Founder, Working Boomer Advocate
Dan Norwood is an attorney, advocate, and cause fighter who knows what it is like to ride the roller coaster of law practice—from a plaintiff’s lawyer’s perspective as well as that of a harried corporate lawyer! For over 42 years, Dan has represented individual employees and groups of employees who have been unlawfully discriminated against or who have faced retaliation for exercising their legal rights. Known as the “Giant Killer” since being featured in a 1987 Memphis Magazine cover story, he has been listed for many years in two peer-reviewed publications, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, for his knowledge and skill in the field of labor and employment law.
Dan learned early in law practice what toll the stresses of being a leader, rainmaker, and litigator could bring physically to his heart and body, and early on witnessed the equally ravaging effects of stress on his clients as well as other collegues in the law. After two clients independently of one another committed suicide over 30 years ago due to the stress of losing their jobs based on discrimination, Dan was determined to become a more holistic practitioner, preferring to call himself a “workplace interventionist” who would try to help his clients find better ways to cope with the challenges they faced, and in the process, help himself and the lawyers he knew to also learn how to practice law in a way that would not cripple them as they zealously sought to represent their clients.
Before beginning his current law practice, Dan worked with a well-known management labor law firm, where he defended employers in workplace discrimination and retaliation cases and alleged violations of wage and hour laws. Since starting his own law firm in 1980 he has focused entirely on pursuing relief for employees whose rights have been violated at the workplace. Because of his earlier experience representing employers, he understands the issues from both sides and skillfully advocates for employees’ rights. More recently, Dan has focused on the rising discrimination targeted at older employees who have skill, talent, and a desire to continue to be employed. He calls these people “Working Boomers,” referencing the Baby Boomer generation of individuals who still want to work, and due to their experience and knowledge, should be allowed to continue to work as long as they desire and are able. He has now become focused on fighting age discrimination in employment.
Dan is married to Debra Norwood, also known as Laughter Lawyer USA. Together they have raised seven children, three of which are special needs, and are familiar with the term “sandwich generation,” where, as adults, they have cared for their own children while also caring for senior parents. Dan and Debra are lawyers who love each other and also truly love lawyers, and want to help attorneys avoid the pitfalls they unwittingly encountered in their own journeys as young lawyers trying to juggle family, business, and clients. Together, they are co-authoring a book to help lawyers become more resilient, and with Dan’s theatre-in-the-absurd humor, and Debra’s love of laughter, their presentations are a lighthearted way to talk about the various roles that lawyers play and how there comes a time when lawyers must learn to either embrace those roles, delegate them, or discard them, as well as make a decision to find true meaning in the difficult daily decisions that come with the profession. These choices can be made with what Dan calls “maxims” for the practice of law, which are designed to help harried professionals find joy, even in the midst of challenges.