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Christy Vu DePasquale
Christy Vu DePasquale (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Attorney enjoys helping families with special needs

Name: Christy Vu DePasquale

Title: Attorney, Autism Advocacy & Law Center

Education: B.A., history, political science, University of California, Irvine; J.D., Gonzaga University School of Law

Christy Vu DePasquale appreciates how much clients care for family members with special needs and their gratitude for her work as an attorney at the Autism Advocacy & Law Center.

DePasquale helps clients establish guardianships, estate plans, trusts, among other services at the center, a small, private law firm in Minneapolis.

“By coming to us they’re taking the right steps to ensure that their family members, most often their children, are set for the future,” DePasquale said. “It’s rewarding to see how grateful they are even for something as simple as drafting one document.”

A California native, DePasquale moved to Minnesota in March 2020, at the pandemic’s outset. To meet other lawyers while working remotely, she joined the Hennepin County Bar Association and its New Lawyers Section. She now is a liaison between the New Lawyers Sections of the HCBA and the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: I like animals, so if you share that you have a dog or a cat and their name, how old they are, what kind of pet they are, that always grabs my attention. I have a dog named Finnegan and a cat named Molly.

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: I wanted to become a lawyer for a very long time. I was always fascinated with history and politics, which is why I got my undergraduate degrees in those areas. Law school was just a progression of that.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: I have a fascination with birth order, because I’m the oldest, so I’m reading “The Eldest Daughter Effect.” I’ve never taken a psychology class, so I wondered with people who study this, is there a trend or a pattern between the eldest daughters in different families. We are raised by different people, but there are a lot of similarities.

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: When people shake my hand and it’s not firm.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: Helping my clients, helping get the result or the product that they want and seeing how much they appreciate my time and my work.

Q: Least favorite?

A: When people ask me about other areas of law. They assume, “Oh you’re a lawyer, I can ask you about tax law, about real estate and property and employment laws.”

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: I enjoy traveling but haven’t been doing a whole lot of traveling because of the pandemic.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: My hometown is Orange County, California. The beach is a nice place to go to. I would recommend In-N-Out Burger. One of the hidden gems of Orange County is Mission San Juan Capistrano. California was founded by the Spanish and they established missions along the coast. The mission in Orange County is Mission San Juan Capistrano and it’s really beautiful there.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: Abraham Lincoln, because of my fascination with history, particularly U.S. history. He had such a great impact on our country.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work as an attorney?

A: I’m pretty quiet, introverted, soft-spoken. People think attorneys are loud, like the ones on TV. When people find out that I’m an attorney, they’re often shocked, like, “Oh, you’re so quiet.” But as my former boss told me, it’s not how loud you are, it’s how you write and present your arguments.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: “Legally Blonde.” Going off of my answer to the last question, “Legally Blonde,” they also judge Elle Woods. They didn’t believe she would get into Harvard Law. Not that I had a similar situation; I didn’t apply to Harvard Law. But some people were, like, “Oh, you’re quiet but you’re applying to law school. That’s shocking. … You can’t get into Harvard Law,” and she proved them wrong.


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