Due to the extreme generosity of many donors, the Trial Lawyers College has given thousands of scholarships to deserving students over the years. We treat the TLC Scholarship Fund as a 'Pay It Forward' program, hoping that donors who are able to 'Pay it Forward' to ensure another student can learn from TLC, and when that student is able, they will 'Pay it Forward' to another student in need, and on and on. It is a special honor for a donor to enable a fellow trial lawyer to experience the magic of TLC, and an added bonus to hope that eventually that gift will be passed along yet again.

We are privileged to announce and remind folks of our special Scholarship Funds, in memoria or simply in tribute. Thank you for your ongoing generosity.



Kathie St. Clair Tribute Fund


Kathie St. Clair served as a psychodramatist for the Trial Lawyers College for 17 years from 1999-2016, when she retired to spend more time with her partner Buddy and their large extended family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For 17 years, Kathie worked with thousands of trial lawyers at the Thunderhead Ranch and at regional seminar venues across the country. She touched our lives with her keen sense of humor, her deep compassion for people, and her ability to help us grow into wise, more thoughtful, and healthier human beings. Kathie passed on October 8, 2020. Her daughter and one of TLC's psychodramatists, Jody Anderson, has asked that all gifts in her memory be dedicated to scholarships for Public Defenders attending TLC programs.




Don Clarkson, Tribute Fund

TLC's Retired Psychodramatist
Served as a TLC Psychodramatist from 1994 to 2018


Don Clarkson resides in Cheltenham, MD, just outside of Washington DC with his wife of 40+ years, Pearl. Don was one of the original Psychodramatists at that first month-long College in 1994. Over the following 23 years, Don provided steady guidance for the College as he worked with thousands of trial lawyers on the Thunderhead Ranch, at Regional Seminars, at the Death Penalty Seminar (now Criminal Defense Seminar), and countless Local Working Groups and individual case-based sessions. He was, and remains our “north star”. We miss him but wish him all the happiness as he and Pearl enjoy these valuable years in retirement together.



Dax Cowart, Memorial Fund

Trial Lawyer in Corpus Cristi, Texas
December 16, 1947 – April 24, 2019


Dax Cowart graduated from TLC with the Class of '95. He joined the faculty team shortly after and served with the college until his passing on April 28, 2019. While serving on TLC faculty in 2001, he met his wife, Samantha Berryessa, and over the years they inspired hundreds of TLC students on the Ranch as Dax taught trial skills, often shared with students his speech by General Patton, and lived a life that reflected pure love. At the age of 25, after serving in the Vietnam war as a pilot, Dax was severely burned in a natural gas pipeline explosion in Texas. His father was killed in that explosion and Dax, defying all odds and confronting terrible injuries and consequent cancers, lived another 46 years not wasting one minute of any day. He was an inspirational husband, trial lawyer, instructor, and Patient Right's Advocate. Over the years, Dax and his wife Samantha enjoyed sailing with friends in Texas and farming avocados on their ranch in California. With Sam's never-ending support over his lifetime, Dax wrote books, poetry, participated in film documentaries, and never turned down a person seeking advice and counsel on a case, on a relationship, or on living a life filled with purpose.

Scholarships donated in his name will be made available to trial lawyers with disabilities and/or veterans. At his request, available funds can be applied to TLC tuition costs, as well as travel or lodging expenses to and at TLC courses. He will be missed but will be held in our hearts forever.  



Felipe Plascencia, Memorial Fund

Los Angeles DUI Trial Attorney 
December 13, 1965 - February 21, 2019 


Felipe, a graduate of the September Class of 2012, founded his well-known criminal defense and DUI law practice in Southern California after serving for years as a public defender, well-known for his advocacy for the rights of all his clients. Active with TLC since attending his first program in 2005, Felipe was a diligent criminal defense trial lawyer who never shirked from a difficult case or client, but rather in all his actions he reflected his deep belief that all human beings deserve compassion, kindness, and the opportunity to seek justice. Before his time, Felipe died in a small plane accident. He is remembered by his TLC family for his laughs, his jokes and good humor, and his unwavering fight for justice for his clients in Los Angeles.

Scholarship funds donated in his name will be available to criminal defense trial lawyers and public defenders. 



Jeff Adachi, Memorial Fund

San Francisco Public Defender
August 29, 1959 – February 22, 2019


Jeff Adachi was a firm believer in the power of the TLC methods and the value they have in representing the forgotten and damned. A renowned advocate for the accused and an outspoken watchdog on police misconduct, Jeff was the Director for the San Francisco Federal Public Defenders Office and ensured that the public defenders in his office received TLC training. Through and with them, Jeff was an ardent supporter for progressive policy reforms, with a special focus on those that would reduce recidivism and that would protect undocumented and unrepresented children. Several of those privileged to be inspired by and those who worked for Jeff established this fund when Jeff died much before his time of a heart attack on Feb 22, 2019. While not a TLC graduate, he believed in and supported the TLC methods and training, and his fight for justice and his inspiration to public defenders nationwide is a great loss.