Wendi Barish

Campaign Cycle: 2019
Office: Common Pleas Court
First Name
Last Name
Campaign Cycle
Common Pleas Court
Sitting Judge
Email Address
Ballot Position (CP)
Ballot Position (MC)
Button #
Bar Association Rating
Progressive Groups
Public Officials
News Papers
What has been the general nature of your practice?
Upon graduation from law school in 1996 I began practicing the area of Employment Law. I later expanded into other areas involving civil rights, and worked on behalf of employees, employers and municipalities. In December 2015 I left a partnership at a private firm to accept a position with the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) as the Deputy General Counsel of Labor and Employment. I am currently the Senior Deputy General Counsel at PHA.
Why do you consider yourself qualified to be judge?
I possess the intelligence and aptitude required to be an effective judge, but more importantly, I have the personal characteristics that would make me a fair and equitable judge. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I attended public schools and received welfare benefits from the City of Philadelphia, which motivated me to want to give back to my community. I have personal experience with how the criminal sentencing of someone has a ripple effect on families. I recognize the existence of implicit bias in our society but remain objective and do not make assessments based on stereotypes.
What is it about our criminal justice system that inspires you?
The need for reform and the opportunity to make improvements. It is important to me, both personally and professionally, to be in a position where I can effectuate positive change. There is ample opportunity for me to do so in the criminal justice system.
What about our current criminal justice system do you believe needs to be reformed?
I believe the system is based on punitive rather than rehabilitative philosophies. The criminal justice system also needs to address certain issues, like how to help people re-enter society once they are released from prison, giving them a fighting chance to succeed.
As a judge, what would your sentencing philosophy be?
My sentencing philosophy would be to view each person as an individual and to issue sentences that take into account the full circumstances surrounding the person's criminal conduct, including any mental health and/or addiction issues.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night thinking about a case and wishing you had handled something differently? If so, please describe one situation.
No. While I have often woken up in the night thinking about a case during trial out of concern for my clients, I have never wished I had handled something differently. I pride myself on my work ethic and representing my clients to the best of my abilities.
Who are your role models and why?
Amelia Earhart, the Notorious RBG, and Mary Winston Jackson. Each of these women paved the way for women in male dominated professions. The Notorious RBG and I are also cancer survivors.
What is your favorite book, movie, or tv show of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
Say Anything is one of my favorite movies because the lead female character, Diane, was a strong, independent, intelligent high school senior who followed her heart without sacrificing her dreams. Also, who does not want John Cusack outside his/her/their window with a giant radio?!?
Name a song that you were obsessed with as a teenager.
The entire Purple Rain album by Prince.
What is you favorite number?
My 2019 ballot number!