Alumni Profiles

Barbara Busharis

Attorney at Duane Morris from 1990 - 1994
Currently Assistant Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit

Barbara BusharisQ: How did your experience at Duane Morris influence your career?

A: I think the standards I learned at Duane Morris have certainly influenced everything I've done since then. I count myself extremely fortunate to have worked for, and with, people of such high caliber. When I moved to Florida in 1994, I taught legal writing at Florida State and tried to demonstrate those standards to the law students in my classes. Of course, I also drew on my practice experience as a source of issues for them to research! Also, I still use my insurance defense experience in another part-time job I've had for a few years now – editor of Trial Advocate Quarterly, the journal of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association.

Q: In addition to your work for Trial Advocate Quarterly, what have you recently published?

A: Last year I co-authored two legal research textbooks, Florida Legal Research and Pennsylvania Legal Research, both published by Carolina Academic Press.

Q: How did you come to be an assistant public defender?

A: I had done occasional contract work for the public defender during my summer "vacations" as a legal writing instructor at Florida State. I found myself looking for a part-time position after our second son was born. Fortunately, a part-time position became available in the appellate division, and I was thrilled to get it. Teaching legal writing was a labor of love, and had the huge advantage of summers off, but I really appreciate the reduced time commitment and flexibility I have now.

Q: What types of cases do you handle?

A: I handle only appeals, and many of my cases, predictably, involve the use or sale of controlled substances. But my first oral argument was a murder case, and I'm currently working on the appeal of someone who was convicted of driving a John Deere with a permanently revoked license.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: I volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program, something I first started doing at Duane Morris with the Support Center for Child Advocates. I enjoy cycling, reading and knitting (nothing complicated - if I have to stop to count too often, it's not relaxing).