Growing up in Ocean View, Tom Reichert knew he wanted to be either an engineer or a lawyer.
“There are lawyers in my family,” explained Reichert. “My dad’s a lawyer; my grandfather was also a lawyer. My grandfather on my dad’s side sort of practiced law but wasn’t actually a lawyer.”
After graduating from Indian River High School in 2006, Reichert matriculated to Virginia Tech, where he studied chemical engineering. He later graduated with a degree in chemistry and psychology.
“I realized I liked the chemistry, but not the engineering classes,” Reichert explained with a laugh. “When I decided to go to law school, I added the psychology major.”
He then went on to the Charlotte School of Law, in Charlotte, N.C. In undergraduate and law school, Reichert had a number of internships, including one with Delaware Legal Aid and the Delaware Department of Justice. In his second year of law school, he was even able to study abroad in Germany.
“We primarily focused on the European systems of copyright, trademark and patent law,” he said.
Reichert graduated from Charlotte Law School in 2014 and passed the North Carolina bar exam prior to deciding to return to his home state to take the bar and practice locally.
“I worked in North Carolina for six to nine months; couldn’t find stable jobs that I was really happy with. Out of law school, I was deciding between Delaware and North Carolina.
“I initially went with North Carolina because I had interned with Edison Nation Medical during my last year of law school. They had implied that they were interested in hiring me full-time, but that ended up falling through,” he explained. “I was left trying to find something else. When nothing really came along, I decided to come back to Delaware.”
Last March, Reichert returned to Delaware and took the three-day bar exam in July. He was sworn in as a Delaware attorney in December at the Delaware Supreme Court in Dover.
“It was interesting. The judge reads off a pledge, which I read off in return, to solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution.”
Reichert said he enjoys the challenge of what each case has to offer.
“I enjoy the research and analysis, if there’s a unique or odd situation, to try and come up with a unique or creative legal answer. It’s like problem-solving — you try to put all the pieces together and solve it.”
On Feb. 15, Reichert began working at the Delaware Department of Justice in Georgetown, as a deputy attorney-general.
“I will be primarily handling DUIs and J.P. Court. I enjoy it. I’m still learning the day-to-day, but I enjoy it a lot,” he said. “At this point, I’m mostly shadowing — following and observing.”
The job is a special one for Reichert, as his father is also an attorney for the Department of Justice and once had an office two doors down.
“It’s a little strange. I can remember coming in when I was in high school and my dad had a picture I drew when I was in kindergarten he had on his wall or door.”
Throughout his journey to become a lawyer, Reichert said, his parents were great supporters.
“They’ve been extremely supportive and helpful all throughout, with whatever I needed. I can’t thank my parents enough.”
Although he’s less than a month into his career at the DOJ, Reichert said he’s excited to see what the job has to offer and is happy to be back home in Delaware.
“For now, my goal is to work, get experience and start my life, and see where it goes from there.”