Michael Barber’s legal experience is wide-ranging and includes serving as a Judicial Clerk to the Hon. Ashely M. Chan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he worked on contested commercial and consumer matters, drafted bench memos, opinions, and orders, and was responsible for preparing weekly case summaries, that outlined legal issues, arguments, and applicable law. He also served as a Judicial Extern to the Hon. Chief Judge Carlota Böhm of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where he was engaged on a comprehensive research project involving attorney sanctions and participated in chambers briefings and deliberations. His clerking background also includes nearly two years spent at the Office of the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee in Pittsburgh. His duties there encompassed drafting legal memoranda, litigation documents, and monthly default reports regarding Chapter 13 plan payment statutes; reviewing motions for relief from stay, post-petition financing, and proof of claims; and conducting research and analysis on various contested matters.
Michael served as Chief of Staff for JURIST Legal News & Commentary Service, where he led multinational recruiting, successfully expanded an international footprint at over 30 law schools and across five continents; drafted, edited, and published news articles; solicited and edited student, academic, and professional commentaries; and supervised workflow, quality, and timeliness of student work. As a certified Legal Intern with Neighborhood Legal Services in Pittsburgh, he interviewed and advised clients on criminal record expungement eligibility (attorney supervised) and prepared petitions for the same under Pennsylvania law.
Prior to his legal studies, Michael was a Disability Integration Advisor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was deployed to Houston in early-2018 to assist with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. In that capacity, he prepared briefings, advised leadership on compliance with federal civil rights obligations and worked directly with disaster survivors to help ensure program accessibility for all survivors. As President of the Appalachian Legal Services Staff Employee Union in Wheeling, West Virginia, Michael led collective bargaining negotiations between the Union and Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV), drafted proposals for collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations, presided over Union meetings, and advised members of their rights and obligations under the CBA. Concurrent with his Union involvement, he worked as a Regional Family Advocate with LAWV and provided direct advocacy services to youths experiencing educational and/or behavioral challenges in school; conducted statewide special education legal trainings (attorney supervised); and served on regional multiagency community collaboratives across 15 counties in the state.