Bicka Barlow received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in Genetics. She perused her scientific and academic interests and obtained a Master of Science degree from Cornell University in the fields of Genetics and Developmental Biology, with minors in Plant Molecular Biology and Cellular Biology. Ms. Barlow’s studies focused on the molecular mechanisms for controlling the expression of genes during development in plants and yeast.
Ms. Barlow moved on to the law and obtained her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
After serving as a research attorney for the Criminal Division of the San Francisco Superior Court, Ms. Barlow opened her private criminal law practice. From the beginning, she focused on DNA cases. During her time in private practice, Ms. Barlow acted as an attorney/consultant on over 100 DNA cases at all stages of the proceedings, from trial to post conviction, in Federal and state courts. In 1998, Ms. Barlow, along with lead counsel Michael Burt, conducted the first successful challenge in the United States to the admissibility of STR evidence in the case of People v. Bokin. Ms. Barlow was DNA counsel in a capital case in 2000 that resulted in a life verdict.
Ms. Barlow was also co-counsel in a capital post conviction case, In re Dennis Lawley, in which she was responsible for the handling of toolmark evidence. This evidence was the only physical evidence linking Lawley to the homicide. Later, the evidence that the gun found in Lawley’s possession was the murder weapon was disproven by the discovery of the actual gun, found buried in a field over 20 years after the crime.
In 2004, Ms. Barlow became the DNA attorney for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office where she acted as an in house expert, consulting with attorneys on cases involving DNA evidence and acting as co-counsel primarily on homicide and serious felony cases.
In 2013, Ms. Barlow returned to private practice. She now specializes in cases involving forensic DNA evidence throughout the United States. Her experience covers all types of cases and includes STR based DNA testing, mitochondrial DNA testing and Y-STR based testing.