Taproot Law

Taproot Law

Human-Centered Legal Advocates

With our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan


Moving away from perfectionism toward human prosperity

Perfectionism and harm

At Taproot, we love our podcasts, especially when they help us improve our work and services. A couple weeks ago, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, People I (Mostly) Admire, which hosted Psychologist Thomas Curran to talk about perfectionism. Curran explained that perfectionism is “a universally negative trait”, and it is hurting people. I thought about this within the context of law.

Perfectionism is STILL proudly pervasive and prized trait in the law, and it continues to promote “right-or-wrong” culture. This is particularly harmful because the legal system is the umbrella of broader social systems that include government, education, human services, and growth-focused economy.

In the podcast episode, Curran reflects on how pursuing perfectionism drives us as a society to grow at all costs. He explains,

“…we’ve got to get away from this fixation on growth at all costs. I think the emphasis needs to switch from growth to human prosperity, to things that matter for people. And then within that we tackle the distributional problem because we live in an era of excess, of abundance, but the proceeds of that abundance are extremely lopsided and not very evenly spread.”

We are what we listen to

At Taproot, we aim to do what Curran describes—build a firm culture that focuses on human prosperity rather than a growth-at-all-costs culture that thrives on perfectionism and harms ourselves and our clients:

  • We do in-depth research to understand our clients’ needs and experiences and follow the science.
  • We work in a strength-based culture where we have honest and hard conversations about how we can best support each other and our clients.
  • We prioritize equal pay across the team and benefits like paid maternity leave.
  • We ditched the billable hour to provide more accessible and affordable legal services.
  • We rest. There’s a direct relationship between perfectionism and grind culture, and Taproot isn’t interested in that relationship. What we are interested in is living healthy and fulfilling lives, which requires rest. Looking for something to add to your reading list? Check out Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey. In addition to the podcast mentioned here, its work like Hersey’s that drives us.

Follow our journey as we build our business culture to follow the science and lead our industry into an age of human prosperity. Have podcast or books recs to help us do that? Send them our way, and we might feature them in a discussion!