Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Religious Liberty Initiative
Professor Stephanie Barclay’s research focuses on the role our different democratic institutions play in protecting minority rights, particularly at the intersection of free speech and religious exercise. Barclay’s academic writing has been published or is forthcoming in publications such as the Harvard Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the Boston College Law Review. Her recent article, “An Economic Approach to Religious Exemptions,” was selected for the 2020 Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.
Barclay directs Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative, which promotes freedom of religion or belief for all people through advocacy, student formation, and scholarship.
Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, Barclay was an Associate Professor of Law at BYU Law, where she was twice voted Professor of the Year. Before becoming a professor, Barclay litigated First Amendment cases in D.C., where she represented many clients at both the trial and appellate level, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Barclay has also served as a law clerk to Judge N. Randy Smith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and to Justice Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Barclay is a Faculty Affiliate at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School; and a Nootbaar Fellow at the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics at Pepperdine University. She has served as the Chair for the AALS Law and Religion Section, and she currently serves as a Research Associate for the Centre for Constitutional Law and Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia, on the Steering Committee for the Quill Project at Pembroke College, on the Board of the UVU Center for Constitutional Studies, and on the Board for Bellwether International. She graduated summa cum laude from BYU Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She is completing a Ph.D. in Law at Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar and a Tang Scholar.
Barclay has frequently appeared in the national media to discuss First Amendment issues, including appearances on BBC World News, NBC News, and Wall Street Journal Live. 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.
Articles and Essays
- Faux Strict Scrutiny, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (forthcoming 2023) (invited symposium paper)
- The Religion Clauses after Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist., Iowa Law Review (forthcoming 2023) (invited symposium paper)
- Taking Justification Seriously: Proportionality, Strict Scrutiny, and the Substance of Religious Liberty, 63 Boston College Law Review 453 (2022), coauthored with Professor Justin Collings
- Rethinking Protections for Indigenous Sacred Sites, 134 Harvard Law Review 1294 (2021), coauthored with Professor Michalyn Steele.
- An Economic Approach to Religious Exemptions, 72 Florida Law Review 1211 (2021) (selected for the 2020 Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum).
- The Historical Origins of Judicial Religious Exemptions, 95 Notre Dame Law Review 55 (2020).
- Untangling Entanglement, 97 Washington University Law Review 1701 (2020).
- First Amendment "Harms", 95 Indiana Law Journal 331 (2020).
- Original Meaning and the Establishment Clause: A Corpus Linguistics Analysis, 61 Arizona Law Review 505 (2019), coathored with Brady Early and Annika Boone.
- Constitutional Anomalies or As-applied Challenges? A Defense of Religious Exemptions, 59 Boston College Law Review 1595 (2018), coauthored with Professor Mark Rienzi.
- Retained by The People: Federalism, the Ultimate Sovereign, and Natural Limits on Government Power, 23 William & Mary Bill of Rights Law Journal 257 (2014).
- 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).
Areas of Expertise
- Law and Religion
- Freedom of Speech
- Constitutional Law
- Appellate Advocacy
- Family Law
- Indigenous Rights
- Prisoners’ Rights