After high school, Barrett attended Rhodes College, where she majored in English literature and minored in French. She graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa. In her graduating class, she was named most outstanding English department graduate. She then studied law at the Notre Dame Law School on a full-tuition scholarship. She was an executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review and graduated first in her class in 1997 with a Juris Doctor summa cum laude.
magna cum laude : GPA >= 3.85, usually top 10% of the class
summa cum laude.: GPA = 4.0, usually top 1% of the class