Wayne Law student has the bench in his sights


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

As the son of Lt. Brian Barlog in the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Brandon Barlog got an early introduction to the law when his father would take him to court for some of his hearings.

“I was really fascinated by the entire process,” Barlog says. “Naturally, I chose criminal law as my focus due, in large part, because of him and the exposure to the criminal justice system that came with it.

“I want to be a prosecutor, because I think it is important to help crime victims and their families get justice. But long term, I would like to be a judge. I believe that any person who appears in court should be entitled to a fair hearing and be treated with respect.”

Barlog started on his career path by earning his undergraduate degree, with distinction, from the University of Michigan, majoring in political science and German, and minoring in moral and political philosophy.

“Having three academic concentrations allowed me to develop as a writer and enhance my critical thinking skills needed to meet the demands of law school,” he says. “One of the best experiences during my time at Michigan was working as an undergraduate intern for U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani – I got to see first hand how the court system works, and to witness the interactions between the attorneys, the judge, and clients.”

After U-M, Barlog headed to Wayne State University Law School, where he has enjoyed his first two years.

“I’m in the heart of the legal community of Michigan, as well as in the center of Detroit’s comeback, and I’ve been blessed to be part of challenging, yet rewarding co-curricular organizations.”

A member of the National Mock Trial team that competed last winter in Dayton, Barlog is also in Moot Court, where he and Lauren Potocsky won the Arthur Neff Moot Court competition last fall, and Barlog made it back to the finals in the winter. And Barlog was recently named the new editor-in-chief of The Journal of Law in Society, one of Wayne Law’s two publications.

“All of that would not be possible without the help of the faculty and 3L student mentors,” he says. “Each activity is unique in its own way, but I’ve had a balance of oral advocacy and writing, which I know will benefit me in my legal career.”

Barlog clerks for the Criminal Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, where he helps draft legal memos, researches issues ranging from white collar crime to human trafficking, and has appeared in court on a number of occasions.

“The assistant attorneys general are fantastic mentors, and I’ve learned so much from each of them,” he says. “My job has enhanced my research and writing skills, and I’ve had the privilege to get a first-hand look into how the criminal justice system functions on a daily basis.”

In his leisure time, the Macomb Township native enjoys watching his favorite Detroit sports teams, traveling up north, and spending time with family and friends.

“I would not be here today without the love, support, and guidance of my parents, Brian and Nancy, my brother, Bradley, extended family, and friends,” he says.

Outside of the law, Barlog’s other passion is soccer, where he has served as a referee since the age of 14. Although two knee surgeries sidelined him as a player, refereeing allows him to still be an integral part of the game. What started as a hobby working a few games on the weekend quickly turned into something more. Barlog has been selected as a referee three times to officiate at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, selected four times as a referee for the Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals, and Barlog is starting to referee college games in the NCAA.

“Both law and soccer are interconnected in so many ways,” he says. “As a future lawyer, I will have to interpret and apply statutes and rules – as a referee, I have to apply the laws of the game during every match. And of course, in both the legal and refereeing world, I have to deal with unhappy, frustrated, and, often, vocal individuals who disagree with me.

“Refereeing has taught me to remain calm under pressure situations and to act quickly, yet decisively – I no doubt can apply that mentality to the courtroom.”