By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Assistant Attorney General of Georgia Taylor Johnston recently visited Springdale Park Elementary School, inspiring a group of fifth-grade students to study hard, help others, and excel in school and their future careers.
Invited by Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) teacher Lisa Evans, Johnston visited SPARK as part of the Grady Cluster’s focus on preparing students for college and career. This school year, students have explored career possibilities and learned how creativity impacts their career choices.
During his visit, Johnston entertained students’ questions, explained how the legal system works, and shared what it takes to be a good lawyer.
“There are no required classes to attend law school,” Johnston told students. “You can study a language, philosophy, history, science, or anything else in college. In law school, you’re learning to read and think about the law. And as a lawyer, you must be able to understand what the other side is thinking or arguing. Being articulate will help make you a persuasive speaker.”
As an assistant attorney general, Johnston works in the criminal justice division, representing the State of Georgia in criminal appeals when defendant’s appeal their murder convictions. Johnston also represents the Georgia Department of Corrections in habeas corpus actions when inmates challenge the validity of their convictions. He is currently working as a fellow in the Attorney General’s Office.
Johnston said he was happy to share his experience with students.
“It’s important to give back, and I’m happy to share advice with younger kids,” said Johnston, a Macon native and alumnus of Duke University School of Law, who plans to become a federal prosecutor. “I enjoy passing along what I’ve learned.”
Evans said Johnston’s visit was part of her mission to expose students to creative careers. Previous guest speakers have included a lighting director, patent attorney and web designer and product developer.
“As a gifted educator, learning how to infuse and promote creativity and creative problem solving has always been an on-going goal and passion of mine,” Evans said.
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