Ashley Moore Palmer ’99

Ashley Moore Palmer, GPS Class of 1999, received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her family. Upon moving to Atlanta, she joined a large law firm and practiced securities litigation and bankruptcy law for three years. She then decided to make a transition in her career and moved into public service, becoming a public defender. She served in that role for six years, then joined the Office of the Fulton County Attorney in 2015, where she practiced local government law. In April 2021, Governor Brian Kemp appointed Palmer to the State Court of Cobb County, Division II, where she currently serves. In her role, she presides over misdemeanor traffic offenses and other related violations.

Q. Did you always know you wanted to be an attorney?
A. I have known since I was a young child that I wanted to be a lawyer. I’ve always loved to argue and tend to believe that I am always right (laughing emoji). But I also have always loved helping people. However, I never imagined the path that my career would take, culminating in my recent appointment to the bench. It’s definitely a lesson to stay open and available to whatever life brings your way.
Q. Why are you passionate about what you do?
A. I am passionate about being of service to people. Despite what people say about attorneys, we are who people look to in times of crisis, and to be able to have someone say I made a difference in their life is truly gratifying. 
Q. What was your favorite tradition at GPS? Why?
A. I love both May Day and Cat-Rat: May Day because I love to dress up in pretty gowns and Cat-Rat because I gained such a significant person in my life—my Cat, Joelle Jackson—who remains in my life today.
Q. If you could offer one piece of advice to current GPS students, what would it be?
A. To treasure the opportunities that GPS brings you and to use your time to truly discover who you are. 
Q. Do you stay in touch with your classmates? What impact have they had on your life?
A. I do stay in touch with a number of my classmates. Several of us live here in Atlanta, and my best friend is a GPS girl who I met on the first day of my seventh-grade year. The impact that she and other classmates have had on my life is immeasurable. They have been there to celebrate with me but also to mourn with me. I consider a number of my GPS classmates to be my sisters, and my life would not be the same without them.
Q. Can you point to anything that GPS did to prepare you for your future?
A. GPS taught me how to be bold, and even in the face of fear, to live as if you are unafraid. I have a deep confidence that was instilled in me during my time at GPS, for which I am so grateful.
Q. What is a GPS girl to you?
A. There is no one way to describe a GPS girl, but for me, a GPS girl is one who embraces what it means to grow, learn, and finally become the best version of herself.
Q. What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
A. By far, my proudest accomplishments are being a wife and mom to Robbie (age 11), Ashton (age 7), and Avery (age 5).
Q. Are there any quotes that really resonate with you/guide you in your daily pursuits? 
A. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”—Micah 6:8

Q. Are there any experiences or memories from your time at GPS that really stick out?
A. My time on the crew team really sticks out for me. I never imagined that I would be a coxswain (I didn’t even learn how to swim until over a year ago!), but that experience taught me what it truly meant to trust my teammates (a great life lesson) and how to move forward, even in the face of fear. And believe me, being on a river and not knowing how to swim—that’s fear! Thankfully, I always had a life jacket, another great metaphor for life.