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General Practitioner: Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin’s leadership philosophy is simple: Never ask others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

The attorney who opened her own firm in 2012 had a strong work ethic instilled in her early by parents who both held full-time jobs in public education and also worked a cattle farm on the weekends. In a typical week, the only time they took off was on Sunday morning to attend church.

Ever since hanging out her own shingle, Martin has assumed a strong leadership role rooted in a willingness to get the job done.martin-jessica

“I make it a practice to be the first one in the door and the last one out,” she said.

Martin practices primarily in the areas of family and juvenile law, though she initially planned for a career in real estate litigation. She worked in that field for a few years, but she said she found that dealing with stacks of paperwork all day — rather than interacting with actual humans — left her wanting more.

When she opened her firm and started taking on different types of cases, family law soon became her niche. She admits the job can be stressful and at times dramatic, but she chooses to focus on the positive.

“I get to deal with real people and real problems,” Martin said. “I appreciate having the opportunity to see them face to face and feel like I am helping them in some way.”

Martin said she is particularly proud of her role as guardian ad litem for Christian County. When a child is assigned to protective custody, she represents the child’s best interests through the proceeding.

“That’s something I’ve really liked having the opportunity to do. It’s usually a sad arrangement, but again, it’s one of those situations where you feel like you’re trying to do something to help,” she said.

“The stories where it’s a wake-up call for the parents, and they do get their lives back on track and into a position where they’re able to have the child back in the home keep you hanging on and keep the positive outlook going. You have to focus on the successes.”

Martin also stays connected to her community through volunteerism. She is president of Christian County Children’s Charities Sertoma Club, which supports a local food pantry, a domestic-violence shelter, a children’s dental clinic and Care to Learn, which provides necessities for school-age children.

She’s also president of the Christian County Bar Association, teaches pre-K and kindergarten classes at First Baptist Church of Ozark and has served on the Christian County Library Foundation Board.

Her dedication to causes affecting families has cemented Martin’s reputation for excellence and integrity among her community and her peers.