Barbara was born and raised in Riverside, California, where she attended UC Riverside and graduated in 1984. She then moved to Los Angeles, where she met her husband, Scott, and had her first daughter, Laura, while attending law school at UCLA. She received her law degree from UCLA in 1987. Barbara and her family then moved to Seattle, where they lived for the next twenty years. During those years, she had another daughter, Jane, practiced tax and business law, clerked for the Washington State Supreme Court, and received her Masters of Law (LLM) degree in tax law from the University of Washington School of Law. Now Jane is off to college, it is time for a new challenge, teaching and directing the low income taxpayer clinic for the University of Idaho College of Law.