Class of 2009

Sarah Bufkin

2005-2009, attorney

UNC, Chapel Hill

The Queen's University - Belfast in Northern Ireland, M.A. in Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy


When you hear "Grady Mock Trial" what is the first thing that pops in your head?

Carl Gebo and his verging-on-indecent, "lucky" shirt. Or the countless nights spent in the Powell Goldstein conference rooms with Willy's burritos, trying to avoid working on our directs.

What is a particular moment or event  that you recall from your time on mock trial that is most memorable? 

Ah there are so many. Being tackled to the ground in back corner of the Halls of Justice by Liz McGlamry and Shaun Kleber after we heard that we had won state in 2009 is definitely a highlight. The many times that Jamison Kinnane lost her witness somewhere in the law office. Mock trial carpools in Matt Westmoreland's minivan with the requisite Wendy's stop.

Have you found that any of your experiences during your time on the Mock Trial Team have had an impact on you? 

Yes. Mock trial taught me quite a bit about persistence, courage, and the importance of collaboration. GMT made me self-assertive in ways that extended beyond the courtroom and never let me take myself too seriously. The amount of time that I laughed at mock trial practice speaks volumes to the strength of the team environment that Grady Mock Trail cultivated.

Other than Mock Trial, how do you recall your time at Grady HS? The classes, classmates and teacher, the other extra-curriculars and non-academic activities? 

Grady was a fantastic place to get an education, if not the most conventional. My teachers and my peers challenged me to take on projects and commitments that I cared about as opposed to allowing me to fixate on grades for the sake of a numerical average. 

What did you do after graduating from Grady? College, travel, work, etc.

I studied Cultural Studies and History at UNC-Chapel Hill and worked a series of internships in journalism. After graduation, I served as the Communications Director for the North Carolina NAACP before returning to graduate school to earn my MA and then PhD in Political Theory.

If you went to college or graduate school- please tell us where you went, the degrees you earned, and what you were looking for from your college experience and what you actually took from it? 

As an undergraduate, I studied Cultural Studies and History at UNC - Chapel Hill. Becoming a Tar Heel wasn't my first choice, as I had originally hoped to leave the South for college, but it ended up becoming the perfect site for me to explore my intellectual and extracurricular interests. I found a fantastic suite of professors and mentors who I am very grateful to, and I even found some time for mock trial. 

If you have not finished your formal education, what are you working on now and what are your plans when you do finish?

I am currently enrolled in a MA in Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy at The Queen's University - Belfast in Northern Ireland. Next year, I will be pursuing my PhD in Politics (Political Theory) at Oxford. After that, who knows?

What are some experiences that have helped you get where you are today?

Finding great mentors has been crucial to my self-development and my academic trajectory, and it has been since my days at Grady. I cannot thank Carl Gebo and Jay Patton enough for all of the time they dedicated to a scrawny, nervous, completely uncharismatic teenager that walked into GMT as a first year. I certainly would not have taken the chance on me.

Any advice or words of wisdom that you have for current  Grady Mock Trial Team Members or more recent alumni?

Trust in and build great relationships with your teammates. Seek out great advisors and supportive mentors. And don't be afraid to look stupid every once in awhile. Because it will happen. 

Would you be willing to act as a mentor or guide in certain areas? If so, in what areas would you be willing to mentor or guide students or younger alumni?

Yes. I can offer advice about UNC-Chapel Hill, postgraduate fellowships, the federal rules of evidence or Willy's cheese dip.

To contact Sarah, email her at smbufkin@gmail.com.


Demarius J. Walker

2006-2005 and 2007-2008, attorney 

Boston Universty, Pursuing a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science


When you hear "Grady Mock Trial" what is the first thing that pops in your head?

Carl Gebo- That is all

What is a particular moment or event  that you recall from your time on mock trial that is most memorable? It could be a "favorite moment" or a "not-so-favorite" moment.

Carl Gebo crying after we won regionals.

Have you found that any of your experiences during your time on the Mock Trial Team have had an impact on you? If so, please tell us about that.

Continuous practice towards perfection. A reverence for preparation.

Other than Mock Trial, how do you recall your time at Grady HS? The classes, classmates and teacher, the other extra-curriculars and non-academic activities? 

Debate Team!!!

What did you do after graduating from Grady? College, travel, work, etc.

Went to Boston University.

If you have not finished your formal education, what are you working on now and what are your plans when you do finish?

I plan on going into ministry, academia, and later government service. 

What are some experiences that have helped you get where you are today?

Outward Bound. Christian Faith. Father dying.

Any advice or words of wisdom that you have for current  Grady Mock Trial Team Members or more recent alumni?

All the hours matter.

Would you be willing to act as a mentor or guide in certain areas? If so, in what areas would you be willing to mentor or guide students or younger alumni?

Yes and whatever you need.

To Contact Demarius email him at djwalker@bu.edu, or contact him through Facebook at Demarius J. Walker