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When the Bay Area’s military men and women need legal help, there’s one woman they can rely on. Patricia Laverdure, chief of the legal assistance branch for the Coast Guard in California, helps thousands of active duty officers and retirees sort out their legal affairs. She handles everything from completing and filing papers for uncontested divorces to fighting consumer fraud on behalf of servicemen. After 20 years working in legal assistance for military officers, Laverdure was honored by the San Francisco Bay Area Federal Executive Board as the Federal Employee of the Year, crediting her for developing a legal assistance program that’s “second to none” and that serves as a model for the service nationwide. “The clients are great. I’m very patriotic,” said Laverdure. “And I know I’m helping these men and women do their duty.”

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