August Jefferson Award Winner: Carole Pasternak

Carole Pasternak and Karen Nath
Carole Pasternak and Karen Nath(FOX 47)
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 4:33 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – Obtaining legal aide can come with a big price tag.

However, for those less fortunate, Legal Aide of Olmsted County (LAOC) is one of two county specific legal aide organizations helping those less fortunate by taking cases pro-bono.

One volunteer in particular is someone Executive Director Karen Nath knows she can call in a pinch or if she needs someone immediately.

Carole Pasternak is a full-time attorney with Klampe Law Firm in Rochester who has multiple pro-bono cases at any given time through LAOC.

While she says it’s not a huge time commitment and just part of her case load at this point, Carole knows her giving back is important.

“Most people don’t have a lot of experience with the court system and it’s a little bit frightening and intimidating,” Pasternak said. “Especially in the family context because people are going to court to deal with the possible breakdown of their marriage, what’s going to happen to their children and people are frightened.”

Taking cases for those less fortunate on a pro-bono basis is something families and the community are especially thankful for.

Whether paid or not, Carole treats every case the same and Karen Nath is especially thankful for all of Carole’s work.

“For all of her years of practicing law in Rochester, Minnesota she has given back time and time again,” Nath said.

Volunteers like Carole are critical to LAOC, which has a growing need as demand increases.

“In 2021, applications for service were up 64% and in 2022 applications for service are up an astounding 65% over that,” Nath said.

Carole also serves as President of LAOC’s Board of Directors.

To find more information about LAOC, click here.

If you know someone “multiplying good” in your community and think they’re deserving of a Jefferson Award, you can nominate them here.