Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
The variety of options and career pathways is what drew her to the law, says Charlene Cooper who completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and now works as a solicitor at MinterEllisonRuddWatts.
“I like that law offers so many different options – from family law to medical law or property law. You can constantly adapt your career. As a law student, I enjoyed the law in general and I loved that all the lecturers at AUT were really passionate about their individual topics. That was really infectious.
“I was particularly impressed by Associate Professor Khylee Quince. She is so enthusiastic and passionate, and I loved seeing the law through her Māori worldview. I also really enjoyed the lectures by Professor Warren Brookbanks. I still see him around sometimes and I’m impressed that he still knows my name.”
The close-knit environment is what she enjoyed most about studying at the AUT Law School.
“What I liked most about AUT was that you got to form really close relationships with your classmates and the academic staff. The lecturers got to know your name and you never felt like you were one of a thousand people.”
A rewarding career
Since graduating from AUT in 2019, Charlene has joined MinterEllisonRuddWatts, one of New Zealand’s most established law firms.
“I originally came to MinterEllisonRuddWatts as a summer clerk during the summer break 2017/2018 while I was studying at AUT. I then started here as a law clerk in 2019, and am now in my third year in the Dispute Resolution team, which is one of the larger teams at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. It’s a big team with expertise in different areas of the law.”
She enjoys the variety her career offers.
“What I love most about my role here at MinterEllisonRuddWatts is the variety. We work on a number of different projects and every day is different. No two cases are ever the same and the law is constantly evolving. I really enjoy that.”
Advice for other students
Charlene has some great advice for other students considering a career in law.
“Law is a great profession if you’re passionate about making an impact on the world.”
Make time to give back to the community, she adds.
“Get involved in social projects while you’re studying. That’s such an important thing in this profession. For example, I was a teacher’s aide while I was at law school and also took my greyhound to rest homes for pet therapy. The residents loved interacting with my dog, especially the ones with Alzheimer’s. I found that really inspiring.”
Photo courtesy of MinterEllisonRuddWatts.