Class of 2012

Shaun Kleber

2008-2012, attorney

UGA, Pursuing B.A.'s in Internal Affairs, Political Science, & Economics


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

So many snapshots that are now pretty crazy to think back on: bollywood dance lessons, late nights, long weekends, and snow days spent practicing and "practicing" in Powell Goldstein, and of course the BAG.

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.

Skipping through the streets of Albuquerque at sunset after the 2012 National Championship Round. The whole team was on cloud 9 after an unreal Nationals experience and making it to that round and leaving it all out there. The round didn't go our way, but the feeling after that round was indescribable.

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.

It's difficult to pinpoint particular aspects or experiences from mock trial that have had an impact on me. I am confident that I am the person I am today and have achieved the things I have because of my experience with Grady Mock Trial. My work ethic, communication skills, dedication, ability to handle stressful situation, leadership, and teamwork abilities can all be traced back to mock trial. The way I think about the world, analyze and construct arguments, and communicate with others are all critical parts of what I have done since leaving Grady and will continue to be integral to my life, and I have everyone involved in my high school mock trial experience to thank for that.


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 is truly a place unlike any other. It may not be the most academically rigorous high school around, but high school isn't just about learning about cell division or how to calculate the volume of some shape you could never really conceptualize anyway. It's about learning how to learn and learning how to navigate the real world, and Grady does just that. Life doesn't come in a nice neat package in a chart on a textbook page. It's a bit rough around the edges, comes with struggles as well as successes, and involves people of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, and Grady exposes its students to all that and more. And most importantly, Grady is a community not only of students who are incredibly passionate about their areas of interest but also of teachers, parents, and administrators committed to enabling the full pursuit of those passions. It's unbelievable to look back on the things I was able to do as a high school student and the things I learned, both inside and outside the classroom. Despite all the headaches, I can't imagine having gone anywhere else.


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? 

I attend the University of Georgia, where I am pursuing bachelor's degrees in International Affairs, Political Science, and Economics. I didn't really know what to expect from college, but I was definitely excited about figuring out some direction for my life, and my experience has exceeded all possible expectations. I've not only found my passion in international affairs—specifically Middle Eastern conflict resolution—but have been fortunate enough to receive the resources to pursue and refine those interests to the fullest extent, explore the world, and be left wanting nothing more from my college experience.


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

I will spend the fall semester of my senior year interning at the State Department in Washington, DC. I will return to UGA in the spring to finish up a few classes and hopefully intern at the Carter Center in Atlanta part-time. I will be taking a year off from school before law school and hope to spend that year somewhere in the Middle East to learn Arabic and gain a more dynamic understanding of the people, cultures, and issues of the region.


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

It's difficult to pinpoint, but they've often involved saying "yes" in situations I didn't know the outcome to. 

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

You will get as much out of your mock trial experience—and Grady, or really any experience for that matter—as you put into it. Do things because you love them and want to be doing them, and stop wasting your time doing things for your parents, your friends, or your resume. Above all else, prioritize your happiness. I've found that if you put pursuing passion and happiness as your top priority, all those "important" things society tells us to worry about like our resumes and school/paths seem to somehow fall into place.


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?

Absolutely! If anyone is interested in applying for the Foundation Fellowship at UGA, send them my way. And if anyone is thinking about studying international relations/political science before or during college I'd be happy to steer them in the direction of some potential connections and internships.

To contact Shaun, email him at shaunkleber@gmail.com