As the sunrise peeks over Ozark’s downtown lofts, Jessica Martin is often the first to arrive at her office on the corner of the historical square. Attorney and managing partner of family and criminal law practice Martin & Wall LLC, she’s also known as last to leave in the evenings. In the time between unlocking and locking the office door, Martin engages in work across the spectrum.
“I will not ask someone else to do something I am unwilling to do myself,” she says. “So, no matter the task that needs to be done – taking out the trash, dealing with a difficult client, etc. – I am always willing.”
Martin graduated from University of Missouri in 2008 with a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies. She stayed at MU to study law, graduating in 2011.
After trying real estate and business law, Martin found her interest in family law. In the summer of 2012, Martin opened her practice: Martin Law LLC on the downtown square of Ozark.
“Through hard work, the firm expanded to include support staff, and eventually other attorneys,” Martin says.
In 2015, attorney Judson Wall joined and became a partner in the firm, which in 2017 changed its name to Martin & Wall LLC.
Martin says she was one of the first in her graduating class to open a firm, and she became a sounding board for colleagues interested in doing the same. She also invests in the next generation by welcoming students for job shadowing and internships.
“I am always willing to try to share any knowledge I have with those around me to help in their own endeavors,” she says.
Martin was recognized this year with the Women in Justice Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Christian County Children’s Charities Sertoman of the Year in 2015 and the 2013 Volunteer Award from domestic violence shelter Freedom’s Rest.
But Martin is most proud of her 2015 appointment as juvenile court guardian ad litem for Christian County.
“It is my responsibility to be the voice of the best interests of the children in these court proceedings,” she says. “It is important for their voices to be heard.”
Joanna Billingsley – owner of Law Office of Joanna V. Billingsley PC – has worked numerous cases with and opposite of Martin. She describes Martin as “a prepared and skillful advocate for her clients.”
“She brings a strong voice for those who are among the most marginalized in our society,” Billingsley says, noting she has always walked away with respect for the attorney.
Martin also works with numerous organizations including as chairwoman of the board for CCCC Sertoma Club, president of the Christian County Bar Association and board member for Christian County Library Foundation.
“I have always been a motivated and driven person,” Martin says. “Setting goals and making plans to reach those goals are normal parts of my business, as well as having applications in philanthropic endeavors and my personal life.”
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