The FPD Mock Trial team has had a phenomenal season, advancing to the district competition on February 23. Two of their coaches this year are FPD alumni, Katie Hall (’10) Martin and Taylor Martin (’08). Katie is a Staff Attorney for the Chief Judge of Superior Court in the Macon Judicial Circuit. Taylor is a Civil Litigation Attorney at Martin Snow, LLP. Both graduated from Mercer Law School.
We wanted to touch base with them on life after FPD and what it is like to come back and coach the students in FPD Mock Trial.
Why did you decide on a career in law?
Katie: I became a lawyer because I’ve always been interested in politics and government. I first developed an interest in law when I participated in the FPD Mock Trial program and had the opportunity to meet and get to know our attorney coaches. In college, I realized how much I enjoyed criminal law, so law school seemed like the right fit.
Taylor: I became a lawyer because I enjoy solving complex issues and advocating for my clients. I participated in the FPD Mock Trial program and thoroughly enjoyed the unique experience.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Katie: Having a direct and positive impact on criminal law.
Taylor: Winning trials and reaching favorable resolutions for my clients.
What is the most challenging part of your career?
Katie: Witnessing the heartache from victims of crimes and also watching so many people go to prison each and every day.
Taylor: Handling an extensive caseload.
What do you hope to instill in the FPD Mock Trial students?
Katie: Professionalism is everything and being kind, organized, and prepared will take you far in mock trial—and in life.
Taylor: Don’t lose sight of the big picture when making an argument.
What did you enjoy most about helping the Mock Trial students?
Both: We both love having the opportunity to see these extraordinary students develop an interest in the law. It’s incredible to see them prepare and work so hard on the case. They learn many of the same rules that we were taught in law school and then we practice trial techniques and arguments with the students throughout the semester. It’s really a wonderful experience to see them apply those rules and trial strategies in the courtroom.
Looking back on your days at FPD, how did FPD help you establish a strong foundation for where you are now?
Katie: FPD helped me develop a strong foundation through programs like Mock Trial and also through my AP classes, which taught me how to write.
Taylor: FPD provided me with a solid foundation to be successful in college and in law school, especially with my critical reading and writing skills.
Are there any particular FPD teachers who had an impact on your life and how?
Katie: Mrs. Roberts taught me everything I know about how to write. She is the reason I participated in Mock Trial and why I have such a strong interest in politics. Mrs. Betty Ham was such a wonderful teacher and has had a huge impact on my life and remains a dear friend.
Taylor: Dr. Shealy and Coach Atkinson. They both taught me the importance of preparation, which often makes the difference in any situation, including the practice of law.