3L Dane Barca, Ph.D., Editor, Hastings Law Journal
Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
Teen Years: “I sang in punk rock bands when I was in my teens. I played with a band and a guy who was sort of famous in the punk rock scene at the time said it was the most evil-sounding band he had ever heard.” He was also an Eagle Scout.
Grad School: Barca has a Ph.D. in English and the History of Medicine. “If you got sick in the 18th or 19th century, you would probably die, and unpleasantly.” His dissertation tracked the trajectory of medicine in literature. “Early Freud reads like the detective novels of the period.” His book is “The Human is Flesh: Science, Race, Gender & Medicine in American & British Literature, 1780-1870.”
Why Law?: “I was teaching at Menlo College, and while I liked the research side of academia, I found I didn’t really like dealing with students.”
Day Job: Barca was a TA (teaching assistant) for Professor Osagie Obasogie. “He pulls me aside after my con law class, and I thought I was in trouble. He says ‘You wrote a book, didn’t you?’ I said, “You are one of two people who know.” Barca helped Obasogie conduct research on the historical development of popular constructions of race and identity. “He has encouraged me to look at health law, so I have.” This marks a definite step up from his previous gig as a lobsterman in Maine.
Summer Gig: Barca worked in the general counsel’s office of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. “Because the office oversees all the legal needs of the department, I got to do real estate, labor law, and ended up working on a really interesting case on federal interest in a property.”
What Keeps Him Busy: Barca is editor of the Hastings Law Journal, ranked #31 in the country by Washington & Lee University. “It’s a two-year commitment. It seems like a lifetime right now.” The journal puts out six issues a year, and Barca supervises a staff of 100. “Do I like running big projects? I do. I like being in charge of stuff.”
What He’s Reading: “Christopher Moore is really easy to read, in that Kurt Vonnegut vein. I’ve also been reading a lot about rum lately. I also write poetry and am tinkering with a nonfiction project. I never tire of the written word. “
Why Rum?: Barca is a member of the prestigious Bartender’s Guild, and works Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Smuggler’s Cove, rated by Zagat as one of the best bars in the world. “I love bartending. My bartending shifts are my social time.”
His Drink: “When I go into a bar and want to test the caliber of the bartender, I order a Negroni. It should be, lights out, a very simple drink to make.”
Getting Real: “At heart, even though I work at a high-end bar, I’m a dive-bar-kind-of- guy. I love Zeitgeist. It has a fantastic beer selection.”