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Overview

Sarah Baker, a Member with the firm’s Estate Planning practice group, prides herself on getting to know her clients. She finds that many legal issues are missed by practitioners in the area of estate planning due to a failure to fully understand clients’ relationships, assets, family structures, and family dynamics. With a Master’s Degree in psychology, Sarah believes that her innate ability to connect with clients on a more personal level enables her to more effectively assist them through the process of planning for the transfer of wealth and assets after death. Dependent upon a client’s needs, Sarah drafts wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and other estate planning documents, as well as provide education on the process itself to help clients understand the purpose and effect of their estate plan. In addition, she advises clients on real estate, probate, and employment-related matters.

Sarah also aligns her practice with the firm’s Education Law team, where she focuses particular attention on college, university, and K-12 compliance issues generated by multiple federal statutes, particularly Title IX. She has recently earned certification through the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) as a Civil Rights Investigator, Title IX Advisor, and K-12 Coordinator.

Sarah is a Critchfield fixture, having clerked at the firm during law school and started her legal career at the firm as a litigator following graduation from law school in 2009. While she transitioned her practice from litigation to estate planning years ago, Sarah still uses the knowledge gained as a litigator to help her clients avoid litigation in the areas of estate planning, real estate, and employment law.

Outside the office

Sarah and her husband Charles live in Wooster with their two children, Wesley and Katelyn. Sarah spends most of her free time with family and focusing on health and wellness. Sarah can often be found CrossFitting or at the lake skiing or surfing. To relax, Sarah enjoys cooking (but not baking, see article), hiking, and reading. If there is a great book that comes to mind, she welcomes you to email her your recommendations at sarahbaker@ccj.com.

Education

The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law; J.D.

University of Akron; M.A., Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Baldwin-Wallace College; B.S., Psychology

Admissions

Ohio

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Certifications

Civil Rights Investigator, Foundations Certification, Association of Title IX Administrators

K-12 Coordinator, Foundations Certification, Association of Title IX Administrators

Title IX Advisor, Foundations Certification, Association of Title IX Administrators

Title IX Coordinator and Administrator, Level Two: Special Topics “Pressures, Politics, Sanctions and Minors & MOUs, Association of Title IX Administrators

Experience

Estate Planning

  • Revocable Trusts
  • Charitable Planning Using Trusts
  • Decanting Trust Agreements
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Irrevocable Income Only Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney

Litigation

  • Argued numerous cases in the Ohio District Courts of Appeals
  • Argued employment discrimination case in the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Argued property valuation case in the Ohio Supreme Court

Recognitions

  • Wayne County Women’s Network, Young Professional ATHENA Award, 2019
  • Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame, 2014
  • Baldwin-Wallace College, Athletic Hall of Fame, 2013
  • Wooster High School, Sports Hall of Fame, 2011
  • Daily Record, Top Ten Female Athletes of the Century
  • Baldwin-Wallace College, Clyde Lamb Scholar-Athlete Award, 2003
  • Baldwin-Wallace College, Best Senior Female Athlete, 2003

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Wayne County Bar Association

In the Community

  • Wooster Rotary Club, 2010 – Present
    • Board of Directors
  • Wooster YMCA, 2010-2015
    • Board of Trustees
    • Board Secretary
  • STEPS Risers, 2010-2011
    • Board Member
  • Wayne and Holmes County United Way, 2010
    • Allocations Committee
  • Wooster Montessori School, 2010 – Present
    • Board of Directors
    • Board Secretary
    • Board President
  • First Presbyterian Church, 2010 – Present
    • Faith & Practice Committee Member
    • Resource Development Ministry Member
  • College of Wooster Women’s Advisory Board, 2017 – Present
    • Executive Committee
  • Foundation for Hospital Art, 2012 – Present
    • Advisory Board Member

Speaking Engagements

  • Ten Simple Steps to Creating an Effective Estate Plan, Cochrell Financial, 2019

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