Legal assistance of Olmsted County celebrates 50 years

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(ABC 6 News) – Legal Assistance of Olmsted County (LAOC) is marking a major milestone: 50 years of providing meaningful access to justice to people who need it most.

LAOC is one of only two single-county legal organizations in Minnesota helping people in
poverty and those who are marginalized resolve critical life-altering legal issues.

They held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday with the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the milestone. They are thankful for how far they’ve come and look forward to continue to provide services.

“I would have to thank all of the area attorneys who have volunteered for LAOC for the last 50 years, because their contributions have helped us be a successful legal aid organization,” said Executive Director Karen Fairbarn Nath.

Since 1973, volunteer lawyers, board members and staff with LAOC have helped thousands of
people through difficult life events—eviction, domestic violence, custody disputes—ensuring
poverty does not stand in the way of having a legitimate voice in the legal system.

LAOC is also marking its 50th anniversary with a year-long fundraising campaign, with the goal of
raising $50,000 to support the critical work it does in the community. Though LAOC was able to
assist more than 2,400 people in 2022, the organization continues to experience a waitlist.