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Law Office of Diane Kaer: Starting over in Minnesota

As an ambitious young woman, Diane Kaer headed west to California to get an education. She became a successful family law attorney and then started a family of her own.

The mother of two young daughters never forgot her home town and the values she learned growing up in Rosemount, though. One of 12 children born to John and Elaine McDonald, Kaer grew up surrounded by family.

Wanting that connection for her own children Kaer decided to leave her successful career in California and move home so her girls could be surrounded by people who love them. Most of Kaer's brothers and sisters stayed in the area and are now raising families.

She'll admit it seems crazy to leave a prominent career that spanned more than 20 years and have to start all over again, but Kaer said this is where she needs to be.

"I want this for my girls and in the end I think everything will work out," said Kaer, who is divorced. Kaer's girls are 9 and 7.

For the second time in her career Kaer will build a practice from the bottom up. Her primary focus is in family law, drafting wills and handling probates.

While she'll admit her areas of expertise aren't real pleasant, Kaer said it's rewarding work.

"The reality is I help people through difficult situations. I help maneuver people through the process and pick up the pieces of a negative situation," said Kaer.

Upon moving back to Minnesota Kaer had to get licensed. Instead of taking the bar again, she went through an extensive review process through the Minnesota Supreme Court so she could practice in the state.

"It might have been easier to just take the test again," quipped Kaer.

After receiving her license Kaer opened her law office in the Chippendale Office building in March. Things have been slow to start, but Kaer hopes things will turn around as she gets her name out there.

To help get her name out and to meet others in the field Kaer has done volunteer work in Dakota, Scott and Hennepin Counties.

Kaer moved to California in 1977. She decided to move after traveling west with a friend. The two traveled all over the United States with a U Rail pass that summer.

During her time in California Kaer found out that residents could attend college for free. So she decided to move there. She lived there for a year and became a resident. She then went to college and eventually got her law degree from Western States University in San Diego.

Originally, Kaer wanted to be a social worker. When she figured out she could help more people as a lawyer she decided to pursue a law degree instead.

For several years at the beginning of her career Kaer worked for a district attorney's office trying social work cases. But the work wore on her and eventually she decided to pursue something different.

"That was my ambition when I first started but not what I ended up doing," said Kaer.

Having been in family law for nearly two decades, Kaer said she's glad she switched.