Patricia Yoedicke - 2007 Ann Liechty Award Recipient
Patricia Yoedicke is this year's Ann Liechty Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project Award recipient. Ms. Yoedicke is an attorney with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since 2000, Ms. Yoedicke has provided close to 800 pro bono hours representing children through the Children's Law Center of Minnesota. These children are state wards whose parents' rights have been terminated. Under Minnesota law, these children are not entitled to representation after the point at which their parents' rights are terminated. Ms. Yoedicke's volunteer representation fills the void for the children she represents. She has often been the most consistent person in these children's lives, and she treats them with respect and professionalism equal to her adult clients.
For each of her child clients, Ms. Yoedicke spends time ascertaining their wishes, explaining available options, consulting with social service providers, and making sure their voices are heard in court. For example, she worked diligently to keep three siblings together in a permanent placement after the proposed adoptive parent decided she only wanted to adopt one of the children. She also represented a child who had contacted the Children's Law Center requesting an attorney to help him get adopted. Ms. Yoedicke was able to successfully assist this child with an adoption placement, helped negotiate a visitation agreement with the child's biological brother, and worked diligently to maintain this placement for the child after the county refused to allow the child to remain in the home. As Ms. Yoedicke says about her pro bono work with children, "The most important message I hope to convey to my clients is that their hopes and dreams can make a difference."
For more information about the Ann Liechty Child Custody Pro Bono Award, or the ABA Child Custody and Adoption Pro Bono Project, contact .