Born and raised in Albuquerque, Molly Schmidt Nowara graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2001. She received clinical honors, the Julia Raymond McCulloch Memorial Award for Constitutional Law and the Margaret Keiper Daily Award for Equal Justice and she was a member of the Order of the Coif. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997.
From 2001 to 2005, Schmidt Nowara worked in Washington, D.C., first serving as a law clerk to Judge A. Franklin Burgess at the District of Columbia Superior Court and then as a trial attorney at the Public Defender Service (PDS) for the District of Columbia. While at PDS, she represented clients in felony and juvenile delinquency matters from arraignment through numerous trials and post-conviction matters. In 2005, Schmidt Nowara returned to New Mexico as an assistant public defender in the Santa Fe office of the Department of the Public Defender. While there, she represented hundreds of clients in serious felony matters from arraignment through trial and post-conviction issues. In 2007, Schmidt Nowara entered private practice and has worked at both the Rothstein Law Firm in Santa Fe and the Freedman Boyd Hollander firm in Albuquerque. In 2012, she joined friends Matthew Garcia and Zachary Ives to form the law firm Garcia Ives Nowara. She has represented people accused of violent crimes (including homicide and child abuse), health care fraud, drug possession and drug trafficking, driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a deadly weapon and domestic violence. She has also represented clients in criminal appeals and administrative hearings involving professional licensure matters. Schmidt Nowara also represents individuals in whistleblower claims, employment discrimination cases, and civil rights cases.