Richard Barzaga

Student Groups

Hometown: Galloway, N.J.

Undergraduate School:  Columbia University

Job: Associate at Weber Gallagher

At Temple Law I served as co-chair of the Women’s Law Caucus and as vice president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA). I also served on the editorial board of the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review. Each of those experiences taught me the virtue of relationships. I learned that leadership is never about telling others what to do, but rather about being willing to participate in a collaborative process to figure out solutions. At the end of the day, you might have to make a judgment call, but valuing the input and viewpoints of other people that you trust makes you both a better leader and a better lawyer.

Favorite Faculty Member

I had Professor Jonathan Lipson as either a teacher or coach (on the National Transactional Competition Team) for five of my six semesters here at Temple Law. His breadth of knowledge and expertise speak for themselves, but I most appreciated the way Professor Lipson cared about each student’s personal growth as a lawyer. He was always available to chat about the future, help guide us when we needed direction, and make sure we took every advantage possible to develop professionally. Law school would have looked very different without Professor Lipson, and I hope to stay in touch with him well into the future.

Favorite Memory

Most people believe that law school is a competitive and cutthroat environment. But time and time again I saw that Temple Law wasn’t that type of place. In my first semester, I studied with three other students in preparation for our first exam, Contracts. For a whole week, we spent 12 hours a day at school holed up in a study room. We argued, we reviewed, we took practice exams, all the while feeling like there was absolutely no way that we could master the material. It was in those moments that I realized that no matter what happened on the exam, I’d always remember the shared experience of studying with people who would become my friends much longer than I’d ever remember the elements of a contract. I made lifelong friendships at Temple Law, and I know we will always have each other’s backs.

Making an Impact

I will be starting as an Associate in Weber Gallagher’s Philadelphia office in the fall of 2015. I am going to be litigating, and I expect to be busier than ever before, but I know I’m prepared to hit the ground running from day one. Temple Law taught me how to be an effective oral and written advocate. I know legal practice is never easy, but I also know I have the skills I need to deliver the best results for my clients.

Carrying Temple Forward

At graduation, our commencement speaker, Judge Timothy Rice, had a simple message for us—“Be nice!” Temple Law has given me all the tools to succeed. It’s now up to me to combine those tools with the right approach to my work and my professional relationships. I grew tremendously as a person during my time at Temple Law, but my takeaway message really is simple and echoes Judge Rice’s message: be nice, work hard, smile, and there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.