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Law court

Barbara L. Johnson

Employment Lawyer

Phone: 202.749.8322

Business Address

1300 I Street, NW

Suite 400E

Washington, DC 20005


Marshall-Wythe School of Law

College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia


Hampton University
Hampton, Virginia
B.S. Pre-Med concentration in Chemistry

BLJohnsonLaw, PLLC

Barbara L. Johnson is an accomplished legal strategist, consultant, and public speaker with a focus in labor and employment law matters, DEI strategies and initiatives, conflict resolution, and workplace compliance training. She has provided services to organizations of all sizes in a variety of industries. Barbara began her career as an in-house counsel and employment law partner with a minority-owned litigation boutique and an AmLaw 20 global law firm. 

After working with these organizations for many years and gaining experience in virtually all aspects of employment law, Barbara found herself at a crossroads. While she was proud of the work she had done and had enjoyed litigation and trial work, she wanted to spend more time advising employers on how to address day-to-day employment-related issues and improve workplace cultures. She also wanted to work in an environment that was less focused on profits per partner and more focused on personalized client service.

With this conviction, she decided to start her very own law firm, BLJohnsonLaw, PLLC, in January of 2016, where she helps clients resolve workplace issues in a cost-effective manner, while providing them with the highest quality legal and consulting services. She also serves as Counsel with Potter & Murdock, P. C., a woman-owned law firm.


Today, Barbara continues to live a life of purpose, pursuing excellence through rendering the highest standard of client service and positively impacting employment relationships and workplace environments.  

Bar Admissions & Certifications

  • United States Supreme Court Bar

  • District of Columbia Bar

  • State Bar of Texas

  • State Bar of Virginia

  • State Bar of Michigan

  • District Court for the District of Columbia

  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

  • Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law

Honors and Recognitions

  • American Bar Association's College of Labor & Employment Lawyers

  • International Who's Who of Business Lawyers

  • Washington DC Super Lawyers

  • Washingtonian Magazine's Top Lawyers

Professional Experience

Potter & Murdock, LLC
July 2016 - Present

Barbara serves as Counsel to the firm and continues her specialization in the representation of management in labor and employment matters.

Paul Hastings, LLP
Partner, 2002-2015

While with Paul Hastings, Barbara handled employment matters across the country, from wage and hour collective actions to single plaintiff discrimination cases. For five years, she served as national counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in five class/collective actions with billions of dollars at stake. She also served as a relationship partner to the client, offering high-level legal and business advice. In that capacity, she developed and implemented the legal strategy that resulted in summary at the District Court level, and that won again in the Ninth Circuit Court. The case was then, appealed to the US Supreme Court, which upheld the previous rulings.

In 2008, a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court returned an $11.4M verdict against Kaiser Permanente in a whistleblower case. The plaintiff's attorney had earned a reputation for winning large settlements. With so much at stake, Kaiser asked Ms. Johnson to retry the case. Within just a few weeks, she learned the facts of the case, gained the confidence of senior management, prepared dozens of witnesses for trial, and delivered a successful outcome—a verdict in Kaiser's favor and the plaintiff's agreement not to pursue an appeal.

Ms. Johnson was active in firm management and served as Chair of Paul Hastings’ Pro Bono and Community Involvement Committee, Chair of the Recruiting Committee for the DC office, and a member of the Global Diversity Committee.

Barclays Bank 
2012 and 2015

Barbara was seconded to Barclays Bank in New York, where she served as the director and head of Employment, Incentives & Pensions Legal (Americas). In this role, she was responsible for providing labor and employment advice related to Barclays' 11,000 employees in the Americas, supervising a team of five attorneys and participating on the global Employment, Incentives & Pensions Legal senior leadership team.

Wickliff & Hall, PC
Associate, 1990-1993; Shareholder, 1993-2001

Before joining Paul Hastings, Barbara was a shareholder in Wickliff & Hall, a Texas-based, minority-owned law firm, where she was a member of the firm's management committee. While working with Wickliff & Hall, she successfully tried a number of lawsuits in state and federal court, and was responsible for the successful resolution of many other cases through summary judgment or mediation. In addition, she briefed and argued a number of cases before state and federal Courts of Appeals.

The Dow Chemical Company

Barbara began her professional career at Dow as an analytical chemist and instrument engineer.  After shifting her focus and attending law school, she managed complex nationwide product liability litigation involving a product used in the construction industry. She became a member of a three-person legal department responsible for all legal matters at Dow's Texas operations, a site with more than 6,000 employees. While with Dow's Texas Operations, she advised the business on legal issues related to procurement, contracts, and real estate. She was responsible for advising the business on compliance with state and federal regulations affecting health, safety, environmental protection, and manufacturing. She litigated cases before the Texas Public Utility Commission arising out of Dow's extensive cogeneration activities. She also developed specialized expertise in labor and employment matters and was responsible for collective bargaining and negotiations with five labor unions, managing employment litigation, and resolving internal and external claims of discrimination.

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