Editor’s note: This article is written by Anna Mansfield, one of four participants in Flintside’s Journalism Fellowship program. Developed as part of our On the Ground initiative in Civic Park, the fellowship is designed to equip those who live and work here with the skills and an opportunity to tell the stories of Flint — the stories of their own neighborhoods and the experiences of their neighbors.
FLINT, Michigan—After travelling around the world, attorney Taylor Jameson found home in Flint.
Jameson, a single mom, works for Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. She came to Flint for a job, but says she ended up finding her passion for serving people and a community that inspires her to see life differently.
“Although Flint often gets a bad rep, I perceive the community as being very open and very resilient. I love Flint,” states Jameson. “I’ve witnessed a lot of people who have been knocked down multiple times due to the hardship of life — but they have not given up on life and continues to make the best out of life.”
And, now she’s heading a unique program that brings all of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan’s services directly to people in neighborhoods.
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan provides free legal services in many areas including family law, expungements, consumer matters, public benefits, landlord tenant, bankruptcy, education advocacy, as well as driver’s license restoration. Operating since 1951, it serves 14 counties in the eastern Michigan region.
Jameson is originally from Ohio, where she grew up in the countryside on a farm. She studied international business at Marietta College and earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve University, both in Ohio.
Law school internships and her jobs after graduation have taken her all over the world. Fluent in Chinese, Jameson has studied corporate and immigration law.
She is now Genesee county resident, owner of a 95-pound German Shepard, and a mom of an energetic, self-driven, 2-year-old daughter named Maylyn. Jameson loves gardening and other outdoor activities including hiking and farming.
In her newest professional venture, she is spearheading an effort for legal help to be more accessible to residents in Flint’s northside. Legal Services of Eastern Michigan partnered in March with the Ruth Mott Foundation to offer weekly hands on legal services at two north Flint locations.
“It’s nice to have a lawyer on the ground, located where you are,” Jameson said. “A lot of people don’t know what type of aid is needed, so I’m either able to help or point them in the right direction.”
Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., she has open office hours and welcomes walkin clients at St. Luke’s N.E.W. Life Center, 3115 Lawndale Ave and every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 2500 N. Franklin Ave.
“I’ve finally found my home and my niche, this isn’t something in my professional career that I’ve had before. The residents are super resilient, super amazing and fun to work with,” Jameson said. “I’m here to stay.”
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan also has a hotline available to make its services more accessible. It can be reached at 1-888-783-8190.