Professor Mary Sue Backus joined the University of Oklahoma College of Law faculty
in 2004 after a semester as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at William and Mary
School of Law, where she taught Evidence and a seminar on indigent defense systems. 

Professor Backus, who graduated first in her class at William and Mary, was selected as a
member of Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers. She served as Senior Notes
Editor of the William and Mary Law Review, on the staff of the William and Mary Bill of
Rights Journal, and competed on the National Moot Court Team. Backus received the
Margaret Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate Studies, awarded by the College to the
outstanding graduate student, and the Lawrence W. I'Anson Award, awarded by the law

Professor Backus began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable H. Emory Widener
on the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. Following her clerkship, Backus
joined the Washington, D.C. firm of Covington and Burling where she handled product
liability litigation and regulatory matters. In addition, Backus provided pro bono
assistance on custody and education matters and systemic reform of indigent defense

Professor Backus is a member of the Virginia Bar and the District of Columbia Bar and
currently teaches Criminal Law, Education Law and Evidence. From 2004-07, she served as a
Co-Reporter for the National Committee on the Right to Counsel, a bipartisan group
reviewing the indigent defense system throughout the nation and creating consensus
recommendations for reform. Backus also serves on the board of directors for Oklahoma
Close Up, a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizenship education program for high school

Contributions to Books

The Law of Evidence, Jurisprudence (2012)



Competency in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings, Oklahoma Bar Journal (2011)


Bar/Bri Criminal Law Review Lecture, Oklahoma Bar Exam (2011)
Law School as a Path to Politics and Public Service, National Education for Women's Leadership Program Forum, Sponsored by the Women's Leadership Initiative, Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center, University of Oklahoma (2011)
OMG! Evidence Challenges in an Electronic World, Legal Institute of Pickens County CLE (2011)
Confronting Confrontation, Seminole County Law Day Forum CLE (2011)
The Evolving Confrontation Clause, Symposium on Sixth Amendment Protections, William and Mary Law School (2011)