VVisitors to San Tan Village in Gilbert can now find restaurants, plenty of shopping, and legal advice, thanks to Mesa’s lawyer Billie Tarascio.
Opened earlier this month, its Modern Law Express walk-in office is the latest iteration of Tarascio’s long-standing goal of ensuring legal advice is accessible and affordable.
The location of Modern Law Express and is intended as a bridge between self-representation and traditional legal representation.
The services provided by the San Tan site include family law matters such as divorce and custody, estate planning, and counseling in Arizona’s new marijuana conviction write-off program.
A graduate of the University of Oregon and its law school, Tarascio has used her 16 years of legal experience to create innovative options for those facing costly and complex legal battles.
“If people don’t have access to information, advice and strategy, it can be devastating for them and their families,” she said. “They can lose their kids, they can really hurt themselves in court, or they can end up with a divorce judgment or a judgment costing them tens of thousands of dollars that could have been avoided.
“So having options that aren’t just the traditional model is really important.”
His own experience influenced his approach to law.
“I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but very early on in college my parents had a pretty unexpected and traumatic divorce that wasn’t really done well,” she recalls. “It was so disrupting not only their lives, but mine and my brother’s as well, that I decided to become a family lawyer and work with families facing similar issues.”
Its team of family and in-store lawyers help clients determine what services are needed and how much they cost, then connects them with the right lawyers or certified legal document preparers.
To save clients what can turn into thousands of dollars in fees, Tarascio often directs clients to online resources.
These can range from Modern Law’s sister company I Do Over, a legal document preparation service, to free online courses, or legal coaching.
The San Tan Village Modern Law pop-up is also helping people clear marijuana convictions in Arizona courts following the recent passage of Proposition 207, which legalized recreational marijuana.
According to the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office, under the Smart and Safe Act, individuals can apply to the court to strike out a marijuana-related arrest, charge, judgment, conviction or sentence if a case fulfills the required conditions.
A charge can be struck if the case involved possession of paraphernalia used to consume marijuana or less than 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana. De-listing is also possible if an individual has been convicted of growing fewer than six plants in a primary residence for personal use.
While the deregistration option was only available in July, Tarascio said his legal team had yet to complete the process.
“Arizona doesn’t have write-offs for any type of criminal matter they set aside,” Tarascio said, “One write-off literally erases it from your record so you can have all of your civil rights restored. “
These rights include the ability to obtain government-funded loans, hold public office, serve on a jury, and the right to vote, among others.
Tarascio explained that at the San Tan Village location, “You can get your deregistration for $ 199 and you can get an uncontested divorce for $ 999, so it’s really a little cheaper than what you would pay in passing. by a traditional lawyer. “
Equipped with 25 legal professionals committed to improving access to justice and original ideas to save clients money, time and energy, Tarascio said the location of Modern Law Express could change. the lives of countless East Valley residents.
“Usually with law firms you have to go looking for them, but with that you are shopping and besides getting a shirt at Macy’s you can also get a power of attorney,” Tarascio said.