Thursday Profile: Randolph Barker

A lifelong resident of Washtenaw County, Randy Barker earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and his law degree, with high honors, from the University of Toledo.  After law school, he began his practice in Monroe County, where he represented several municipalities with zoning, planning, ordinance enforcement, and labor and employment matters.

In 2003, Barker joined Berry Moorman P.C., a Detroit-based firm with additional offices in Birmingham, Ann Arbor and St. Petersburg, Russia.  A shareholder of the firm, his practice covers a broad spectrum of real estate, employment, labor and corporate matters.   He is also a licensed real estate broker who just began his second term as a director and continuing education coordinator of the Detroit Association of Realtors.

Barker volunteers his time with several non-profit organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America.  He has also coached Little League and travel baseball for more than 10 years, served on the advisory board of a National Academy Foundation program in the Detroit Public Schools, and has served as a co-Chair of the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law section.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News
Residence: Ypsilanti, with my wife, Amanda, and our four children.

What is your most treasured material possession?
My wedding ring.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
Philmont Scout Reserve in Cimarron, New Mexico. I spent a week there in August 2015 with my oldest son, who is completing his final requirements to become an Eagle Scout. In that time, we camped and hiked more than 51 miles through the mountains with other youth and adult leaders of his troop. The highlights were scaling the “Tooth of Time,” a tooth-shaped rock formation that ascends more than 9000-feet, the spectacular views, and the rare sighting of a large herd of buffalo. We arrived by train the night before the trek started, stopping for dinner at a historic Wild West hotel known for the bullet holes in the walls and ceilings, and for being “haunted” by the likes of Jesse James, Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp. Signs on the walls warn that the rules for ghost-hunters are strictly enforced.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Make sure you have a reasonable idea of the area of law you plan to pursue, the job market as it relates to that practice area, and advice from practitioners. This will reduce the risk of unreasonable expectations and improve the potential for job satisfaction.

Favorite local hangouts:
Red Rock BBQ, La Fuente and The Arena.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Spending summer days with friends playing baseball, riding my bicycle, and hanging out in tree forts that we built.  Without worrying our parents, we could leave after breakfast and show up for dinner. That was when being a “free range” child was the norm.    

Why did you become a lawyer?
I always admired local attorneys.

What would surprise people about your job?
It seems as though I do more work in my car than I do in my office.

What do you wish someone would invent? A time machine.

What do you do to relax?
Spend time with my family, work on my car, listen to music, read, work in my wood shop, and cook.

What is the best advice you ever received?
My father told me to always use your head, and never stop using your hands.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
Play a musical instrument.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party? In addition to my father, who had the greatest influence on my character and work ethic growing up, I would also invite some of the most influential leaders in American history: Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Henry Ford and Walt Disney.   

What is something most people don't know about you?
My parents made sure I was well rounded.  I perform my own car repairs (I learned how to do brakes when I was 8, and rebuilt my first engine at 14), have built multiple homes, and have cooked in professional kitchens. 

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