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About Khelani Z.A. Clay

Khelani Clay is assistant law librarian and professor at American University Washington College of Law and is in charge of access services and circulation operations. Professor Clay teaches Advanced Legal Methods and for several years has taught Advanced Legal Research as an in-person and online course.

As a law librarian, Professor Clay provides reference and research services assisting the WCL community with research and reference queries while supporting faculty research projects. She curates the Pence Law Library’s bar exam materials collection, maintains the library’s online research guides, maintains the institutional faculty scholarship repository, spearheads the library’s social media presence, and works with library administration on collection development. As Access Services Liaison, she oversees the efficient operations of the library’s access services department.

Prior to joining the Pence Law Library, Professor Clay worked as an attorney in a limited services representation firm and as a law clerk for a small Maryland firm, where she provided legal services, reviewed documents involving all aspects of Maryland Law, and prepared legal pleadings. She has also represented clients in domestic relations and immigration proceedings. Professor Clay is passionate about criminal justice and has worked with the Legal Action Center, an organization that lobbies Capital Hill for sound criminal justice policies. While getting a Master of Arts degree in criminal justice she worked with the John Howard Association of Illinois, doing criminal justice research and as a court appointed monitor at the Cook County Jail.

Professor Clay recently published “Maryland Practice Materials: Selective Annotated Bibliography, 2d ed., in State Practice Materials, Annotated Bibliographies (F. Houdek & A. Postar, eds., W.S. Hein 2018). She has presented at legal education conferences and is active in local and national law library committees. Her research interests include criminal justice and law, library science, and legal research.

M.A., Catholic University of America 2014
J.D., American University Washington College of Law 2009
M.A., University of Illinois Chicago 2005
B.A., Howard University 2003


February 2017 - Present Access Services Librarian, American University Washington College of Law Pence Law Library
2015 - Present Adjunct Faculty Member, American University Washington College of Law
2015 - February 2017 Special Projects Librarian, American University Washington College of Law Pence Law Library

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Honors and Awards

  • 2009 CLEA Most Outstanding Clinic Student


  • LAW-929 Advanced Legal Research


2011 - 2014 MLIS, The Catholic University of America ‐ Graduate School of Library and Information Science
2005 - 2009 Juris Doctor, American University Washington College of Law
2003 - 2005 Master of Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago
1999 - 2003 Bachelor of Arts, Howard University

Contact Information

Pence Law Library
American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
202. 274.4441