Jackson County CASA seeks to be a voice for society’s most vulnerable — abused and neglected children. During her time at Jackson County CASA, Kate Nolen Proffitt, who is now at Lathrop & Gage, doubled the legal staff to include five attorneys, a paralegal and numerous volunteer attorneys from the bar. That results in a lot more voices for kids who need it.
What are your proudest career accomplishments?
As the director of legal services at Jackson County CASA, I grew the legal department to include two new staff attorneys, our first-ever paralegal and several new volunteer attorneys. With more staff, we were able to not only continue advocating in the courtroom but also expand our advocacy through policy work, blogging and providing training for the legal community.
What is the best advice you have ever been given or received?
A judge once told me that attorneys should project confidence, not arrogance. She said that there is a certain level of humility that must come with zealous advocacy. Constantly striving to be the most prepared and informed person in the room allows you to understand your client and your case from every angle. Humbly remaining open to new ideas and new information is crucial.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
Everything — a doctor, lawyer, teacher and mom to name a few.
What has been your favorite part of your job?
As the pro bono coordinator at Lathrop & Gage, I am very lucky to work with attorneys who understand the need for pro bono service and are passionate about giving back to our community. I am inspired by their willingness to use their energy and expertise to represent the most vulnerable among us and ensure that those without a voice have meaningful access to justice.