Page 11 - Minnesota Vol 8 No 5
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handled by volunteer attorneys with expertise in a wide variety of legal areas.  e organization maintains a robust list of 80-plus volunteer at- torneys, but legal services director Lindsay Flint says they can always use more, especially in Greater Minneso- ta. “We never know what our clients’ legal needs will be nor where they re- side,” she said.
Although being personally touched by cancer is not a requirement for the work, many lawyers are drawn to volunteer with CLC because they themselves or someone in their fam- ily has experienced the e ects of cancer. Olmsted, whose mother died from cancer,  rst worked with CLC as a volunteer.  en and now as a sta  member, she says she gets satisfaction from knowing she is “ lling a very real need. It’s incredible to be able to validate a client’s experience – to af-  rm that it’s hard – and to give them some peace of mind when dealing with a very di cult situation.”
Stuart Deuring, recognized as vol- unteer attorney of the year at CLC’s annual Legal Care A air fundraiser, is seemingly always ready and able to take a case. For example, Olmsted asked him on a Monday whether he could take an estate planning case. He said he would be happy to, but apolo- gized for not being able to see the cli- ent until Wednesday. By Friday, he had all the paperwork written up and signed. “He’s e cient, e ective, and clearly has the heart for this kind of work,” Olmsted says.
Deuring, other volunteer attorneys and CLC sta  make house calls.  ey go to clients when needed. Olmsted says one of her most memorable cases was perhaps her “quietest one.” She visited a client in hospice who was worried about updating her will. Ol- msted sat down with her, they talked, and she looked over the will. It in- cluded everything the client wanted. “ is part is done,” she recalls saying. “You don’t have to worry.” Re ecting on that interaction, Olmsted says it is this “so er part of the law, the coun- selor-at-law part” that she and many CLC volunteer attorneys  nd most rewarding.
 eresa Hughes, director of pro bono services at Stinson LLP, does not disagree. She has found in almost two
decades of guiding the  rm’s pro bono e orts that the “counselor” part of the law is what attracts many attorneys to the profession. “Law is a helping profession,” she says, “a tool to bring about change.”
Proud of Stinson’s Deinard Legal Clinic which operates in partner- ship with the Community-University Health Care Center, Hughes says the bene ts of medical-legal partnerships are numerous. Increasingly, doctors and lawyers understand that they need to work as a team when  nancial and legal issues are intertwined. As evidence, she points out that 17 new medical-legal partnerships have been formed in Minnesota and North Da- kota in the past  ve years.
Amidst all this activity, Cancer Le- gal Care stands out. Most medical- legal partnerships, she explains, are housed in communities that serve low-income people and are linked to a speci c clinic or provider network. CLC, in contrast, serves clients state- wide, regardless of income or where they receive their medical care. “I don’t know if there is anybody else in the country that does what they do. CLC is unique and successful,” she says, “in large part because of Lindy [Yokanovich] and Lindsay [Flint].  ey’ve been working in the trench- es, heart and soul, for as long as I’ve known them.”
Both Yokanovich and Flint, who served on Cancer Legal Care’s  rst board of directors, de ect such praise.  ey credit private foundation grants, the generosity of individual donors, and support from the Minnesota De- partment of Health and the Minne- sota Judicial Branch’s Legal Services Advisory Committee for making Cancer Legal Care the dynamic and much-needed organization it is to- day. Yokanovich invites lawyers from large  rms and small to let clients and colleagues know that “we’re here and ready to respond when having a law- yer on the cancer care team can make all the di erence – for health and for peace of mind.”

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