the Student Handbook, which is issued to each student at the beginning of every academic year. In case of any conflict, the standards contained in the catalog are controlling. Students are responsible for knowing and complying with the policies and standards for the law school and the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California, a publication of the State Bar of California.

Students are required to take classes in an order that will maximize their learning potential. Students must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in all classes in each category before they can take classes in the subsequent category.

Category 1 Classes

  • Legal Research and Writing 1 & 2

All students are required to take Legal Research and Writing 1 (3 units) during their first semester and Legal Research and Writing II (3 units) during their second semester. Students must complete or be concurrently enrolled in the legal writing program before completing the rest of the law school curriculum. Students who withdraw or are dropped from a Legal Research and Writing class will not be permitted to enroll in or continue other classes.

Category 2 Classes

  • Contracts
  • Torts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure

Category 3 Classes

  • Legal Institutions and Values
  • Business Organizations
  • Civil Procedure
  • Property

Category 4 Classes:

  • Professional Responsibility and Ethics
  • Constitutional Law Evidence
  • Community Property
  • Jurisprudence
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates Remedies
  • Legal Research and Writing 3
  • Advanced Legal Synthesis

To avoid class conflicts, students should register for classes in the following order:

  1. Legal Research and Writing 1 & 2
  2. Contracts 1 & 2
  3. Torts 1 & 2
  4. Criminal Law
  5. Criminal Procedure
  6. Legal Institutions and Values
  7. Business Organizations
  8. Civil Procedure 1 & 2
  9. Property 1 & 2
  10. Professional Responsibility and Ethics
  11. Constitutional Law 1 & 2
  12. Evidence 1 & 2
  13. Community Property
  14. Jurisprudence
  15. Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  16. Remedies
  17. Legal Research and Writing 3
  18. Advanced Legal Synthesis 1 & 2

Taking classes in any order other than what is listed above may result in a class conflict which may delay graduation.

Students may take electives upon completion of or concurrent enrollment in 30 units.

Non-classroom Credit

A maximum of nine units of non-classroom credit may be earned toward the 90 semester credits required for graduation.  Non-classroom credits may be earned for internships or independent study as well as participation in moot court, law review and any clinical program.  Of these nine units, a maximum of six units may be from internships.  There is a six-unit maximum for independent study. There is a four-unit maximum for Moot Court and Law Review.  Students cannot take more than three units of internship in any given semester, excluding the summer terms.  Students are not allowed to obtain internship credit for a paid position or for doing work supervised by a close relative.

Required Courses
LA 505aLegal Institutions and Values3
LA 521Contracts 13
LA 522aContracts 23
LA 531aCriminal Law3
LA 541Torts 13
LA 542Torts 23
LA 559Legal Research and Writing 1: Objective Writing3
LA 560bLegal Research and Writing 2: Persuasive Writing3
LA 566aLegal Research and Writing 3: Practical Skills3
LA 600iConstitutional Law 13
LA 601iConstitutional Law 23
LA 613Professional Responsibility and Ethics3
LA 661Property 13
LA 662Property 23
LA 671iEvidence 13
LA 672iEvidence 23
LA 673bCivil Procedure 13
LA 674bCivil Procedure 23
LA 702aBusiness Organizations3
LA 764Community Property2
LA 783iCriminal Procedure3
LA 790dJurisprudence4
LA 803Wills, Trusts, and Estates3
LA 822aRemedies3
LA 998cAdvanced Exam Approaches and Skills 13
LA 998dAdvanced Exam Approaches and Skills 23
Total Hours78
Elective Courses (15 Hours)
LA 523Contract Drafting1-2
LA 523bGovernment Contracts3
LA 543bOpen Development in Cambodia: Human Trafficking and Economic Development3
LA 675aAlternative Dispute Resolution2-3
LA 750Appellate Advocacy3
LA 753Trial Practice3
LA 763Family Law3
LA 870Civil Litigation Skills2
LA 870aCalifornia Civil Procedure and Evidence2
LA 890Advanced Criminal Law and Procedure3
LA 891Juvenile Law2
LA 892cInternational Trade and Investment1
LA 893Securities Regulation2
LA 905bTheory and Law of War3
LA 910The Right to Life and the Law2-3
LA 918aInternational Disputes Resolution3
LA 919International Forum on Human Rights2
LA 920aInternational Institute of Human Rights4
LA 921aReligious Liberties and International Human Rights3
LA 922Public International Law3
LA 923aInternational Criminal Law3
LA 925aImmigration Law2
LA 953aLegal Internship1-6
LA 955Uniform Commercial Code2
LA 957Law Practice Management2-3
LA 959Legal Clinic Practicum1-2
LA 959dNonprofit Clinic1-3
LA 959kTrinity Mobile Legal Clinic1
LA 959mTrinity Poverty Law Clinic2
LA 959oTrinity Religious Liberty Clinic2-3
LA 959rTrinity Bankruptcy Clinic1
LA 960Administrative Law3
LA 961cBankruptcy3
LA 961dConsumer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Survey1
LA 962aIntellectual Property3
LA 962bReal Estate Transactions3
LA 970AIndependent Study/Guided Research1-6
LA 975Environmental Law3
LA 975iInternational Environmental Law3
LA 979Federal Income Tax Law3
LA 980Law and Public Policy2
LA 984Religion and the Law2
LA 984aPolitics, Law, and Religion1
LA 985The Lawyer as Counselor3
LA 989Moot Court1-2
LA 991Law Review1-3
LA 995bbSpecial Topics: Labor Law2
LA 995bcInsurance Law1-3
LA 995blBanking Law2
LA 995ciEmployment Discrimination2
LA 995maMergers and Acquisitions3
LA 995npLaw of Non Profit Organizations3
LA 995pAmerican Tribal Law and Comparative Human Rights3
LA 995roReligious Organizations, Churches, and Foreign Charities2
LA 999dIntelligent Design1
LA 999dpDeath Penalty3

