Mentoring

"I have been privileged to receive mentoring, training, and support from the staff and fellow graduates of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College. I am committed to passing that on to the next generation of trial attorneys." 

— John Barton, The Barton Law Firm

"The Barton Law Firm provided me with my first opportunity to explore the legal field and decide whether law school was in the cards for me. I had zero legal experience and was the first person in my family to attend college. Being an attorney seemed out of reach for me. In this role, I put my administrative and language skills to use while also learning the ropes of legal research, attorney client communication and litigation. John Barton candidly answered my numerous questions about attorney life, law school, work life balance and everything in between. The advice that most resonated with me was “study for the bar like it is a full time job” and “do not expect your first office space to be larger than a closet.” A decade later, I still pass along these useful tips to hopeful future attorneys."

— Anna Jones. Law Clerk at BLF while Senior at UW Undergrad, 2010. Lewis & Clark Law School Graduate. Currently Associate Immigration Attorney at Ritchie Reiersen.

October 7, 2019.

 

"One of the things that stands out to me about John is his willingness to stop whatever he is doing in order to provide advice or address a concern.  In one instance, I remember that he was working on an important brief for an upcoming trial, and at the time I was worried about my future law career and second-guessing my decision to practice litigation.  John, in his usual reassuring manner, put his brief aside and took the time to listen to my concerns and discuss how I had a variety of options for putting my law degree to good use.  He then went to his bookcase and gave me a book to read about alternative careers in the law, and then invited me to discuss it with him again after reading the book.  That book set me on a path toward the practice of transactional law and changed the course of my career in such important and wonderful ways. 

 

John Barton gives generously of his time and knowledge. His knowledge and mentorship were invaluable to me as I navigated the rigors of law school, and I credit him with my own passion for mentoring law students and new attorneys."

— Amy L. Roepke. Intern at BLF throughout law school at Seattle University, 2006-2008.  Owner of Milestone Law Group, a two-attorney transactional law firm in Denver Colorado, and adjunct Law Professor at University of Denver.

October 6, 2019.

 

 

"I was a contract attorney for John in my first year out of law school.  I had some decent legal writing skills, but no real grasp on some of the more practical skills I’d need to succeed as an attorney.  While working for John, I learned how to draft legal documents in a way that was concise, and very effective.  I still use the skills that I learned with John in my current position as an associate attorney with Clement Law Center.  Additionally, every morning when I started work, John and I would check in, and he usually ended up teaching me something about trial work.  I spend a lot of time in court, and I believe that his advice was useful for the work I’m doing now."

— Kristina G-R. Contract attorney at BLF during first year of practice, 2018.

Seattle University Law School graduate. Currently associate at Clement Law Center.

September 26, 2019.

"My work at The Barton Law Firm contributed significantly to my success in the legal field. Through John's mentorship, I gained a practical understanding of a) how to manage a law office as a business, b) how to properly maintain and track case files, c) how to develop case strategy, d) how to draft legal briefs, subpoenas, motions, etc., and of course e) how to consistently work as a team to analyze and improve our work product. John is a fantastic mentor because he actively offers you opportunities to develop new skills.  He discusses case strategies and asks for your observations and ideas.  He then gives you the opportunity to research and draft documents such as motions (relying on templates) based on those strategies.  At every point, John is happy to chat about issues and answer questions both small and big.  When I started working for John, I had very little practical experience—only theoretical knowledge and some research skills.  After leaving BLF, I could very easily have run my own law office.  Additionally, John provides an atmosphere of joviality amongst co-workers mixed with genuine concern for improving our clients’ cases.  I thoroughly enjoyed working for John and am very glad I took advantage of the opportunity I had at BLF."

 

— DJR, Legal Assistant at BLF, 2009 - 2011.

Eight-year career in law. Currently a PhD Candidate in a related field.

September 22, 2019.

