- Bicentennial Medal (2019)
- Wells Senior Recognition Award (1994)
James Trilling graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1994 with a B.A. in political science and economics and a certificate from the Liberal Arts and Management Program.
He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the HARVARD LAW REVIEW (1996-1998), and has clerked for the Honorable David F. Hamilton of the US District Court for southern Indiana. He is now an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Advertising Practices.
He is president of the board of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the IU Alumni Association and a member of the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Board.