First person: Setting the bar

Courtesy photo Jimmie Reyna, a Clovis native, was recently nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Jimmie Reyna is hoping to go from the flat terrains of Clovis to one of the nation’s highest courts.

Reyna, 57, has been nominated by Barack Obama to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Currently a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Williams Mullen, the 1971 Clovis High valedictorian has also been national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and held several leadership positions on American Bar Association committees and sections.

He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Richmond and received his juris doctor degree in 1978 from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

(Editor’s note: Reyna has been instructed to not answer specific questions about his legal career due to a pending court confirmation process.)

Growing up in Clovis: I remember all the fun that I had, wonderful friends that I had. It was a completely great time for me. I also remember the geography, the flatness of the terrain, the country roads, the amount of sky, the blowing wind.

Coming through Clovis: One of the things that I always do when I go to Clovis is ride around and see how the town has changed. I also go to some of the drive-in restaurants I like and a lot of memories come back.

I think in a way, downtown, there’s less commercial activity. It’s more on the outskirts of the town. You notice the big stores that have opened up, the expansion of the town.

I am also aware of the changes in its economic base, the growth of the dairy farms.

Something’s missing: For Clovis specifically, I miss all of my good friends, and there are a lot of them. Robert Brack is a federal judge in Las Cruces. We first met in the seventh grade, and we’ve been friends ever since. When I see him, I see Clovis. I remember sitting on top of a car with a jug of A&W root beer, looking at the stars at night and dreaming of what we were going to do when we grew up.

Meeting the wife: I left Clovis to go to an orientation program at the University of Rochester. Dolores was absolutely gorgeous, hair past her waist, bright eyes. As I got to know her, she was a wonderful person. We got married our freshman year in college, and we’re still married; 38 years.

From the parents: What they (Julian and Consuelo Reyna) gave me was my religious faith. They exemplified that faith. I think by far, that’s the most wonderful gift they gave me. Along with that comes integrity and hard work.

My mother was always pushing me to do more and do it with enthusiasm.

My dad gave me the ethic of hard work and not to be ashamed of any job I’ve had. I’ve had plenty of jobs, including door-to-door and working at an onion farm in Portales. He taught me that all work is honorable, and whatever job you’re doing, you should do your best at it.