Looking at the list of experiences that Trevor Carolan had as a Wartburg student, it’s easy to see how his love of law, music and service took root and have continued to grow, intertwined. As a Wartburg student studying political science, he served the student body as recorder, vice president, and then president his senior year. He participated in Service Trips and spent a May Term on Capitol Hill with his adviser and political science classmates. Carolan also was a four-year member of the Wartburg Choir and grew as an organist, accompanying the choir on many of the great pipe organs of Europe his senior year.
After graduating from Wartburg in 2011, Carolan studied at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, and his leadership and service didn’t take a break. He was senior editor of the Journal of Law & Public Policy, a class representative for student government, and a representative on the Faculty Curriculum Committee. He received a Dean’s Award in Immigration Law and Immigration Clinic and was named Family Law Student of the Year. Even in law school, Carolan found time for music: he was organist for the St. Thomas More Chapel Choir and for several years was the bass section leader in the 100-member Cathedral Choir at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. As a member of the semi-professional Schola Cantorum, he twice performed in Europe, singing for His Holiness Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
After earning his juris doctorate in 2014, he became a judicial law clerk in Minneapolis. In 2018, he became a federal judicial law clerk in Phoenix for a federal district court judge with one of the highest civil case loads in the country. In his current role, he researches issues and drafts court orders in all areas of federal civil and criminal litigation. His faith and love of music find expression in a part-time position as associate director of music and organist at All Saints’ Episcopal Church & Day School. At All Saints’, he assists in overseeing and directing the largest Episcopal Church music program in the Desert Southwest and is principal organist for all services. In 2018, Carolan was named an E. Power Biggs Fellow by the Organ Historical Society. And Europe beckons again; this July, Carolan will serve as organist-in-residence at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.
In addition to his law career and passion for music, Carolan volunteers with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Court Works Program, where he mentors youth in the federal legal process and helps students prepare for moot court competition. He also teaches financial literacy to students through the national C.A.R.E. organization. Through immigration clinics, he assists children and young adults in completing their legal paperwork. He also has served his alma mater as a member of the Wartburg College Alumni Board from 2014 to 2018.
Carolan is married to Dr. Alexandra (Ciota) Carolan ’13. They welcomed their first child, and future member of the Wartburg class of 2042, Juliana Maria, in April.