Barb has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and an Associate in Applied Science degree from Northwest Technical College. Barb earned her Juris Doctor at the William Mitchell College of Law. While in law school, Barb represented prisoners on various civil cases through Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP). In addition, she dedicated numerous hours working on various post-conviction relief cases for the Minnesota Innocence Project. (The Minnesota Innocence Project works to keep the innocent from being convicted and to free people imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The Innocence Project also works to educate attorneys and criminal justice professionals on best practices and reform procedures.)
Barb lends a wide array of experience to the paralegal program. She previously represented Ramsey County in cases of child support enforcement for the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney. Barb worked at Thomson Reuters where she provided Westlaw training and Continuing Legal Education to attorneys, judges, professors and nonprofit agencies, among others. Barb also has worked for the National Arbitration Forum. There, she supplied decisions for arbitrators on intellectual property matters from around the globe. Barb currently maintains her own mediation and arbitration practice, Metro Mediation, LLC, based in St. Paul.
Barb began her teaching career at the Oakdale campus at the behest of a law school friend who believed Barb could improve the paralegal program there. Barb started teaching legal research and found that she really enjoyed it. “It was a lot of fun! I found amazing students [at Oakdale]. I’m surprised those students still talk to me! I treated them like they were in law school—I’ve since adjusted,” she said.
Barb has also taught at the Brooklyn Center, Lakeville, Shakopee, Blaine, and Woodbury campuses before arriving at Richfield. Her private practice has hosted over 100 interns from the Globe Education Network of schools during that time! She has even seen several paralegal program students go on to graduate from law school.
“We have so many great graduates doing great things. I have colleagues who have hired our students and are still working with them. It’s exciting to be a part of a student beginning something—they have hope and excitement that people tend to lose over the years. They still have that spark and are passionate and hopeful,” Barb said. She adds, “I like to help students achieve their goals, and it’s great to hear others speak so highly of our graduates.”
Who is a good fit for the paralegal program? “A student should have professional curiosity and critical thinking skills. They should be analytical and creative and have professional intuition: they should look you in the eye. A good student should also be able to keep client information confidential,” Barb explained.
Finally, why the Richfield campus? Barb captured it when she said, “This campus is very friendly and has a heart and a soul.”
Thanks Barb, and welcome aboard!