Clay graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1983, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Economics. He achieved his Juris Doctorate degree in 1986 from the University of Oklahoma. Clay graduated with the highest honors and was top 3% of his class. During law school, Clay received many awards including the American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts II, Remedies, Oil and Gas and the Dean Earl Brown Award. He was also named Top Ten Freshman and Top Ten Senior Men while in college and Order of The Coif while in law school.