Laura Hall

Laura Hall

Solicitor, Chapman Tripp
Bachelor of Business in Accounting and Bachelor of Laws

Competing in law competitions throughout her studies made her feel like a real lawyer, says Laura Hall who completed a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and a Bachelor of Laws.

“I competed in three law competitions at AUT – the junior mooting competition, senior client interviewing and senior negotiations competition. The competitions were a great way to meet new people and provided an opportunity to put the legal principles we learned in class into context. It felt satisfying and rewarding to advocate for a client and attempt to reach a mutually beneficial solution.

“I enjoyed the client interviewing and negotiations competitions the most. Both competitions required the competitors to work in teams of two, and to think on the spot. The final rounds were in front of an audience, and it was very special to invite family and friends to watch the performance. I’m proud that my partner and I made it to the finals in the junior mooting competition, and achieved first place in both the senior client interviewing in 2020 and senior negotiations in 2021.”

She says she thoroughly enjoyed most of the courses in her Bachelor of Laws, specifically criminal law.

“I likened reading cases to reading a story, and extracting the legal principles provided the structure for essay and report writing. I was privileged to have many wonderful law lecturers, including Mike French, Professor Allan Beever, Suzanne McMeekin and Janine Lay. Combining my law degree with an accounting degree also provided an outlet for my love of numbers. I found great satisfaction in organising numbers into columns and ‘balancing’ a balance sheet or income statement.”

An enjoyable career in law
After completing her studies in 2021, Laura now has a rewarding career as a solicitor at Chapman Tripp.

“I worked in the financial services team here at Chapman Tripp for my first year and have since moved into the commercial property team. The work I’ve enjoyed the most has included drafting overseas investment applications for our overseas clients wishing to invest in the New Zealand property market. To do so, we draft overseas investment applications reasoning how the investment will benefit New Zealand, for example by providing employment opportunities and having a positive environmental impact.”

In addition to her day-to-day work, she has also enjoyed the other opportunities her firm offers to apply her legal skills.

“Chapman Tripp organises the junior negotiation competition for the Auckland universities. I have volunteered as a judge for the competition for two years. To judge the competition and interact with the competitors is exciting and rewarding. To be sitting on the other side of the table gives a different perspective.

“Our firm also offers a secondment opportunity to junior solicitors to the Waitemata Community Law centre one day per week for six weeks. The centre has many in-person client meetings and as a secondee I got to utilise my client interviewing skills.”

Advice for other students
Laura’s advice for other students is simple: make the most of being a student.

“It’s so easy to get stuck into your studies to the elimination of the outside world, and just aim for A grades and nothing more. There’s so much more that university has to offer. The connections that you make at university will be your future colleagues and could be your way into a new job!”

In her time at AUT she particularly enjoyed the connections she made through her role as a peer mentor assisting other law and accounting students.

“I felt that I was ‘giving back’ by assisting students with their university work. I also attempted to create genuine rapport with first and second-year students. The mentoring space in the library provided an area of safety and belonging for all students, and the mentoring programme enabled me to meet many new people outside of my courses that I wouldn’t otherwise have met.”

More about Laura and her work