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Name: Jeff Davis
Residence: Columbia, S.C.
Occupation: Chief Deputy Clerk of Court of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina

Jeff Davis `99 sees firsthand how the nation’s fragile economy affects the lives of South Carolina residents.

As Chief Deputy Clerk of Court of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina, he helps manage the people, the court buildings and its budget.

“The economy has had a tangible impact on the business of the Court,” Davis said. “We help many unfortunate and honest people who have experienced unemployment or loss of income during the recession.”

He took the job in 2008 as bankruptcy laws underwent major revisions.

He anticipated there would be many challenges to the revisions and the work to interpret the new laws through judicial opinions would be demanding and rewarding. He also was excited about working with the Court's Chief Judge, one of the best jurists in the country.

“Within the federal court community, I am probably the youngest at what I do,” said Davis, who earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina and then worked at a law firm for several years before he started the clerk’s job.

A major challenge to his job is the growing need for court services, but fewer federal dollars to pay for them. Like many government agencies, the court has reduced its budget. “We have had to realize greater efficiencies in our business processes to do more with less,” Davis added.

He said he draws on lessons learned during Dr. Jason Silverman's Civil War class and considers how other leaders have met similar challenges with personnel and resources.

As part of his job, Davis performs outreach for the Court, particularly a program entitled Credit Abuse Resistance Education (C.A.R.E.). It is designed for junior high and high school students and their parents on the responsible use of credit. He also has researched the history of debt relief in South Carolina and presents his findings at various conferences and through the Court's website.

The Cheraw native comes from a family with plenty of Winthrop ties. “My mother, father, and sister each have at least one degree from Winthrop,” he said, adding that several aunts and cousins also attended.

Davis treasures his friendships with fellow Winthrop graduates and several professors.

“Winthrop has such a community feel especially when you stay on campus for all four years. Some of my favorite memories are walking to class with friends, spending time in the rocking chairs at Phelps, and having lunch with friends in the cafeteria,” he said. 

Last updated: 10/18/2011

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