Trinity Hall prides itself on its legal tradition. It was founded in 1350 by William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, for the study of law, and law in its most important public and political manifestations, since the business of the ecclesiastical courts (canon law) was extensive, and knowledge of Roman (civil) law was essential for members of the civil and diplomatic services of the Crown.
The College is one of the premier law–teaching institutions in the United Kingdom, and its Fellows and students have aspired to excellence in the law for over 650 years. Many of its alumni have gone on to very distinguished legal careers. These include prominent practitioners, famous Judges (including several Law Lords) and leading academic lawyers. Sir John Thomas, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from October 2013, also studied at Trinity Hall.
Today, Trinity Hall remains committed to academic excellence in the study of law in an age when, although the canon and the civil may seem remote, law is no less important; social and political theorists have never doubted the centrality of law as an institution. The belief in the study of law at university, as an academic subject, continues Bateman’s concern with business; the academic stage of legal education is but the first, and while most Trinity Hall Law graduates do go into the legal profession, a Law degree is widely regarded as a highly desirable qualification for a great variety of occupations.
The College provides generous bursaries to support students who enter the legal profession and postgraduate study, as well as prizes for academic excellence in Law whilst at Trinity Hall. There is also a very active student Law Society, which arranges events with eminent speakers, an annual moot and a range of social events.