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Mary Sue Backus

University of Oklahoma College of Law
Hugh Roff Professor of Law
Professor Mary Sue Backus is the Hugh Roff Professor of Law and the Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation Presidential Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She joined the faculty in 2004 and teaches Evidence, Criminal Law, Education Law, Civil Procedure and Professional Responsibility. She graduated first in her class at William and Mary Law School in 2001 and began her legal career as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit and as a litigator with the Washington, D.C. firm of Covington and Burling.

Since coming to OU Professor Backus has embraced the mission of the state’s flagship law school to serve the bench and bar. Her recent scholarship addresses assorted Oklahoma legal reform issues, including juvenile competency and virtual charter schools. She is a frequent speaker at legal CLEs around the state and a regular presenter at the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. She was recently appointed to the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and serves on the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions Committee advising the OK Court of Criminal Appeals. Professor Backus has won a number of teaching awards, including most recently the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching in 2017. In 2012-2013 she served as a Fulbright Scholar in China at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou and she coordinates the law school’s China Law Summer Program. She has also taught in the law school’s Oxford Program.