Addict, Convict, Lawyer

Growing up as a troubled teen, Barry Voss fell to drugs and alcohol at a very young age.

He was in and out of Woodview Detention Home, a juvenile lockup facility in St. Paul, MN, from 1965 to 1969. In 1967, 1968, and 1969 he was committed to Boys Totem Town, a Ramsey County (St. Paul) youth facility, for six months each time he was committed.

In 1970, Barry was committed to the State Youth Conservation Commission - Lino Lakes Diagnostic and Treatment Center. He spent two months in the facility, and broke his right hand in a fist fight with another inmate and was transferred to Red Wing State Training School for Boys for the next eight months. He was in and out of these types of institutions. The offenses that sent him to the various institutions concerned drugs and theft.

In 1972, he was committed to St. Cloud Reformatory for Men for 5 years having  been convicted of burglary.  At this point, he was addicted to shooting dope, cocaine, and morphine. In 1973, Barry was released to Project Newgate, a community-based corrections program emphasizing group therapy. While in Project Newgate, he eventually became a counselor and then a group leader.

Barry then completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Minnesota in 1975 and was admitted to Hamline University School of Law. While in law school he processed, and obtained, a pardon from Minnesota Governor Perpich.

Since his admission to the Minnesota Bar in 1978, he has been an attorney with an active practice focusing on criminal defense. He also served on the board of Ramsey County Corrections Advisory Board and Eden House Board of Directors. He has counseled and represented prison inmates as a member of the Legal Advocacy Project. 

In 1986 he appeared on People Are Talking in Philadelphia, PA, and the Phil Donahue Show in New York, NY, to discuss intro-familial sexual abuse cases. He had received twenty-six not guilty verdicts in a nationally publicized case known as the Scott County Sex Abuse Cases. In 1991 he received the Minnesota Lawyers' and Judges' Choice Award for Most Well Prepared Lawyer. Since 2000, Barry has been voted Super Lawyer, one of the top 50 appellate lawyer and one of the top 40 criminal defense lawyers in the Minnesota Law and Politics survey of the practicing bar. He is also listed in Who's Who in American Law and the National Registry of Who's Who.

Based on his diverse experiences, he has authored a semi-autobiographical book titled A Taste of Cold Steel.

It is these life experiences that motivate Barry Voss to dedicate his time sharing his knowledge and experience with those in need. From kids at risk, to concerned family members, to professional organizations, Barry offers his services to anyone interested in learning about chemical dependency, addiction recovery, dysfunctional family life challenges and criminal law. 

Barry Voss Blog  view full blog

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The wisdom that Barry was able to gain from his rough life experiences was truly inspirational to me. I know many people "learn from their experiences" but in Barry's case, he is trying to help others learn from his e... - L.D.
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