Maria T. Kolar

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Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
B.A., Summa Cum Laude, University of Notre Dame, 1991
M.A., Philosophy, Emory University, 1992
J.D., Yale Law School, 1995

  • Phone:  (405) 325-2055


Professor Kolar is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, having joined the University of Oklahoma College of Law faculty in 2013. After teaching Legal Research & Writing for three years, beginning in the Fall of 2016 Professor Kolar will be teaching courses in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Capital Punishment.

Professor Kolar graduated from Yale Law School in 1995, where she was an editor and served on the Admissions Committee for The Yale Law Journal.  She was also an editor on the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.  In her third year of law school, she was a research assistant for Professor Robert D. Harrison and co-taught a Legal Research & Writing course.

Following law school, Professor Kolar served as a law clerk for the Honorable Joel M. Flaum on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She then moved to Oklahoma and worked in private practice as a litigation associate, first at McAfee & Taft and then at Hartzog, Conger & Cason.  Professor Kolar was very involved with the Young Lawyers Division of the Oklahoma County Bar Association and served on its Board of Directors and as Chairperson.  In 2000, she was given the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Kolar served as a law clerk on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for nearly thirteen years, first for the Honorable Charles S. Chapel and then for the Honorable Clancy Smith.  She also served as a law clerk on the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma for two years, working solely on capital habeas corpus cases.

Professor Kolar currenlty serves on the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, a blue-ribbon bipartisan group of experts in the field and prominent Oklahomans who have come together to conduct an independent, objective, and thorough review of the state's entire capital punishment system. The Commission seeks a consensus-based understanding of how the criminal justice system in Oklahoma impacts and is impacted by the death penalty. The Commission will publish a report in 2017 with specific recommendations.

Professor Kolar is married to Dr. Randall Kolar, David Ross Boyd Professor and Director of the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma.  They have five children:  John, Charlie, Sam, Katie, and Ben.