Clay Tanaka


Position Title
Legal Research and Writing Instructor

2310A King Hall

Clay Tanaka is the Director of Legal Research and Writing at UC Davis School of Law.

Tanaka received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis, and his J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law. He practiced criminal law at the Office of the California Attorney General for twenty-seven years. During his career, he represented the State of California, primarily on direct appeals, capital litigation, and writs in California state and federal courts. He was also responsible for criminal investigations, trials, evidentiary hearings, review, and assignment of cases and special projects.

Education and Degree(s)
  • A.B. English, University of California at Davis
  • J.D. Hastings College of the Law
Honors and Awards
  • Argued cases in numerous Northern California counties, the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Districts of the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, the United States Eastern District Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Recipient of UC Davis School of Law Distinguished Teaching Award, 2011
  • King Hall Legal Foundation (KHLF) Faculty Award, 2010
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Faculty Award, 2012
  • La Raza Students Association Faculty Award, 2012
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing
  • Criminal Law And Procedure