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After graduating from UCLA with highest honors and a bachelor's degree in history, Barbara quickly discovered that a Phi Beta Kappa key opened few occupational doors for a woman with no typing skills. Undaunted by that reality, Barbara found employment as a claims representative with the Social Security Administration by dialing her way through the telephone directory listings of government agencies she thought might present interesting job opportunities. During her two years with the agency, Barbara gained valuable practical experience in the interpretation and application of statutes by administrative agencies.
In 1961, Barbara accepted a 10-month fellowship as a legislative intern with the California State Assembly. She was only the second woman to be accepted into the then five-year-old program. As an intern, Barbara gained an insider's understanding of how legislation is crafted and enacted that still serves her well in dealing with issues of statutory interpretation.
At the conclusion of the internship, Barbara went to work on the reelection campaign of Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.
Following the election, in which Governor Brown prevailed over Richard Nixon, Barbara became the research director for the civil service unions of the Service Employees International Union. In this capacity she represented the union in appearances before the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and various committees of the State Legislature.
Barbara also enrolled in the night program at Loyola Law School. After two years as a night student, Barbara married attorney Jerold Perry. In what was, at the time, a remarkable example of role reversal, Barbara was able to quit her day job and become a full time law student, while Jerry not only supported her, but also typed her law school papers.
Barbara graduated first in her class at Loyola and was recruited to clerk for Otto M. Kaus, then Presiding Justice of Division Five of the Second District Court of Appeal. She followed Irving Greines into that position. Six months into what was to have been a one-year clerkship, Justice Kaus asked Barbara to stay on permanently. Over the next 20 years Barbara worked as personal clerk to Justice Kaus (2-1/2 years), criminal law specialist for the division (5-1/2 years), Division Five writs attorney (9 years) and, after Justice Kaus' appointment to the Supreme Court, personal clerk to his successor, Presiding Justice Robert Feinerman (3 years).
Upon Justice Feinerman's retirement in 1988, Barbara left the Court and began her of counsel relationship with Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, handling appeals, writs, and law and motion proceedings.
Barbara and Jerry have two sons and a lovely daughter-in-law. In 1982, Barbara's then 12-year-old son taught her how to use a computer and she now types well enough to function in the modern legal world. When not lawyering, Barbara loves to cook, arrange the flowers her gardener tends, play bridge, read novels, work crossword puzzles, and watch her own personal definition of movies for adults – namely, romances without sex, mysteries without violence, and epics without special effects. She watches TCM a lot.
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