The difference maker

Jane Marquardt didn’t initially think of law as career she could pursue.

“I was going to be a teacher, that was my major in college,” said Marquardt, a 1977 graduate of the University of Utah College of Law who today serves as vice chair at Utah’s Management & Training Corporation, where she serves on the Board of Directors and oversees the company’s international workforce development.

“I didn’t think of women in law as a possibility,” she said of her early career ambitions.

Jane and Tami Marquardt

Despite coming of age in an era where there weren’t many women in the ranks of incoming law school classes, Marquardt found herself sitting in the classroom after she took the LSAT and scored off the charts.

She arrived at law school after growing up in Ogden and spending her undergrad at the U as well, where she competed on the women’s ski team in an era before Title Nine, when she and her team mates would travel on their own to compete in races.

That experience, as well as coming out as a lesbian three years after graduating from law school and raising a family in Utah when the world was a less accepting place, helped prepare Marquardt to be a voice for those from underrepresented communities.

She started her legal career with a poverty law fellowship at Utah Legal Services and went into private practice from 1979 to 2007.  In 1982, she began giving seminars for lesbian and gay couples on how to protect their legal rights through the use of powers of attorney, wills and property arrangements. In 1996, she helped organize and present the first training on LGBT issues for all of the judges in the state of Utah.

She’s also been a fierce advocate for philanthropy. In 1990, she received a master’s degree in taxation from the University of San Diego College of Law and along with her law partner Doug Fadel, authored the book Giving, Philanthropy for Everyone.  In addition to her professional work advising clients on charitable giving, she and her wife, Tami, have provided significant financial support to many local charities, including Equality Utah, the Utah AIDS Foundation, the LGBT Student Resource Center at Weber State, the Utah Pride Center, and the Matthew Shepard Scholarship.

Marquardt has served on numerous community boards in the areas of civil rights, education and delivery of legal services.   She currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Salt Lake and the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion and the Utah Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Council.

Marquardt’s experiences as a minority in law inspired her to provide a generous donation to the S.J. Quinney College of Law for the naming of a new Admissions and Inclusion Suite, designed to be a welcoming gateway to law school for the minority student community.  The suite, dedicated in August 2016, is designed to help students from diverse backgrounds better connect with resources and a community to assist them in excelling through law school.

In addition to Marquardt, donations from Sam Alba, Robert Marquardt, Ken Okazaki and Gilbert Martinez helped to turn the idea of the suite into reality. Cecilia and Ross Romero were also vital to launching the idea and the law firm Jones Waldo also contributed significantly.

“I’ve tried always to be an advocate not just for LGBT people, but for people from different backgrounds,” said Marquardt.  “When I started in law school, there weren’t many role models. That’s what drew me to support the new law school. The (law school) gave me a good education and I want others to have the same experience.”