Nick Barnes

Hometown: Oreland, PA

Undergraduate School: University of Pennsylvania

Job: Assistant District Attorney, Manhattan DA’s office

Student groups

While I was at Temple, I was the Managing Editor of the Political and Civil Rights Law Review, an intake chair for the School Discipline Advocacy Service (“SDAS”), and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. Each of these experiences had an extraordinary impact on my legal education, and they taught me the values of teamwork, time management, and community service. Moot Court, however, will always be of special significance. It not only honed my research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, but it also developed my ability to interpret law creatively, speak confidently, and think on my feet. Looking back, I will always appreciate the opportunities I had to compete with my classmates, arguing cases in front of state and federal judges from around the country.

Experiential opportunities

I participated in the Philadelphia DA Clinical and the Federal Judicial Clerkship Clinical. Each experience was amazing in its own right. Through the Philadelphia DA clinical, I learned a lot about Pennsylvania criminal law. On a macro level, I developed an understanding as to the type and volume of work that ADAs handle on a daily basis. On a much more micro level, I tried to absorb as much information as possible with respect to very fundamental issues associated with criminal procedure, including searches, seizures, confessions, waivers, etc. Through FJC, I performed legal research, wrote memos, prepared for and attended settlement conferences, drafted habeas reports and recommendations, and edited opinions. This clinical really piqued my interest and curiosity in the law. Every time I walked into chambers, I had the opportunity to delve into new projects covering a wide range of topics, from civil employment disputes to criminal identification issues.

Volunteer and service experiences

During my 2L year, I was an intake chair for SDAS. Through this volunteer organization, a number of Temple Law students advocated for fair discipline on behalf of students in the Philadelphia School District facing suspensions, disciplinary transfers, and expulsions. This experience, although at times overwhelming, was very grounding. In law school, especially as a 2L, it’s very easy to get caught up in groupthink ideas of success and achievement – writing on to a journal, trying out for moot court or trial team, running a student group, etc. Becoming involved with SDAS, however, really allowed me to step back and reassess my priorities, in light of the fact that young students are being forced to navigate the school district’s disciplinary process without any understanding as to their rights under Pennsylvania’s education laws.

Favorite memory

The Law and Public Policy Program with Professor Knauer. I will never forget my summer in Washington, D.C., interning at the Federal Trade Commission, taking classes on institutional decision making, and writing a white paper on prosecutorial collection of cell site data. The program, as a whole, really taught me to value debate and dialogue between and among people who possess differing social, political, and legal ideologies.