Warner Cross attorney brings a varied background to her new position

By Cynthia Price
Legal News

The first thing you notice about Tamara M. Reeves is her enthusiasm, but close behind that is an appreciation of her empathy and caring for the people whose lives she has touched through her varied legal experiences.

The new Warner Norcross +?Judd associate feels that will stand her in good stead as she pursues a litigation career there —and the people at Warner Norcross seem to agree.

“There’s a large emotional aspect in practicing law,” Reeves says. “I’m really proud of all the work I’ve done... all my experiences really enriched me and I think they’ll aid me in the private sector. I know how to work with a diverse group of people and deal with the emotional component of being caught up in a court proceeding, but I also understand how to employ a practical approach when the strategy for helping requires thinking outside of the box.”

She comes to Warner Norcross directly from a position as an assistant prosecutor in Kalamazoo County. Prior to that and a stint with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, she worked primarily with a variety of programs to help people keep their homes during the foreclosure crisis.

The Detroit native attended the Residential College at University of Michigan where she was immersed in Spanish and received a broad liberal arts education, majoring in social sciences with a minor in history. Though there was no pre-law course, Reeves was able to take a variety of law classes.

Reeves had wanted to be a lawyer since she was in Girl Scouts, where for a career day badge she chose to give a mock legal argument that was so successful people urged her to become an attorney.

She continued at University of Michigan with attendance at the law school where she was an associate editor of Journal of Race and Law.

She interned after her 1L year with Judge Victoria Roberts of the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. “It was a fantastic experience, and she’s a wonderful human being,” Reeves says. “I was able to sit in chambers when she had attorney conferences and see the inner workings. I’m the first person in my family to even get a four-year college degree, so it was a wonderful experience for someone not coming from a legal family.

“I really worked a lot with her on legal writing. I’m a nerd, I’ve always loved to read and write but I was really able to hone in on legal writing during that time. As attorneys we don’t need a lot of flowery language, we need to get to the point of how the law supports or does not support our points in the case. I reviewed the briefs law firms submitted and researched the points of law for her to review,” Reeves adds.

She was also able to intern abroad in South Africa, working for the Commission on Gender Equality in Johannesburg. “A lot of things that I saw there were disturbing. I went to shantytown and I saw face-to-face abject poverty. It was an eye-opening experience. I saw the diversity of cultures, but I also see how similar we all are at the end of the day,” she says.

After receiving her J.D., Reeves took a position at Legal Aid of Western Ohio, where she stayed for seven years. After focusing on “helping people preserve homeownership” during the foreclosure crisis, she was offered an opportunity to manage the statewide Keep Your Home New Mexico program. She worked out of Santa Fe and assisted people with avoiding foreclosure as well as representing them in the process, and supervised individuals in cities across New Mexico.

She then worked on similar matters in Detroit, before joining first the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) and then the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office, sharpening her litigation skills. “In Kalamazoo County, I was in court nearly every day. I prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases, and also juvenile criminal cases,” she says.

Wanting to make her move to private practice, Reeves says she did thorough research that resulted in her desire to join Warner Norcross. “I know I took a unique path to get to Warner, but I pride myself on excellent client service and was looking for other people who provide excellent client service,” she says. “Here I found my home.”


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