The Trinity Legal Clinics offer Trinity students a unique opportunity to apply their classroom education to helping actual clients before they have completed their J.D. Each clinic is supervised by a licensed attorney and is designed to immerse students in the world of law practice while providing much needed services to the community. Practicing law under the guidance of an experienced attorney in a service setting not only equips them with practical skills, but also instills a life-long commitment to serving others. Students gain hands-on experience in a wide spectrum of practice areas including mediating for peaceful resolution of disputes, assisting clients in gaining access to public benefits, filing motions in family court, and resolving criminal issues such as outstanding warrants and prior convictions.
Trinity Law Clinic
at the Orange County Rescue Mission
Trinity’s first legal clinic, Trinity Law Clinic started in summer 2009 as a partnership with the Orange County Rescue Mission and joins in the purpose of the Mission “to minster the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last, and the lost.” Located on the campus of the Village of Hope, this clinic provides services to the residents of the Mission’s multiple programs around Southern California. Under the supervision of an attorney, law students interview clients and work with the supervising attorney to problem solve. Students address many of the biggest legal issues faced by the homeless including family law, criminal law, and debt issues. The clinic includes instruction on the provision of legal services, as well as hands-on training in interviewing clients, assessing legal needs, and providing answers to difficult legal issues.
Trinity Mobile Legal Clinic
Furthering Trinity’s partnership with the Orange County Rescue Mission, the Mobile Legal Clinic opened its doors during the spring 2012 semester. This “law office on wheels” runs in conjunction with other mobile services coordinated by the Mission: the Mobile Medical Clinic and the Chili Van. Each week law students, under the direction of a supervising attorney, work with low-income and homeless residents of Orange County in the parking lot of the OC Hall of Administration. Students interview clients and provide information to them, help complete court or administrative paperwork, assist clients in contacting government agencies and preparing for court hearings. Students address many of the biggest legal issues faced by the homeless including family law, criminal law, and debt issues. Through this ministry, TLS students are able to provide pro-bono legal services to members of society who might not otherwise have access to legal assistance.
Trinity Poverty Law Clinic
at the Christian Legal Aid Office
In fall 2013, the Trinity Poverty Law Clinic was opened to provide Trinity students with a formalized practical legal experience while serving the clients of the Christian Legal Aid Office (CLAO). CLAO, located at Trinity Law School, is dedicated to providing legal services to the poor and serving the local church by providing free and low-cost legal assistance to those unable to afford an attorney. This is accomplished through the use of volunteer attorneys and non-attorneys. Students in this clinic, under the direction of a supervising attorney, conduct intake interviews over the phone and in-person. They assist clients by facilitating access to CLAO in-house counsel or connecting them with a volunteer attorney for representation. Students help clients complete court or administrative paperwork, contact government agencies, and prepare for court hearings. Students have the opportunity to accompany attorneys to client meetings and court hearings. The clinic includes instruction on the provision of legal services, as well as hands-on training in interviewing clients, assessing legal needs, and providing answers to difficult legal issues.
Trinity Bankruptcy Clinic
Located on the campus of Trinity Law School, the Trinity Bankruptcy Clinic is a pro bono legal clinic serving California residents in their Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Students are supervised by a practicing bankruptcy attorney as they assist clients in problem solving and preparing cases for filing in pro se. Clients are referred to this clinic by various agencies throughout Orange County.
Trinity Mediation Clinic
The Trinity Mediation Clinic (TMC) operates in conjunction with the Orange County Superior Court and Orange County Human Relations. TMC is designed to give students hands-on experience providing mediation services to the disputants and operates under the direction of Ryul Kim, a professor, mediator and licensed attorney. As mediators, the students act as third party neutrals to help the litigants facilitate a resolution of their pending lawsuits. This clinic equips students who may be interested in entering the field of alternative dispute resolution or those who would like to integrate peacemaking principles into their own legal practice.
Trinity Religious Liberty Clinic
at the Pacific Justice Institute
The Trinity Religious Liberty Clinic (TRLC) is a partnership with the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), and operates on the campus of Trinity Law School. PJI is a non-profit providing pro bono legal services to churches and individuals primarily in cases involving the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. This writing-intensive clinic is designed to give students the unique opportunity to hone legal writing skills while under the supervision of an attorney specializing in constitutional law. Students will be exposed to writing various trial- and appellate-level documents including complaints and amicus briefs for current cases, and students’ research and writing will directly contribute important religious freedom matters.
Trinity is multifaceted in its approach to preparing students for a future legal vocation, from the classroom to the co-curricular.
- Peter, current student