Every Thursday, GoStanford.com will present an interview with a Stanford women’s gymnastics alumna. This week, sophomore Maggie Teets features Tara La Morte (‘00) who majored in biology.
Maggie: Can you describe what you have been doing since graduating from Stanford?
Tara: After graduating from Stanford, I went to the NYU School of Law, and graduated in 2003. I clerked for two judges in Pennsylvania and then worked at the Department of Justice in D.C. for three years. For the past five years, I've been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. I've loved both of my jobs with the feds – I've been fortunate to be able to work on some exiting cases.
I met my husband Zach in law school, and we got married at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in 2008. Zach is also an attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office, but in New Jersey, and he is a criminal prosecutor. We have a little girl, Ella, who is one. She's quite feisty and strong willed, just like her parents [laughs].
For fun, I love traveling. Zach and I did a national parks tour for several weeks a few years ago and this past year we went to Colorado with Ella. She came on hikes with us and absolutely loved it!
Maggie: What lessons have you carried with you from your experience on the Stanford gymnastics team?
Tara: The lesson I learned from my experience with Stanford gymnastics is how much I love working on teams and how teams can really get you through tough times.
As we all know, gymnastics is a very individual sport. But at Stanford, the team came first, and it was incredible how close we became and how supportive we were of one another. Of course we had our differences and there were some very rough times, but being such a close team enabled us to weather those bad times and accomplish things we could not have done alone.
Maggie: What are your favorite Stanford memories?
Tara: Favorite Stanford memories – there are so many! I loved competing at home meets, Phat City, having "dance breaks" from studying at B.O.B, dressing up for parties, dressing up for breakfast, the still unknown person who would hide my bike in a tree, working at the gym at Tressidor, learning how to drive a car, night trips to Happy Donuts, putting together the Fantastic Five cheer – the list goes on and on.
But most importantly, I don't think I've ever had such a close group of friends as my teammates at Stanford. Yes there were high points and low points, and I don't keep in touch with everyone, but the experiences we shared together will forever bind us.
Maggie: What was your favorite class?
Tara: I have no idea what my favorite class was, wow! I loved my biology classes, but hated working in a lab. I also began taking introduction to law type classes, which I loved and which brought me to law school. I was cleaning out stuff at my parents' house a few months ago and discovered my old biology textbooks and notebooks. I did not understand most of what I wrote. Seriously. It was pretty scary!
Maggie: Do you have any advice for the girls on the SWG team now?
Tara: My advice is to take advantage of every single moment that you have at Stanford. Try to experience everything you are possibly interested in. Your four years there will be among your fondest memories and it's the time you have to grow and explore.