Taproot Law

Taproot Law

Human-Centered Legal Advocates

With our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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The UP is a Legal Desert and Taproot Law is Taking it On with Innovation

Recent data shows that there is an overall attorney shortage throughout the U.P. According to legal experts, only about 2% of practicing attorneys live in rural America. This is a recipe for what is called a “legal desert.” In legal deserts, legal services are few and far between, even though the need is great. 

Check out the interactive map from the National Center for State Courts to see what legal services are and are not available in your area. Use the scroll feature below to find and access the map:

On that map, you’ll see there aren’t a lot of red dots in the UP, especially compared to lower Michigan. Taproot Law aims to fill the gap of services through innovative products and services like workshops, coaching, and Make-it-Legal document preparation and instructions.

Educational Workshops

An increase in technology and information has not solved problems created by inaccessibility, information overwhelm, the lack of understanding, and mistrust- all of which are huge barriers in delivering legal services to people in legal deserts. This is why I’m hitting the road to visit communities throughout the U.P. to offer educational workshops. 

From Copper City to Chatham, we’re sharing our interactive and easy-to-understand materials that will help you break down the law and apply it to your own life. We are using Facebook events to start the basics of estate planning, probate, and real estate before the day of the workshop. Participants have left feeling more confident about navigating the legal process, and communities have embraced us wholeheartedly. 

Coaching 

While the internet makes it a little easier to search for answers to legal questions, this process still lacks the local legal expert who can offer guidance on your unique situation. I’m a little different from Google or ChatGPT in that, through legal coaching, I carefully listen to your story and questions and work with you to strategize for how you get specific answers to your questions. We’re also working on resources that help to facilitate the coaching process through onboarding and aftercare. Coaching is not only a 30-minute phone call. It’s a way to share your story, get clear on your goals, and make sure you know how to take the next and necessary steps.

Make-it-Legal

It’s pretty common that people have legal projects where they don’t need to retain a lawyer for thousands of dollars, but do need guidance in completing certain paperwork. Taproot is unlike most legal services in Michigan in that we’re able to help you with those kinds of projects through limited scope representation for a more affordable price and with less headaches. Make-it-Legal builds on coaching and utilizes storytelling to guide you through the process of a specific legal project. The products we use encourage client interaction and specific steps that need to be taken in order to complete the project with my guidance. 

Taproot is innovating for you

Earlier this week, we published a Green Space article featuring innovator Justin Carlson who is finding ways to make support more accessible to those with chronic health. Similarly, we are constantly innovating with new products and services that are meant to transform the U.P.’s legal deserts to an oasis of certainty and confidence for taking on legal challenges and questions. One of our dreams is to basically make a Taproot app that you can easily access on your smartphone. But we also know that not everyone in our communities can easily access apps and other kinds of technology. That’s why we’re starting with low-tech products and building from the ground up to meet the diverse needs across the U.P. Let us know how we can help you turn a legal desert into an oasis with our workshops, coaching sessions, and make-it-legal services! 

Check out upcoming Taproot events!

February 24: Make a Will Workshop at Rock River Township Library in Chatham, 10 a.m. EST. RSVP to hello@taprootadvocates.com.

March 6: Law Decoded at Gallery Coffee, Munising, 10-11 a.m. EST

March 21: Watch Erica on Ask the Lawyers on WNMU-TV, 8 p.m. EST

April 12: Law Decoded at Alpha Michigan Brewing Company, Alpha, 7 p.m. EST