Briefing Room


Alumnus pursues philanthropic work alongside real estate practice

November 17, 2016 | Alumni

Although law degrees seem to run in the family, Joshua Barkan ’12 is forging his own path when it comes to his law career. As a third-generation lawyer, Barkan is also making a splash in the philanthropic world as a young professional in the Columbus community.

Having grown up in Columbus, the city has given him the opportunity to get involved with various organizations and really make a difference in the community.

“In a sense, Columbus has grown up with me as I’ve been here and there’s such a strong young professional base here and so much opportunity whether that’s in the business community or the legal community,” said Barkan.

Barkan stays busy outside of the office by serving as the chairman for the Next Gen James Ambassador Society for the James Cancer Hospital. Led by Barkan, the group of young professionals hosted the first annual Mac and Cheese Festival at Easton Town Center to raise money and awareness for cancer research this past October.

In addition to his work with the James, Barkan is also on the Young Professionals Board for Homeport, a nonprofit dedicated to producing affordable housing for low-income members of the Central Ohio community.

Before attending Moritz, Barkan studied business as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. Now an associate at Kayne Law Group in Columbus, Barkan works in commercial and residential real estate, representing his clients in a variety of areas including financing, leasing, development, and the acquisition and sale of assets.

“I really like the transactional nature of the work, it is less adversarial,” he said “I like the subject matter, I enjoy the business negotiations, and I enjoy working with the parties on developments.”

The growing law group specializes in retail work within the real estate field and has been Barkan’s home since he passed the bar four years ago.

“The most rewarding aspects of my job are seeing my clients be successful and happy because they put a lot of money into their projects and they want to be successful,” Barkan said, “whatever I can do to help facilitate that is what I’m here for and to see them succeed is enjoyable for me.”

Choosing to go to Moritz was a way for Barkan to return home while receiving a top-tier education. Naturally, Barkan enjoyed his real estate courses taught by Professor Rick Daley and Professor Robert Weiler while he was a student.

“I think that Moritz did as good of a job as a law school can to prepare me for what lies ahead,” he said. “From negotiation competitions to practical course loads that gave you an idea of what it would be like to be in the legal community was what really prepared me to be successful.”

Barkan continues to work with and encounter his classmates while working in Columbus. “Some of us refer work to each other, work together or counter each other on a handful of deals,” he said.

The extensive reach of Ohio State’s graduate network has helped Barkan connect with lawyers from around the country and many others who make up the Columbus legal community.

His message to current law students is to enjoy law school and pursue classes that interest them. For students striving to work in real estate law, Barkan says to learn and understand the business side of the field in addition to the legal information.