Stephanie Barclay

Associate Professor of Law

Professor Barclay is a First Amendment scholar who researches and writes about the role our different democratic institutions play in protecting minority rights, particularly at the intersection of free speech and religious exercise. Professor Barclay’s academic writing has been published or is forthcoming in publications such as the Notre Dame Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, and the Florida Law Review. She also serves as the Director of the Rex E. Lee Appellate Academy, an annual appellate simulation held in Washington D.C. for first-year law students. Professor Barclay has frequently appeared in the national media to discuss First Amendment issues, including appearances on BBC World News, Wall Street Journal Live, and Fox News. And her work has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg BNA, Deseret News, The Hill, and Law 360. Professor Barclay teaches First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Family Law, and Constitutional Law. She was twice voted Professor of the Year by her second- and third-year students.

Professor Barclay joined the faculty of BYU Law School as an Associate Professor of Law in July 2018. Prior to teaching, Professor Barclay litigated First Amendment cases full-time at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where she represented many organizations and individuals at both the trial and appellate level, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Barclay has twice been named a Washington D.C. Super Lawyer Rising Star (for 2016 and 2019). Before joining Becket, Professor Barclay worked at Covington in Washington, D.C., where she drafted multiple Supreme Court briefs, including defending the rights of a Muslim prison inmate seeking to wear a religious beard. She served as lead counsel on multiple additional trials and appeals.

Professor Barclay was nominated to serve as the Chair Elect for the AALS Law and Religion Section, and as a subcommittee chair for the JRCLS International Religious Freedom Committee. She graduated summa cum laude from BYU Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Professor Barclay also clerked for the Honorable N. Randy Smith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Civil Rights
  • Contitutional Law
  • Family Law
  • First Amendment
  • Freedom of Speech and the Press
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Prisioners' Rights
  • Religion and the Law
  • Supreme Court

Courses Taught

  • First Amendment
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • Structures of the Constitution
  • Family Law


  • JD, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 2011
  • BS, Brigham Young University-Idaho, 2008


  • The Historical Origins of Judicial Religious Exemptions, __ Notre Dame Law Review (forthcoming 2020). [SSRN]
  • Untangling Entanglement, __ Washington University Law Review (forthcoming 2020).
  • An Economic Approach to Religious Exemptions, __ Florida Law Review (forthcoming 2020).
  • First Amendment "Harms", 95 Indiana Law Journal 331 (2020). [SSRN]
  • Original Meaning and the Establishment Clause: A Corpus Linguistics Analysis, 61 Arizona Law Review 505 (2019), coathored with Brady Early and Annika Boone. [SSRN]
  • Constitutional Anomalies or As-applied Challenges? A Defense of Religious Exemptions, 59 Boston College Law Review 1595 (2018), coauthored with Professor Mark Rienzi. [SSRN]
  • Retained by The People: Federalism, the Ultimate Sovereign, and Natural Limits on Government Power, 23 William & Mary Bill of Rights Law Journal 257 (2014). [SSRN]
  • Fair Trade and Child Labor, 43 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 1 (2011), coauthored with Professor Shima Baradaran Baughman (cited in the New York Times). [SSRN]