Greenwood & Phinney Ridge

Community Stories

"Jamie is an attorney with integrity and a caring heart! "

Meet Jaime from Phinney Estate Law.

There is no greater feeling than the vibes we get from our small business community in Greenwood and neighboring Phinney Ridge. In our neck of the woods we rely on a network of locally owned businesses that offer niche services and provide invaluable resources.

A perfect example is Phinney Estate Law. Phinney Estate Law sets themselves apart with their holistic value based approach to estate planning.  Jamie Clausen, partner at the home based law firm defines the holistic approach to us, over lattes at neighborhood coffee shop Makeda and Mingus.  She says  “we try to get to know our clients, their families, and their goals and focus our planning around on that.”  The holistic law approach is designed to take into account the whole person, including their emotions, values and unique family dynamics. This is a field where most estate law firms focus on high net worth and tax avoidance. The focus for  Phinney Estate Law is on the people in front of them so the legal services they provide can help improve their clients’ wholly.

Jamie has dedicated much of her life to public service and advocacy work. When she started her own law firm, in 2007,  to serve clients with limited resources remained a top priority.  Jamie and her law firm partner, who also happens to be her husband, 

Michael Ballnik, determined that an office based out of their Phinney Ridge home would provide overhead savings that they would pass on to their clients. It was a solid decision from the beginning as they soon discovered that the community had a real hunger for their niche estate law services.  Estate planning is complex and people need a legal resource that they can rely on to help them determine peaceful, logical, cost effective, and comfortable solutions. That’s what Phinny Estate Law offers.

Salmon Bay Community Lending & Phinney Estate Law paths often cross. For example, it is not unusual while in the process of buying a home that  unresolved entanglements, neglected long term planning & new responsibilities rise to the surface. Often these issues are estate planning, wills, guardianship and probate. Phinney Estate Law is often a natural fit for our clients who need legal assistance. Our business values are both based on fully serving our clients with compassion, education, encouragement and presence.

Spreading the word of diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of Jamie’s values.   She is one of the founders of our beloved gay pride event, Rainbow Hop a family-friendly LGBTQ celebration for everyone. It’s a yearly event filled with live entertainment and interactive activities that bring neighbors together in early June.  At Rainbow Hop visitors are treated to Live Music, Drag Queen Story Time, Face Painting, Arts and Crafts and much more.

Jamie also launched an informal Facebook group named Fighting Anti-Semitism in 52 weeks . Its’s a proactive feed dedicated to supporting her Jewish neighbors and fighting antisemitism. 

Jamie’s passion for community and activism has been a life long endeavor that is personal and professional.  It’s a humanitarian value that her daughter has taken to heart. In fact, her 10 year old daughter is responsible for spearheading the naming of the new Greenwood Park that opened in 2019. At  8 years  old her daughter wrangled the support of the community to get behind the naming of the new park.  She wanted the park to be named after Alice Ball a minority, female scientist who discovered  one of the first treatments for leprosy. She believed that a park named after Alice Ball would inspire and encourage education for all people.   To advocate her idea she produced a short video about Alice Ball.  The video touched many people in the community and resulted in the official name,  Alice Ball Park.

 A vibrant neighborhood is based  on community involvement and we are all so happy to have Jamie as one of our leaders.

So many of the our small businesses in our community share the common values of inclusion, diversity and neighborliness.  Thanks to Jamie and her family for working to pull us together!

If you want to know more about getting involved in the community you can get started at the Phinney Neighborhood Association.