OWOSSO — Attorney Barbara BakerOmerod says business has been great since moving into her new office on M-52.
She made the move to the new location at 401 S. Shiawassee St. in May. Before her that, BakerOmerod was sharing office space with another attorney on Water Street in downtown Owosso.
Since moving she has completely redecorated the office and added wooden floors, which she said makes it easier for people in wheelchairs to get around.
“It’s been really nice at my old office it was really hard for my handicap clients because my office was upstairs and we had a small parking lot. Being right of M-52 has been great.
She tries to handle most things out of court, but when she does have to go before a judge its usually Judge Matthew Stewart in 35th Circuit Court.
“We’re really lucky here in Shiawassee County that the judges really care about their residents and the people before them and they are focused on that. It’s one of the reasons I’m planning on staying in Shiawassee County,” she said.
BakerOmerod said a recent case the Argus-Press brought to the light involving Owosso native Bob Neil is a great example of why estate planning is so important. Neil was attacked and left for dead in Lansing. He wasn’t expected to survive the attack and after waking up from a coma, he found himself subject to a guardianship by a for-profit company he claims is taking advantage of him.
“A necessity is to have something that says these are the people I want to manage my stuff during my lifetime if I’m not able to. Even more important then that can be setting up power of attorney especially medical power of attorney to tell the doctors what you want to have happen to you,” she said.
“I think it’s important if you have to work with an attorney you should work with someone who doesn’t talk down to you. If your in a difficult situation that is hard to deal with you don’t want your attorney to cause you more pain and suffering then the situation,” she added.
BakerOmerod grew up in the Kalamazoo area and graduated from Plainwell High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in hotel restaurant management. She worked in restaurants for a few years before deciding it wasn’t for her. She enrolled at Thomas Cooley Law School in 1992.
Her first job after law school was working for a large group home company as “their entire legal” department.”
Since arriving in Owosso she has expanded the type of law services she offers her clients. BakerOmerod now specializes in Medicaid for couples, probate law, estate planning — including guardianships and conservatorships — and family law like settling custody disputes and divorces.
Besides practicing law in the area, BakerOmerod is also very involved in the legal community. She regularly participates in mock trials in the 35th Circuit Court for Law Day to help educate school students on how the court works.
“With litigation and family law and so much difficult work that’s stressful it’s really nice to do things that are different and help teach kids about the court in the process,” she said.
She also serves on the board of Memorial Healthcare and has been dong so for just over a year now.
BakerOmerod and her husband live in Lennon and chose the area because at the time it was a good halfway spot for both of their commutes for work.
Currently, she serves as the president of the village of Lennon, a position she has held for three years. It’s a non-partisan position.