Patrick Barry's teaching and research focus on creating a new vocabulary to talk about advocacy.

He is the author of Good with Words: Writing and Editing(Maize Books, 2019), Notes on Nuance (Maize Books, 2020), and the multivolume series The Syntax of Sports (Maize Books, 2019). Material from each is included in a four-part set of online courses he created for the educational platforms Coursera and Michigan Online.

An All-American soccer player in college, Professor Barry earned his law degree from the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Law Review and won both the Thomas R. Mulroy Prize in Appellate Advocacy and the Ann Barber Watson Prize for Outstanding Service. After law school, Professor Barry completed a PhD in English at the University of Michigan, with a special focus on the theatrical aspects of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. During that time, he worked with other Michigan faculty to create Clinnect, a global network of legal clinics devoted to combatting human trafficking. He then did a dual clerkship in Las Vegas for the Hon. Jennifer A. Dorsey and the Hon. Andrew P. Gordon. 

Among Professor Barry's teaching awards are the Wayne Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the Provost's Innovation in Teaching Prize, and the Outstanding Research Mentor Award. In addition, he was recently selected as a faculty fellow by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion's Center for Educational Outreach. A member of the California bar, he also teaches at the University of Chicago Law School and regularly works with law firms, state governments, and nonprofit organizations to improve their written and spoken advocacy.