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Clay Halvorsen
USC Gould School of Law

Clay Halvorsen

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: August 22, 2022

Clay Halvorsen (JD 1985) served for more than a decade as the senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of The Irvine Company LLC, a diversified, privately held real estate investment company and master planner of the Irvine Ranch in Newport Beach, Calif. In this role he led the company’s legal, risk management and records management groups. While at The Irvine Company he also served on the board and audit committee of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, an Orange County-based nonprofit committed to long-term land stewardship, with a mission of restoring, protecting, and enhancing the ecological health of urban wildlands in a way that fosters compatible human behaviors and inspires connections and partnerships.

Prior to that, Halvorsen was the executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Standard Pacific Homes, a Fortune 500 company engaged in the homebuilding, mortgage and title businesses. In addition to leading the legal team, Halvorsen was a key leader in the company’s entry into 10 new markets and growth from a regional to national homebuilder and into a Fortune 500 company.

Halvorsen began his career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a leading international law firm, where he was elected as a partner in the firm’s corporate finance group. In this role he represented private and public start-ups, middle-market companies, and large corporations in a wide variety of industries and transactions, including acquisitions, financings and securities law compliance matters.

Most recently, Halvorsen served as the interim CEO of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a Laguna Beach-based nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates and releases stranded marine mammals and performs related research and education. He also served as a trustee on the board of Pennymac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT), a publicly traded specialty finance company that invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage related assets. While at Pennymac, Halvorsen served on the nominating, corporate governance and related party transaction committees.

In addition to earning a JD with honors from USC Gould, Halvorsen also earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University, Northridge, graduating magna cum laude.


LLM Guide
June 5, 2023
Re: USC Gould School of Law

Law schools have been adapting to the increase in technological advancements, especially with the increased need for attorneys with the creation of AI. “Attorneys work on the front end, conducting threat assessments to ensure that their clients’ systems and data are protected, and on the back end, to navigate any legal issues that may arise as a result of the attacks," Gruzas said.


Robin Craig
April, 2023

"Fish, Whales, and a Blue Ethics for the Anthropocene: How Do We Think About the Last Wild Food in the Twenty-First Century?," 95:6 Southern California Law Review 1307-1343 (April 2023).

Robin Craig
April, 2023

"California Exceptionalism in the Colorado River: A Brief History and Implications for the Future."

Robin Craig
April, 2023

"Toward a Global Sustainable Development Agenda Built on Resilience" (with Murray W. Scown, Craig R. Allen, Lance Gunderson, David G. Angeler, Jorge H. Garcia, & Ahjond Garmestani), Global Sustainability (online publication April 2023).