University of Iowa
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John Trippi ( Class of 2014)

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Undergraduate school and major: University of Notre Dame, Political Science & Economics

Extra-curricular or co-curricular activities in which you were involved during law school:

Law Review student writer, JGRJ editor, Stephenson Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, Phi Alpha Delta, Research Assistant to Prof. Falkoff, First Year at Iowa leader, Big Brother/ Big Sister mentor, Lexis Nexis student representative

What did you come to law school to become:

When I started law school, I was intent on fighting big courtroom battles as a corporate litigator.

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

Attending oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in spring of 2014 as part of Professor Pettys' Supreme Court Seminar.

Current employer:

St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office


Belleville, IL (St. Louis suburbs)

Job title:

Assistant State's Attorney, Violent Crimes Unit

What is your pinnacle career goal:

State's Attorney, U.S. Attorney, or Judge

Description of what you do:

As an Assistant State's Attorney, I prosecute criminal felonies involving great bodily harm or death from investigation and charging phases through trial and post-conviction. My jurisdiction includes East St. Louis, Illinois, which has struggled with violent crime and poverty for decades, and my caseload consists mostly of shootings, armed robberies, and homicides.

At the beginning of a case, I work with investigators reviewing search warrants and steering investigations. Once an investigation is complete, I evaluate the evidence, make charging decisions, and present the case to a grand jury for indictment. Next, I defend against any motions to suppress or dismiss. I negotiate with defense attorneys when fair resolutions are possible by guilty plea. Absent an agreed-upon resolution, I prepare a case for trial and argue my case to a jury. Finally, I present sentencing arguments and defend convictions against post-conviction petitions.

Your favorite part of your job:

My favorite part of being a prosecutor is working with detectives and investigators in the early phases of a criminal case. Mistakes made at the outset are difficult to overcome, so I enjoy working with law enforcement officers to build the strongest case possible and ensure that an investigation proceeds properly and lawfully. I also love working for an elected State's Attorney who understands that prosecutors should strive for justice, not simply keeping score.

Your interests outside of work:

Traveling with my wife (we've visited volcanoes on three different continents in the last year!); college football, St. Louis sports, my dogs, and DIY projects.