Taproot Law

Taproot Law

Human-Centered Legal Advocates

With our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Blog

Taproot goes ALL-IN on Limited Scope Representation, a bittersweet goodbye to Josie, and hello, Emily! 

Limited scope representation is here to stay!

Six years ago, Michigan’s Supreme Court adopted rules that allowed lawyers to help a client through a portion of their legal project and the client could do the other part of the project. This is called limited scope representation. Taproot is proud to announce that all our services are limited scope!  

Context. Before 2018, lawyers avoided limited scope representations because they created a high risk of being held responsible for knowing everything in a case. To minimize these risks, lawyers created traditional law firm systems that include a heavy use of staff (legal assistants and paralegals) to manage all parts of legal projects for more than one client. This increases costs to run a law office, which (1) increases costs and delays of getting understandable legal information to clients and (2) many of those who can afford it are paying for services they may not otherwise want or need. 

What does this mean for Taproot? Erica will longer represent people in court, at hearings, or in communications with other parties or professionals. By eliminating this type of work, she is able to focus on helping clients move forward through coaching, preparing documents for clients, and teaching the law through workshops. We are also able to offer flat fees, which are transparently published on our website. Next week, Erica will be discussing our newest limited scope representation service: joint divorces! 

Farewell!

Now for some bittersweet news, we say farewell (for now) to our wonderful team member, Josie, and hello to new people and goals for 2024. When Josie made the decision to leave Taproot, we were definitely sad for us, but excited for what’s next for Josie and her family. Before she left at the end of 2023, Josie graciously shared some perspective for this week’s blog.

A note from Josie

I’ve decided to leave Taproot, because the responsibilities of both working and caring for an infant/toddler have been more demanding than I ever imagined! I’m finding myself struggling to keep up with it all and realizing I need to acknowledge my limits and prioritize caring for myself and my baby in this season.

At the same time, I’ll miss the opportunity to connect with people around the UP, and being a part of the team that ushers in innovative ways to meet legal needs. I loved working with the team, hands down. Besides that, I love the flexibility and space for creativity, experimentation, and innovation.

Even though I’m saying goodbye for now, I won’t be far away. I’m excited to watch Taproot grow and expand. Coaching and Make-it-Legal are some of the most accessible legal resources in the UP right now and I’m excited to see them take off as word gets out!

For now, you can find me doing lots of reading, cuddling, and exploring with my little one. She’s hitting new milestones daily and I want to be present for all of it. Also, more naps! 

We’re excited to stay in touch and see your little one grow, Josie. Thank you for being part of the Taproot team!

Introducing Emily Lin, contractual designer for Taproot

We’re really excited about what we’re creating at Taproot. And, we know good design and usable products constantly need to be improved. Enter Emily Lin, who will be helping with this process from time to time!

A little from Emily:

Before I began my journey as a design professional, my passion for creating human-centered experiences grew from my time as an assistant golf coach for an elementary school on the outskirts of Detroit. My first design prototypes were flashcards with ink that bled through the back, as I searched for ways to make learning the sport more approachable. The feeling it gave me to watch my students’ eyes light up with every new iteration guided my eventual pursuit of a B.A in Experience Architecture from Michigan State University and a dream to find a successful career in user experience.

It has been a personal goal of mine to use my skills in ways that engage with the world more meaningfully – I love the passion I can feel from Taproot’s team and mission. I am excited to apply my design background to support Taproot’s human-centered goals and processes. In the short-term, my goal is to bring a user-centered design perspective to the different products and services offered by Taproot. My goal is to understand the user needs of Taproot’s clients and team, and create designs informed by those needs. 

I hope to design in a way that improves client experience and helps make space for the team to do their best work. In the long-term, my goal is to have a successful career as a user experience professional and work for companies that put their users first. With human-centered being a pillar of Taproot’s culture, I’m excited for the opportunities to build the skills necessary to have a sustainable career in human-centered design in the future with a job that truly enables me to place people first.

Bring on the new year!

What a way to kick off 2024! We know Josie won’t be too far away, cheering us on, and we’re really excited to fine tune our designed products with Emily. Check out our website for more information about our services! 

Save the date!

January 17: Join Erica for an interactive workshop from our “What to Expect” series, Caring for an Aging Loved One in Marquette.

And wait, there’s more! We’d love to host a legal workshop with you!

Our public workshops are dialed for 2024! We’ve offered them up to local libraries that are booking fast, so we wanted to offer them to you to host a group!

  1. Similar to the event noted above, we’ll be offering the “What to expect” series that discusses caretaking for an elderly loved one (up to 14 people).
  2. Make a Will workshop that uses the statutory will to discuss estate planning, and people leave with the will if it meets their needs. See the flier below for more details (up to 14 people).
  3. Law Decoded, is a question-and-answer public session that is perfect for pubs, cafes, or restaurants (no limit on participants).

There is no charge for these workshops in 2024. Get creative and consider hosting a group of friends, members from a social group or association (Rotary, garden club, etc.), family members, clients, coffee-talk group at Big Boy, (social) science on tap, pub patrons, etc.  

Reach out to us if you have an idea at hello@taprootadvocates.com. Happy new year from the Taproot team!