Who We Are
ELIZABETH WARREN is an attorney and court-approved mediator licensed in Michigan and Ohio. She has been practicing law since 1993, focusing on Social Security Disability law since 1998.
Clients say that Elizabeth brings knowledge, compassion, clarity, and balance to her work. They appreciate her ability to resolve matters under what can be stressful and emotional circumstances, and that she recognizes and honors the spectrum of domestic and financial arrangements.
Elizabeth received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Before pursuing a legal career, she trained as a classical musician, earning a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. After graduation, Elizabeth served as a campus minister. Her unusual background as minister and musician provides her with a broad palette of experience, understanding, and creativity.
She is a proud resident of Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she lives with her wife, a dog, and an undisclosed number of chickens.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Mediation and Domestic Violence Screening training completed at the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute
Admitted to State Bar of Michigan – 1999
Admitted to Ohio Supreme Court – 1993
Case Western Reserve University School of Law – 1993
Oberlin College – 1978
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIPS
State Bar of Michigan (Sections of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Master Lawyers, Social Security Lawyers-Former Chair, Family Law)
Washtenaw County Bar Association (Sections of Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, LGBTQ Rights)
SARAH RYAN SCHAIRBAUM is an attorney licensed in Michigan who focuses on planning for families with special needs children.
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, she hails from a long line of lawyers, including her father and grandfather, who was a Circuit Court judge for Calhoun County. Sarah graduated from University of Michigan, and received her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy.
After completing two judicial clerkships at the circuit court level—one in Kalamazoo County and one in Cook County, Illinois—Sarah began her law career focused on the legal aspects of insurance coverage. Although the work was challenging, it was impersonal. Sarah realized it didn’t fulfill her desire to help people, which is what sent her to law school in the first place.
She decided to refocus her work to help families with the legal and financial planning often required for special needs children—especially as those children approach adulthood. The client-centered, compassionate approach of Elizabeth Warren, PLLC, appealed to Sarah, and she joined the practice in 2016.
Sarah lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, three children and a dog. She serves on the boards of several local organizations, and is president of the Parent-Teacher Organization of the school where two of her children attend.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Estate Planning & Probate Certificate Recipient, Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Admitted to State Bar of Michigan – 1996
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law – 1996
University of Michigan – 1993
State Bar of Michigan (Sections of Elder and Disability Rights, Probate and Estate Planning, Social Security Lawyers)
Washtenaw County Bar Association (Sections of Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law)
BETSY HEMERYCK is our Case Manager and Administrative Assistant. She has more than 30 years of administrative experience serving Washtenaw County residents including roles with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and University of Michigan Health Systems. Betsy has worked with Elizabeth Warren since 2009. She’s a wiz with paperwork, and her wise words and kind demeanor lend strength and hope to clients. Our clients appreciate that Betsy can help them organize their memories of events, which is often essential in developing complete evidence for their cases. Betsy enjoys country living. At present, besides her husband and daughter, her family includes three cats and two dogs, all rescues.
Ashley Gotts has been our file clerk since 2015 and is considering a career as a paralegal. A lifelong Washtenaw County resident and devoted jiu-jitsu student, Ashley is interested in journalism and—like the rest of the office—loves animals.
Johanna Schmaltz abstracts medical records, a task critically important to our client’s cases. She is meticulous and pays attention to every small detail, a trait she attributes to her autism. Johanna holds a BA in chemistry from North Carolina State University and is trained in medical coding. She enjoys cooking, reading history, and Pokémon Go.