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Marianna Jackson Clay

university of kentucky college of law professor marianna jackson clay

Visiting Professor of Law

42 Law Building

(859) 257-8352


Professor Clay is a native Kentuckian. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and University of Kentucky College of Law, Professor Clay was the first woman to graduate as valedictorian of her law school class. Professor Clay served as a federal prosecutor/ civil litigator with the United States Department of Justice for thirty-one years, practicing numerous civil and criminal cases before the federal bench throughout Eastern Kentucky, including leading Special Grand Juries in the district.

Professor Clay was Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office, EDKY, First Assistant United States Attorney, Senior Litigation Counsel, and Head of the Prison Litigation Unit during her career with the Department. In 2011, she was appointed Assistant Director of the National Advocacy Center, a national residential training facility for Department of Justice attorneys. She was appointed a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky in 2012 teaching skills courses to predominately third year law students.

The mother of two, Professor Clay is an outspoken advocate of diversity and fairness to all persons involved in the legal system. Professor Clay brings to her classes a marriage of substantive law with skills in an effort to imbibe her students with a desire to seek justice, fair dealing, and expertise throughout their careers.


  • B.A., cum laude, University of Kentucky (1975)
  • J.D., magna cum laude and valedictorian, University of Kentucky College of Law (1978)


  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Skills Training

November 28, 2016

The University of Kentucky College of Law Women’s Law Caucus (WLC) recently teamed up with three UK Law Professors to host “Cocktails Against Cancer,” a fundraising event to benefit the Markey Cancer Center.

In its second year since its inception, the event raised over $900 from ticket sales and donations.

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September 20, 2016

This past summer, the University of Kentucky College of Law helped young actors from Stage Right Acting bring the story of Elle Woods, Harvard’s beloved blonde, to stage.

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developing ideas conference

On Wednesday, May 19, the University of Kentucky College of Law held its fifth annual Developing Ideas Conference.  Richard Ausness, Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Everett H. Metcalf, Jr. Professor of Law at UK College of Law, spearheaded the 2015 Conference.

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The University of Kentucky College of Law is pleased to welcome to campus two new Faculty Practitioners for the Spring 2015 Semester. Faculty Practitioners are experienced practitioners hired to teach on a full-time but temporary basis, and also are in residence at the College of Law to be engaged with students. Our new Faculty Practitioners are Gayle W. Herndon and James G. Harralson. They join Marianna Jackson Clay, who has been a Faculty Practitioner in residence at the College of Law since the Fall 2013 semester.

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The University of Kentucky College of Law welcomes four new faculty starting this fall. Marianna Jackson Clay, Visiting Professor of Law; Jane Bloom Grisé, Director of Academic Success and Professor of Legal Writing; Cortney Lollar, Assistant Professor of Law; and Collin Schueler, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law.

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