Lydia Cox Backstrom L’79
Lydia Cox Backstrom retired as Senior Assistant Public Defender in the Office of Defense Services (Public Defender) Delaware and has spent the majority of her career in public service, focusing on criminal justice, civil rights and social justice issues. Currently semi-retired, she practices in the areas of criminal defense and family law. Lydia is a graduate of Vassar College (1976) and a 1979 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Her involvement with diversity, equity and inclusion began when as a law student and a member of BLSA, she was involved in the successful effort opposing a move to exclude Asian Americans from consideration in the Law School’s affirmative action initiatives. Her involvement with these issues has continued, most notably with service to the Delaware Bar, serving as founding chairperson of the Multicultural Judges and Lawyers section, and being honored with the Leadership Award in 2017. As a Continuing Legal Education instructor, she focused on the related issues of immigration and juvenile representation. She has also served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Delaware Advisory Committee (2013-2017).
She has served on several boards focusing on criminal justice, civil rights and social justice in Delaware, including the Delaware Center for Justice and most recently Brandywine Counseling, a nonprofit community-based drug treatment and counseling organization.