J.D., Western State College of Law
B.A., California State University, Long Beach
Kenneth McDonald has always had two great passions as a child, baseball and the law. After realizing that his true gifts were in law, he went to law school.
During his law school days, Professor McDonald was hired by then Assistant District Attorney of Los Angeles County, Johnnie L. Cochran (O.J. Simpson fame) to work full-time in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Hardcore Gang Unit, where he was one of the first law clerks hired in the newly formed unit. After passing the California Bar Exam, Professor McDonald was led to work in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, where he had a mission to represent the indigent and needy members of our society.
Professor McDonald has worked for over thirty three years in the Public Defender’s Office rising to the level of Senior Trial Attorney, handling the most complex Capital Cases. He also had another great passion, which was to influence the young. He therefore is fulfilling that passion by teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Death Penalty at Trinity Law School and formerly Simon Greenleaf Law Schools. He has taught for over 23 years, receiving Professor of the Year Award, and currently assists Trinity’s Criminal Law Association as their faculty advisor. He often helps the students in their preparation for Moot Court in the statewide and national competitions.
Professor McDonald is active in the community. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Bar Foundation and works with Project Shortstop, a nonprofit community-based education and criminal diversion program for at-risk juveniles in the greater Long Beach area and surrounding communities. He teaches students how to pass the California Bar Exam for a Bar Review Program, called “Barwinners.” He frequently speaks to school children in the greater Long Beach area, and can be found from time to time leading groups of students from Trinity or public schools on tours of the new Long Beach Courthouse, where he speaks to the students about his role as a Public Defender.
Professor McDonald is married and has two beautiful daughters. He attends and serves at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest.