Solicitor, Duncan Cotterill
Bachelor of Laws
Studying law was an easy decision for him, says Levi Taipari Farrell who graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in early 2021 and now works for Duncan Cotterill.
“In secondary school, I enjoyed reading, writing, te reo Māori, economics and history. I also liked public speaking and was actively involved in the community. Pursuing a career in law allowed me to expand and enhance these interests. The dynamic way in which the law can develop and how it is applied is something I find very interesting. I believe that the law is a powerful tool as well as an agent for generational change.”
Levi says he was drawn to the fresh and inclusive nature of the AUT Law School.
“I admired the variety of subjects AUT had to offer, and the calibre of legal academics and practitioners among the lecturing staff was outstanding. In addition, when reviewing the scholarships offered by various universities, the scholarship opportunities I received from AUT were very well-presented and the New Horizons Scholarship I was offered provided major financial assistance.
“The main highlight of my time at university was learning the law from such a knowledgeable and experienced group of lecturers and tutors. A stand-out educator for me was Associate Professor Khylee Quince who had a wealth of knowledge and experience but was always relatable. I also admired the level of support on offer from the AUT Law School and the wider AUT staff, which was a testament to AUT’s inclusive culture.”
Proud of representing people’s interests
Since graduating from AUT, Levi now enjoys applying his understanding of the law in his role as a solicitor for Duncan Cotterill.
“Duncan Cotterill is a law firm with a national presence; now one of the largest practices in Aotearoa. My role as a solicitor entitles me to provide regulated services to clients who contact our firm because they need legal services. I assist my team in providing pragmatic legal advice, representation and support to clients to ensure they achieve the best possible outcome relating to their issues or matters.”
He enjoys the diversity of work his role offers.
“Since starting here, I’ve experienced the commercial, litigation and employment teams at Duncan Cotterill, and every day I learn something new. As a legal practitioner, I’m grateful that I can practise and apply the law for the benefit of the people of Aotearoa. When I’m working on a complex legal matter, I always reflect on the purpose behind it, the interests of the people I’m assisting and the positive outcomes as a result of my services. That’s the rewarding effect of being a lawyer.”
Advice for other students
Enjoy the learning process at university, Levi advises other students.
“University can seem like a never-ending journey overflowing with endless study, classes and assessments. Always take the time to remember why you’re studying, and reflect on what you’ve learnt and how you can apply that in the real world. It’s also important to spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy your leisure interests in addition to your study. University study can be stressful, so finding ways to relieve that stress is always beneficial.”
He also has some specific advice for students considering studying law.
“My advice would be to familiarise yourself with all areas of the law. I found that too many law students aim to specialise too early in law school, which limits the opportunities you may encounter in the real world. My view is that all undergraduate law school students should take a generalist approach and aim to be skilled in many areas of law. This will expand your employment opportunities, expand your critical thinking and ultimately assist in your legal analysis when you become a practitioner.”