After twenty-two years of serving as a public defender, Rachael Drenckpohl retired in June. "If it weren't for the people in Dodge County, I probably would have retired a lot sooner," she said. "They're just really great people to work with."
Drenckpohl went through one year of college in her 20's and decided she "knew everything" and dropped out. It wasn't until her oldest son was touring college campuses that she thought maybe she had missed out on something. With the encouragement of her husband David she decided to go back to college.
"Just take one class he told me." So she did. And then another, and another, and graduated with majors in sociology and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
At the time she was also working as a real estate agent and loved the legal side of the business so she decided to go to law school. She graduated at the age of 46 from Hamline Law School.
At first she struggled to find a job until someone pointed her to a clerking position with Judge Margaret Shaw in Winona.
"That's where I got my education," she said. "I learned so much."
From there she worked in family law for a while but admitted that wasn't for her. She opened her own law firm in Zumbrota doing some family law and criminal defense.
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald.