Clifton began his legal career in 2010 while working in the Raleigh area, with initial practice focus in criminal law, personal injury, estate planning and general business matters. Clifton then went into public service, working in various in-house legal roles within the University of North Carolina System for about 10 years. While there, he developed extensive experience with many aspects of higher education law, including land use and development, unified development ordinance (UDO)/zoning compliance, procurement and contract negotiation, public records, employment law, policing, Title IX and student discipline and numerous other areas of federal/state law compliance. Since joining Allen Stahl + Kilbourne in 2020, Clifton focuses his practice on higher education law, employment law, corporate work, real estate and other general business areas.
Clifton received his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University in 1996, and his law degree from North Carolina Central University in 2009. He served 10 years in the United States Army, leaving Army service after achieving the rank of major. While in Army service, Clifton was a qualified Army paratrooper and participated in airborne training operations with the 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd Special Forces Group. After military service, Clifton worked in the retail management and banking/finance sectors with two nationally-recognized companies, both with significant operations in North Carolina, before starting his legal career.
Clifton and his family are thrilled to have lived in Asheville since 2014, and enjoy hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Pisgah National Forest.