Early in her legal career Tara C. Norgard entered a courtroom filled with attorneys — only one of whom was a woman. Spotting Norgard, she made a point to say “welcome.”
Norgard has never forgotten the power of that moment. “In my experience, a simple welcome can have incredible impact. The hands that have been outstretched to me over the course of my career have made all the difference in the world,” she said. “In the legal profession we have the power — and responsibility — to reach out and welcome each other in meaningful ways.”
At Carlson Caspers she co-founded the firm’s diversity committee, which focuses on encouraging students from underrepresented communities to pursue legal careers and ensuring that diverse lawyers are included and welcomed at the firm.
Norgard also has served in several important roles with the Federal Bar Association’s Minnesota chapter, among them president, board member and part of a leadership team that developed an outreach program to Latino youth. She currently chairs a national Federal Bar Association task force that is working with judges, lawyers and corporate partners across the country to cultivate a more diverse and inclusive federal bar.
“We must continue to open the doors that have long been silently closed to diverse people in the legal profession,” said Norgard. “It is imperative that every individual is welcomed and empowered with an open pathway to fulfill his or her full potential.”