• Joe

Power to the People (Yes, Even YOU)

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Hi there! My name is Joe Macklin, and I’m Trellis Legal’s new associate attorney.

I’m thrilled to be working with an attorney who’s passionate about serving the needs of the small business community in a hands-on and affordable way (*shout out to Marlene!*). I was born and raised in Virginia, and my working-class family taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. Neither of my parents graduated from college, but they gave me the strength, support, and work ethic I needed to get through college and law school.

My career trajectory has been anything but traditional. I went to law school because I’ve always been interested in serving the needs of the community, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized among us. I also went to law school to buy time because I couldn’t figure out what to do with my B.A. in political science, which is NOT something I recommend doing. 

People often draw attention to the fact that I’ve been all over the place since I worked a wide variety of jobs before I made my way into practicing law. I’ve been a housekeeper, a singing server on a dinner cruise line, an intern for a U.S. Senator, a banquet server, an overnight front desk person at a hotel, and an attorney for parents involved in the child welfare system. These seemingly disparate work experiences shaped my perspective. 

I know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in, and I bring that approach to my practice. I also know what it’s like to dream big when you have little at the start. If you have the will and the drive needed to succeed, but don’t really know how to get from Point A to Point B, Trellis Legal might be the firm for you. I aim to bring this practice to the people who need it most. 

Trellis serves anyone with small business needs, but I’m most interested in reaching our friends in the community who don’t have the benefit of accessing legal services. People oftentimes don’t have the funds needed to consult with an attorney when they have a matter pop up that needs a good read over by someone who has the technical know-how needed to deftly navigate small business legal needs. I'm excited that Trellis can offer these services at a number of price points to help bridge this gap.

This barrier and others like it can keep potential business owners from reaching their full potential. I get this. Speaking from personal experience, there’s nothing worse than a stalled-out dream. That's why I want to be there for the Black community. For women. For the LGBTQIA+ community. For immigrants. For single parents. For the working class. I’m dedicated to making things a little bit easier for the people who need a bit of cost effective assistance and guidance. When they’re getting a small business off the ground or trying to take an existing business in a different direction.

In my free time, I enjoy grabbing a coffee and going for long walks, rummaging through bargain bins, and being with people who are usually overlooked and passed by. I’m an only child and a homebody (...lounging around is actually my favorite thing to do), so I have to remind myself to get out of my apartment and be in the world so I can learn from the people around me and immerse myself in new experiences every day. I love serving others by volunteering. 

For instance, when I take the time to make sure our neighbors have food and the essentials they need to live dignified lives, it reminds me I wasn’t born with a law degree. I needed a good deal of support to land where I am today. I find that practicing humility makes me a better attorney and a better friend. Even when times are tough, I have to remind myself I’m called to be a light in this world. So are you.

I hope to work with you soon. Thank you for being part of my journey.

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