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Profiles in Practice: Christy Vu DePasquale

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Christy Vu DePasquale currently works as an attorney at the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, providing specialized assistance to individuals needing unique solutions, but her journey to the legal profession started on the west coast. 

DePasquale grew up in Orange County, California with her parents and two sisters. It was during her time at the University of California, Irvine that she decided to go to law school. This decision was fueled by her enduring fascination with the law. Prior to starting law school, she received some words of wisdom from a former boss that have stuck with her to this day. He told her, “Part of being a good lawyer is being able to form good arguments and write good arguments. It doesn’t matter how loud you are.” DePasquale, who had always been a bit of an introvert growing up, found power in these words, and kept them with her as she headed up the coast to Washington state where she attended Gonzaga University School of Law. 


Christy-Depasquale-1Prior to starting law school, she received some words of wisdom from a former boss that have stuck with her to this day. He told her, “Part of being a good lawyer is being able to form good arguments and write good arguments. It doesn’t matter how loud you are."


While in law school, DePasquale kept herself busy. She went above and beyond the traditional J.D. program and opted to participate in Gonzaga’s JD/MBA program. When asked how she landed in the dual program, DePasquale responded, “It was kind of by accident.” The school was having an information session which included lunch, and DePasquale, like many law students, was tempted by free food and attended. After hearing about the benefits of a dual program, she decided it was the right opportunity for her. While most law students savor a less hectic summer schedule, DePasquale worked full time at a clerkship, while taking her MBA courses in the evening. She described her law school time as, “a jam-packed three years.” Though DePasquale’s current position doesn’t utilize her MBA skills, she finds it is a helpful tool to have in her toolbelt and she knows it will be beneficial as she progresses in her career. 

Even though she carried a full academic load, DePasquale was involved with extracurricular activities in law school. She was a member of the Student Bar Association, participated in Moot Court, played on the law school intramural softball team, was a Gonzaga Law Student Ambassador, and still made time to attend Gonzaga basketball games. 

DePasquale particularly enjoyed her position as a student ambassador. In this role, she gave tours, organized admissions events, and was the first point of contact for prospective students. 

After law school, DePasquale and her now husband discussed their long-term goals. They knew they needed to find a city that catered to both their careers. Beyond that, they were interested in finding home in a welcoming place known for having a high quality of living. That’s how DePasquale found her way to Minnesota, taking a position with the Autism Advocacy & Law Center. 

It was a big transition for DePasquale to move from sunny California to chilly Minnesota. This transition was made even more challenging by the fact she moved into her new home in March 2020, right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. DePasquale said her initial transition to the state was difficult because of all the shutdowns. Her new job was helpful, however, offering her a safe place to work in the office as well as flexibility to work from home when necessary. 

The Autism Advocacy & Law Center is a small, private law firm that specializes in assisting individuals and families with special needs. This includes family law cases, estate planning, guardianship, social security, and a variety of other issues. In general, the goal of the firm is to help people navigate legal issues when the solution they need may be different than typical legal needs, based on the special needs of their family. DePasquale and the Autism Advocacy Law Center have developed a niche practice area providing specialized services to a population that needs unique solutions. 

DePasquale greatly enjoys working with all of her clients; finding effective solutions to meet their needs. However, DePasquale noted, this line of work can become quite emotional—both as clients navigate challenges and when they finally reach resolution in their cases. DePasquale said that her inclination toward introversion is an asset in these situations. Specifically, it has helped her remain calm no matter the situation which, in turn, helps her effectively assist her clients. 

DePasquale has also found a home within the Hennepin County Bar Association. She joined the New Lawyers Section and is currently acting as the Co-HCBA/MSBA New Lawyers Section liaison. Since the initial move, about eighteen months ago, she has enjoyed getting to meet new people and greatly looks forward to the day she can explore all that Minnesota has to offer. For now, she is content with playing in recreational sports leagues with her husband. 


By Kenzie Gerber

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