Mary Jo Woods is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and she attended Millsaps College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, graduated magna cum laude, and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1996, she began her legal career as a law clerk to Presiding Justice Michael D. Sullivan with the Mississippi Supreme Court, where she also worked as a staff attorney. Mary Jo then served as a judicial clerk with the Tennessee Supreme Court before returning to Mississippi in 2002.
Since returning to Mississippi, Mary Jo has had a diverse practice in both the private sector and with the government, where she specialized in complex issues of constitutional law and handled large-scale litigation.
Mary Jo lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband and their two dogs.