Trinity Law School recognizes the importance of providing students with opportunities to put their education and faith into action. The Trinity Legal Clinics offer students a unique opportunity to apply their classroom education to helping actual clients before they have completed law school. Each clinic is supervised by an attorney faculty member and is designed to immerse students in the world of law practice while providing much needed service to the community. Practicing law under the guidance of an experienced attorney in a service setting not only equips students with practical skills, but also instills a life-long commitment to serving others.
Participation in the clinical programs is reserved for students in the Juris Doctor degree program only.
Trinity Law School has long and valued relationships with the Pacific Justice Institute and the Orange County Rescue Mission. Additionally, Trinity runs a mediation clinic where students have the opportunity to gain skills in alternative dispute resolution and become certified court mediators prior to completing law school. Trinity Law School is proud to offer these legal clinics and is excited about the opportunities they provide for students.
Pacific Justice Institute
The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is a nonprofit legal defense organization that specializes in defending religious freedom. Trinity Law School hosts one of PJI’s Southern California offices on its campus. Trinity students have the rare opportunity to participate in cutting edge constitutional law litigation by serving as interns for PJI. The students are able to support ongoing cases that address some of the most significant issues in religious liberty today.
Orange County Rescue Mission
Trinity Law School operates a legal clinic at the Orange County Rescue Mission where students provide legal services for the residents under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Trinity also operates the Mobile Legal Clinic in partnership with the Orange County Rescue Mission. The Mobile Legal Clinic serves the transient community of Orange County. Through these clinical programs, students address many of the biggest legal issues faced by the homeless. The programs include classroom instruction on the provision of legal services, as well as hands-on training on client interviews, assessing legal needs, and providing answers to difficult legal issues.
The Trinity Law School Mediation Clinic operates in conjunction with the Orange County Superior Court and Waymakers Orange County, a nonprofit organization that assists in resolving family and community conflicts. Students receive hands-on experience providing mediation services in the courts and in private settings. The clinic equips students interested in entering the field of alternative dispute resolution or those desiring to incorporate peacemaking principles and skills into their legal practice.
The Center for Human Rights
The Center for Human Rights is a research, education and advocacy center for the promotion and protection of international human rights. The Center provides classroom instruction, career development, and opportunities to participate in research, scholarship, lectures, conferences, and seminars. Along with several human rights courses at Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, the Center sponsors international courses in Europe and Cambodia. The Center has access to the Trinity Law School’s robust collection of human rights books, periodicals, and international documents. The Center's mission is to defend the Christian basis for human rights and make justice the prevailing condition in our world.
Summer Human Rights Institute - Europe
Trinity’s annual Summer Human Rights Program is an advanced course in international and comparative human rights law, as well as an introduction to international criminal law and humanitarian law.
The program begins with one week in The Hague, Netherlands, a major U.N. host city and the home of the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. While there, students visit the courts, hear from judges, lawyers, and guest lecturers, and learn foundational principles of international human rights law, humanitarian law, and criminal law. Students then travel to Strasbourg, France, seat of the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament. While there, students participate in the annual summer session at L’Institut International des Droits de l’Homme (International Institute of Human Rights), which was founded in 1969 to teach lawyers, judges, law professors, students, and government officials the importance of international human rights. Students learn about the international and regional mechanisms established to address human rights abuses, such as religious persecution, racial discrimination, slavery, and torture. As a participant, students spend four weeks examining contemporary issues in international human rights law, humanitarian law, and criminal law, with over 200 students from 100 countries. Trinity students also engage in discussion of those issues from a Christian perspective with Trinity professors and guest speakers.
Students may earn 4 to 6 units of credit upon completion. Students may attend the program a second time at the discretion of the Director; however, priority is given to first-time attendees.
Winter Human Rights Program - Southeast Asia
Trinity's annual Winter Human Rights Program is an experiential course focused on the international law of human trafficking, as well as an introduction to the history and legal response to the Cambodian genocide.
Students at Trinity Law School also have the opportunity to participate in a two week study abroad program in Southeast Asia. The program begins in Siem Reap, Cambodia and ends in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's Capital City. Students meet with nongovernmental organizations, including Agape International Mission (AIM), to experience the work being done to actively fight sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. Students also visit the Extraordinary Chamber of the Cambodian Court (ECCC) where members of the Khmer Rouge were convicted of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the Geneva Convention during the Cambodian genocide. Students will meet with international prosecutors and defense attorneys who will discuss the cases tried at this international tribunal. Students also visit the Tuoi Sleng genocide museum and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek.
Trinity law students have the opportunity to participate in other clinical programs, internships, clerkships, and fellowships. During their legal education, our students have worked for judges, lawyers, government agencies, legislators, Christian legal organizations, corporations and nonprofits. Trinity encourages this type of experience and works with students to help them find opportunities that best serve their interests.