Zeta Soror Tamika Montgomery-Reeves sworn in as vice chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Part of what makes Delaware’s Court of Chancery the preeminent place for resolving business disputes in America is its focus on fairness and equity. These also happen to be the traits the newest vice chancellor, Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, possesses, according to those who know her.
“These are the qualities that will serve her well in the years ahead as she confronts the challenges of making hard decisions in the hazy, gray areas that we often face on this court,” said former Chancellor William B. Chandler III.
At a ceremony that many called momentous, Montgomery-Reeves, 34, was sworn in Friday afternoon. She became Delaware’s second female and first African-American to service as a vice chancellor.
Speaking to the historic nature of her appointment, Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard said, “Some say, ‘Well it is about time,’ but I like to think, we were just waiting patiently for the right person.”
Montgomery-Reeves will be joining a 223-year-old court known for resolving the disputes of thousands of Delaware corporations and other businesses. It is one of the key reasons American companies, including 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies, prefer to make Delaware their home.
On Friday, Montgomery-Reeves was surrounded by friends, family and colleagues at the New Castle County Courthouse as she accepted the oath of office and stepped into her new robe. She was joined by her husband, Jeffrey A. Reeves, and their 7-month-old son Jackson.
Montgomery-Reeves grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, where she learned from her parents the importance of education.
She received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi and graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Soon after, Montgomery-Reeves went to work as a law clerk for Chandler, who was at the time the court’s chancellor.
Chandler, while speaking at length at the investiture Friday, said that just over 10 years ago he received about 60 applications from law students applying for the law clerk position.
She stood out because of one reference on her application. That reference was from Charles O’Kelley, a professor at the University of Seattle Law School, who had previously recommended clerks for Chandler.
Chandler agreed to an interview, and within five minutes of meeting her, realized Montgomery-Reeves was impressive. She was intensely motivated about corporate law, but also modest and willing to learn, he said.