One might wonder why a guitar hangs on the wall of attorney Wayne Reames’ office at Belin McCormick P.C.

The explanation goes pretty far back in his life.

Reames -- who specializes in tax law, business law, trusts and estates, and similar areas -- attended Luther College in Decorah. The first generation in his family to go to college, he did so on a music scholarship. He played the trumpet, and although he has always loved music, a professional future in it didn’t seem to be in the cards.

Reames said he sort of “fell into” tax law.  He graduated from Luther with an accounting degree, and got a law degree from University of Michigan. Reames said it seemed the best law jobs involved tax law, so he got his master’s of law degree in taxation from New York University. 

“Tax code was my entry to a lot, but it’s really just the thing that got me in the door,” Reames said. “Now it’s ‘How do I sell my business or pass on property?’ or ‘How do we set up a Winefest in Des Moines?’” 

Reames uses his experience in nonprofit law to give back to the community. Volunteering his services helps him feel he’s truly bringing something to the table.

“I have no interest in going in just to be seen,” Reames said. “If I’m looking to be involved in something, I look to see where they have a need and if it’s something I have an underlying interest in.”

Music always seems to find a way into his life. He’s given up the trumpet and now plays the guitar. He also works with the Des Moines Symphony board, focusing primarily on music education and outreach.

Reasons he’s a Forty:

•  Reames was a tax adviser to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

• He’s served as Winefest Des Moines board president, a trustee of the Des Moines Symphony Association, and a volunteer for the Iowa State Bar Association.

• Reames twice co-authored a nationally recognized publication on tax management concerning estates, gifts and trusts.

• He was a member of the legacy giving advisory council for United Way of Central Iowa and also treasurer for the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble.

• Reames is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of taxation and tax controversy.

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