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August 2011 Volunteer of the Month: Pat Yoedicke

Pat has been a CLC volunteer since 2001 and has represented eight clients.  Recently, she spent over 300 pro bono hours in just one case where she traveled frequently to Anoka and Polk Counties.  Pat has taken on some of the toughest clients who have needed a strong yet compassionate advocate.  She has the distinct ability to break through the walls her clients have built up after many years of betrayal by a system in which they now have little or no trust.

“The most important message I hope to convey to my clients is that their hopes and dreams can make a difference.”

One of Pat’s clients, a 13-year-old state ward who was separated from all of her family except her little sister, stood to also lose that sister as well because the county was planning to separate them.  Pat asked her client for as much detail as she could about her relationship with her sister, so that they could document its importance to all of the decision-makers.  Pat said, “My client looked at me through tears and told me there was no hope, that the separation was going to occur no matter what, and when that happened, she will have lost everything, there would be ‘nothing left to lose.” Pat encouraged her client to write it all down in an affidavit and the sisters were kept together and remain so to this day.

In 2007, Pat was nationally recognized for her work as the recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association.  Upon receiving the award, Pat said, “The most important message I hope to convey to my clients is that their hopes and dreams can make a difference.”

Pat currently works as a Personal Injury lawyer at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. Congratulations to Pat, CLC’s Volunteer of the Month!