Tanja K. Manrique was appointed to Minnesota's 4th judicial district in 1998. On November 1, 2010, she retired from the bench and established Tanja K. Manrique LLC to provide alternative dispute resolution and case management services.
Tanja served as the presiding judge of the family court, where more than 10,000 cases are resolved annually by 14 judicial officers. From 2006 until her retirement, she served as the lead judge on the judicial branch initiative to expand implementation of Early Case Management and Early Neutral Evaluation in family law cases. She was instrumental in the establishment of ECM/ENE pilot projects in each of Minnesota's ten judicial districts. The Ash Institute at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government designated the Social ENE component of that initiative in the 4th district as a "Top 50 Innovation in American Government" - out of 600 applicants.
As chair of the budget committee for the 4th district, she had oversight responsibility for more than $50 million. She served as a member of the executive committee responsible for overall court management. As a member of the Legislative Advisory Workgroup for the Minnesota Judicial Council, she was integrally involved with the Guardian ad Litem reform bill enacted during the 2010 legislative session.
Prior to joining the family court bench, Tanja served in criminal court, drug court, and juvenile court. While assigned to the criminal court, she co-chaired the Hennepin County Family Violence Coordinating Council for 5 years, and in that capacity led the initiative to develop the State's first domestic violence court.
Tanja assisted with the organization of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is an annual member of the planning committee for Divorce Camp, sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She served on the board of directors for the Volunteer Lawyers Network. She was a long-standing member of the editorial board of Minnesota Lawyer. She is a past congregation moderator of the Wayzata Community Church.
Tanja is a frequent speaker at bar association meetings, continuing judicial education conferences, and continuing legal education seminars. She has trained hundreds of judges and attorneys, statewide and nationally, regarding the best practices for managing and settling cases involving children and families. In 2010, she chaired the Family Law for the Minnesota Judiciary conference, received the Access to Justice Award from the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, and presented at the Spring Conference for the American Bar Association's section on Alternative Dispute Resolution. In 2011, Tanja presented at the Spring Conference for the American Bar Association's Section on Family Law.
Before her appointment to the bench, Tanja specialized in environmental law with Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd. and Greene Espel, PLLP. She also served as general counsel and deputy chief of staff for Minnesota Governor Arne H. Carlson. Tanja is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and Cornell College (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude). She completed mediation training at the Negotiation Institute at Harvard Law School.