Clayton Rawlings began his legal career in 1980 as an assistant district attorney for Harris County, TX, in Houston. He served during a challenging time known as the “drug wars.” During his tenure, he had 84 wins and four losses and managed cases involving hijackers, murderers, sexual predators, and drug dealers. In 1985, he left to establish the law firm of Hampton & Rawlings with Keith Hampton, and 38 years later, they are still passionate about fighting injustice. Their well-known reputation as a fierce litigation firm is built primarily on attorney referrals and recommendations from former clients—a clear testament to their commitment to those they serve. "We have never engaged in advertising and do not allocate funds for such purposes. Since our inception, we have successfully handled over 1,000 cases, many of which have resulted in million- and multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements," he says.
Attorney, Advocate, Calming Voice in the Storm
The partners initially focused on criminal defense when they first opened their Houston-based law firm. Then, in 1986, Clayton, who speaks fluent Spanish and can represent Spanish-speaking clients without a translator, exposed the Houston police department for racial profiling. That accomplishment landed him on the front page of the Houston Chronicle. "I am not just concerned with the rules of evidence," he says. "I have always been concerned with where we are going as a civilization."
Eventually, Hampton & Rawlings transitioned to personal injury law in 1991, and that first year, Clayton received a jury verdict of over $1 million for his client. "As a legal representative, my foremost responsibility lies in advocating for individuals who have endured severe injuries or lost their lives due to the negligence of others," he says. "During their darkest moments, when they have experienced tragic losses such as dismemberment, traumatic brain injury, or the death of a loved one, they turn to us to force a recovery from those responsible for all they have lost."
With a caseload that predominantly involves auto and industrial accidents, including some related to 18-wheeler accidents, one that stands out most for Clayton involved a death resulting from a train derailment. "We represented the deceased's wife and three children, ensuring they were not left to face their struggles alone," he recalls. "The outcome of this case provided the widow with a home and a lifetime income while securing guaranteed college educations for all of his children." Another significant win occurred last year, when, after two and a half years of litigation and spending $190,000 of their own money, the firm obtained a $16,000,000 settlement for a man who uses a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Being able to help an individual or family, be the calming voice, and offer support is what drives Clayton. "Then the big moment is when the verdict is read or the settlement comes, and we can truly help these families," he adds.
Beyond Law: A Renaissance Man
In addition to his many legal accomplishments, Clayton has immersed himself in numerous diverse endeavors. He is the author of several books available on Amazon, including Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming, which explores the transformative impact of technology on law, economy, and government. A short story, Unit 514, was republished in the sci-fi anthology, Visions of the Future. He also published Bitcoin For Beginners and two concise books on personal injury cases and mediation in personal injury litigation. In addition, Clayton has been playing drums in various rock garage bands since 1980. His band, Three Clicks Away, has created three music videos on YouTube and released three rock cover songs on major streaming services such as Spotify.
Whether it's in the air, on a mountain, or under the sea, Clayton has been a lifelong adventurer at heart. He is an avid scuba diver, downhill skier, and skydiver, and has engaged in mock aerial combat with the Texas Air Aces. In 2018, at 63, he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. "This life-changing experience reminded me of the importance of seizing opportunities and embracing the thrill of living," he says. Clayton also seeks adventure in the business world and, as an entrepreneur, is a seed investor in WIRE Network and CryptoEQ. These tech startups holds the potential to usher in a new era of technological advancements, paving the way for WEB 3.0.
Clayton obtained his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas in Austin and his JD from The University of Houston College of Law. He also holds a Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston Foresight Department.
Partner — Hampton & Rawlings