S. Claye Epperson currently serves as Law Clerk to the Honorable Craig Gargotta of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. An emerging litigator, Claye's legal education and field experience focused on where criminal law meets families. She is particularly interested in finding a more appropriate way to litigate intra-family and intra-personal crime with the goal of reaching equitable outcomes addressing victim, family, and community needs. Her note titled Restoring Balance to Domestic Violence Prosecution after Crawford, published by the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, is available on Westlaw and the VJCL website. While clerking for Judge Gargotta, she expects to learn more about equity and multiparty litigation.
Before she was a litigator, Claye was a history student and undergraduate researcher. Women professors introduced her to an academic pursuit she found deeply personal: women's history. After a professor suggested she read early American caselaw as a primary source, Claye was hooked. Stories of women using the ameliorative power of the law to assert their interests and improve their lots emerged as a central theme of Claye's undergraduate study. In her senior year, Claye piloted the Collaboration Among LAUNCH program, partnering the History Department with the Law School. Her thesis, Litigating Women: The Path to Intermediate Scrutiny in American Law, is available on OakTrust in full. A version appropriate for all audiences is published in Explorations: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Journal, Volume 10. Litigating Women won the following awards: Outstanding Thesis in Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; Drs. Grace and Henry Jameson Prize for Best Undergraduate Research on Women; and the Best Undergraduate Paper at the 9th Annual TAMU History Conference.
Claye's advice to undergraduate students would be to find a subject matter that excites them and start researching. Every career values the abilities to read and write clearly. More importantly, critical thought is paramount in a functioning democracy. Undergraduate researchers will undoubtedly develop these skills. Students interested in Collaboration Among LAUNCH or law school should feel free to contact Claye!