• A Willamette double degree-holder.
  • A religious studies graduate.
  • Mentoring minority law students.
  • Drawing on my WU leadership experiences.
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Liani Reeves serves the public and state government through her career and her community activities.

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IAM

A Dedicated Leader

Liani Reeves '98, JD'01 has found success in her law career and through public service.

Liani Reeves '98, JD'01 takes the idea that there aren't enough hours in a day to a new level.

She spends her days at the Oregon Department of Justice, defending the state in employment cases, and after hours, she leads the Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs, advising the governor and state on issues impacting the Asian community. She also participates in networking and educational events through the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association.

As if that's not enough, Reeves finds time to mentor minority law students who are seeking advice on school and their future careers.

Her hard work caught the eye of the Portland Business Journal when it named her one of its Forty Under 40, an award that recognizes high-caliber young executives for career and community achievement.

Reeves's busy schedule stretches back to her days at Willamette. As an undergraduate majoring in religious studies and minoring in English, she led projects to improve campus security and to increase awareness of sexual assault and alcohol issues.

"Being empowered to make changes at the university level taught me a lot that I use today as I make change in my community and the government," she says.

Reeves built on her Willamette experience by enrolling in the College of Law, where she joined the Multicultural Law Students Association, participated in moot court and planned a university-wide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration — all while earning what she calls a "solid legal education."

Today Reeves works at the Oregon Department of Justice as an assistant attorney general in the Trial Division. She also was appointed to a management position as assistant to the chief trial counsel. Reeves supervises the division's law clerks and manages a variety of special projects, including electronic discovery, technology and mentoring.

Her office faces the Oregon Supreme Court building — and the Willamette campus where she spent her formative years.

"Being at Willamette gives you a lot of opportunities to hop across the street and see what's going on at the Capitol or the Supreme Court," she says. "That proximity to the government is valuable, especially if you want to be a public servant."

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