Faculty & Staff




Lecturer in Law


JD, Catholic University of America-Columbus School of Law, 2023
BA, Oregon State University, 2005


Trista N. Speer is a Deputy Attorney General in the Public Safety Division of the State of Hawaii’s Department of the Attorney General. Her current area of practice involves serving as an attorney advisor for the Department of Public Safety (DPS), as well as representing DPS and the State of Hawaii in various litigation matters.

Prior to joining Hawaii’s Department of the Attorney General, Professor Speer spent most of her career as a Deputy District Attorney (DDA) for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s (MCDA) office in Portland, Oregon.  As a career prosecutor, Professor Speer served as a DDA handling  major crimes, including violent felonies and sex abuse crimes involving both adult and minor victims.  She also served as a prosecutor on MCDA’s Human Trafficking Team (HTT). Prior to her focus on HTT and major crimes, Professor Speer gained expertise in juvenile delinquency and child welfare cases from serving for four years as a prosecutor in MCDA’s Juvenile Unit. Her extensive experience working with the most vulnerable juvenile population gives her unique insight and perspective into the grooming processes adults and traffickers engage in with their minor victims.

Prior to joining MCDA, Professor Speer worked at a large law firm in Portland, Oregon in their complex commercial litigation group, focusing on areas such as eminent domain, construction defect, and mortgage-backed securities fraud. She also served as a DDA in Umatilla County, Oregon where she prosecuted hundreds of cases including those involving property and drug offenses, as well as domestic violence. 

With more than a decade of legal experience, focusing primarily in criminal and juvenile law, Professor Speer is regularly asked to provide trainings to community members, attorneys, and law enforcement officers on a wide-range of topics including courtroom skills, investigation practices, child abuse, and human trafficking.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Professor Speer recently moved with her family to Honolulu to return to her husband’s hometown and raise their daughter. During her freetime, she enjoys the beach, water sports, snow skiing, and traveling.

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