Juris Doctor Flex Track Program Overview

Students who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test or who do not meet the requirements for the regular Juris Doctor program may be considered for admission into the Juris Doctor Flex Track Program.  Students must complete 18 units of study in separate Juris Doctor Flex Track courses specifically designed to pass the First Year Law Students Examination, FYLSX.  At the end of the first year of 18 units of study, a student with a grade point average of 2.67 or higher will have the FYLSX requirement waived.  All other students must sit for and pass the California First Year Law Students Examination to continue in the regular Juris Doctor program at Trinity Law School. 

Students must enroll in and complete Torts 1, Contracts 1, and Criminal Law in the first semester, and Torts 2, Contracts 2, and FYLSX Skills in the second consecutive semester, which are offered in the evenings only. Students who drop a class, receive a failing grade or unauthorized withdrawal in any class during either of the two semesters will be dismissed from the Juris Doctor Flex Track program.

Required Courses
LA 521xContracts 13
LA 522xContracts 23
LA 531xCriminal Law3
LA 541xTorts 13
LA 542xTorts 23
LA 599xFYLSX Skills3
Total Hours18

Final Course Grades

Grading is based upon the relative quality of each student’s response compared with other students in the same class. Grades on individual components in a class may or may not be curved. Final grades will not be an average of grades on individual components. 

For the following classes, grades are distributed according to Table A:

LA 559Legal Research and Writing 1: Objective Writing3
LA 560bLegal Research and Writing 2: Persuasive Writing3
LA 521Contracts 13
LA 522aContracts 23
LA 541Torts 13
LA 542Torts 23
LA 531aCriminal Law3
LA 505aLegal Institutions and Values3
LA 783iCriminal Procedure3

For all other required classes, grades are distributed according to Table B.

Grading tables can be found in Appendix 1.

Grading Curves

In applying the curve, instructors will use the distribution of grades with reference to class size as shown in the tables located in Appendix 1.  Instructors may petition the Dean to deviate from the curve slightly in classes where a strict application of the curve would not properly measure student performance.

Law Student Registration with the Committee of Bar Examiners

All students seeking admission to practice law in California must register with the Committee of Bar Examiners within 90 days from the commencement of their law studies.  Registration must be completed through the State Bar of California website (www.calbar.ca.gov).

Petitions to the Committee of Bar Examiners

All petitions filed with the Committee of Bar Examiners must be verified.  Accordingly, students are requested either to appear before a notary public to have a petition sworn to, or in the alternative, to attach a declaration under penalty of perjury in the following form:

“I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing petition is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.  Executed on this __ day of   , 20__, at __(city)__, __(state)__.

______________________
Signature