"I am a member of UW Law’s American Association for Justice mock trial team. Last year, John helped us out by stepping up and agreeing to coach our team. Immediately after joining us, he began attending practices regularly and providing specific, concrete advice on the key elements of building a case theory and refining that case theory into a story. He also taught us to utilize the elements of trial—opening statement, direct and cross examinations, and closing argument—to tell that story well. John was an effective teacher because he was able to teach these skills clearly and accessibly. I learned a lot from John in just one quarter and look forward to working with him again this academic year."

 

— Mallory Barnes-Ohlson, Legal Assistant at BLF, 2016; member of UW Law’s American Association for Justice mock trial team coached by John Barton, 2019. Currently a 3L at UW.

September 22, 2019.

"My experience working for Mr. Barton greatly informed my client interviewing skills. Mr. Barton takes pride in mentoring his clerks on how to connect with clients, pull necessary information from client stories, and effectively communicate to clients that BFL is on their side. The first day I worked for BLF, Mr. Barton and I interviewed a new client for a case involving a significantly private and difficult matter. Mr. Barton demonstrated to me how an effective advocate ensures that the client is heard, is honest with the client about his or her chances of success, and respects the client’s boundaries.

Mr. Barton actively mentored me during my time in law school by consistently asking me about my classes and assignments. Through his questioning of some of my academic arguments, I was able to edit and polish my work to receive better grades and more thoroughly comprehend different law school topics. Mr. Barton included me in his work with the Trial Lawyers College, where lawyers met to discuss case management, case strategy, and different argument styles. Through Mr. Barton’s involvement in the Trial Lawyers College, he actively worked to improve his lawyering skills and passed that knowledge down to me."

— Melissa Daniels, Law Clerk at BLF while a 2L at Seattle University School of Law, 2017.

Recently passed the Washington State Bar Exam and graduated from law school, cum laude.

September 18, 2019.

"John is a wonderful teacher and mentor. He provided me with great learning opportunities, including substantive research tasks and the chance to interview clients. John is always happy to provide helpful advice about law school and good lawyering. Working at BLF was a solid start to my legal career."

— Katie Alfus. Legal Assistant at BLF after graduating from UW, 2015.

Currently a 3L at the University of Iowa College of Law and Iowa Law Review Student Writer.

Sepember. 17, 2019.

"I worked with John for several months on a variety of projects while I applied and prepared for law school. I am currently a student at the University of Chicago Law School, where I work on the law review and plan to graduate in 2021. Since my time working with John, I have worked for a government office and been hired for an upcoming position at a law firm and a federal clerkship.

John was consistently enthusiastic in sharing his experiences and advising me on my plans. I applied his advice in both selecting a law school and beginning my studies, and repeatedly benefitted from his insights. John also gave me a valuable perspective as a trial attorney, emphasizing the attitude of service that is essential to client-centered practice.

During my time working with John, we faced a project requiring the preparation and service of a large number of documents. This meticulous work required a great amount of focus and rigor, and John modeled the working lawyer’s attitude towards such tasks. This experience showed me how to approach demanding problems with cheer and determination, as well as the vital importance of details in preparing legal documents."

— G.S., Legal Assistant at BLF shortly after graduating from Seattle University, 2018.

Currently a 2L at the University of Chicago. Memberof law review.

Hired as federal court law clerk for 2021.

September 15, 2019.

"I started working with John in October 2016, immediately after I graduated from Seattle University School of Law and received my bar license. During the five months I worked with him, John was always approachable, personal, and available to answer my questions.  John’s guidance was very important to me as a fresh graduate—John was one of the most patient mentors who I have worked with.  He carefully reviewed my work product, provided detailed feedback, and shared his experiences in relevant areas of law. The skills he taught me, especially legal-writing skills, are specific and concrete.  John’s mentoring established a solid foundation for my current legal career."

 

— Emily Tyson-Shu, Contract Attorney at BLF during first year of practice, 2016-2017.

Currently an associate at Lee & Lee, P.S. and volunteer at Chinese Information and Service Center.

September 13, 2019.