Phillip Osborne

Phillip Osborne

Barrister, Hamlin Law
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

The creative and intellectual challenges are what he enjoys most about his career, says AUT law alumnus Phillip Osborne who works as a barrister for Hamlin Law.

“Having to think on my feet keeps me stimulated. My role offers a lot of variety – client contact; submissions for District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal cases; reviewing large volumes of disclosure for District Court and High Court trials, negotiations with Police and Crown and regular appearances at the Auckland District Court for procedural hearings and Judge alone trials. I’m also the main point of contact for our parole clients and regularly visit prisons in the Auckland region to take their instructions.

“What I love most about having a career in law is that it is very challenging but also varied. I also enjoy that my employer is approachable and highly experienced, which gives me a lot of confidence,” says Phillip.

Invaluable skills
The skills he developed during his degree are invaluable for his career now, he says.

“I probably wouldn’t be able to complete submissions as efficiently without the practical approach AUT encourages. It was one of the things that attracted me to the AUT law degree.

“I also liked that all students have to complete a paper on intellectual property. Before studying law, I worked as a professional musician. Issues related to intellectual property frequently came up in my previous career, so I already had an interest in the topic and I liked that it was part of the AUT law degree.”

Achievements and connections
There have been many achievements throughout Phillip’s studies, including winning the prize for best honours dissertation and being awarded a New Zealand Law Foundation scholarship to attend the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand conference in Wellington. The highlight of his studies, however, is something else entirely.

“Making new friendships and professional connections is what I enjoyed most about my time at AUT. I also liked that the academic staff are knowledgeable but also very friendly and approachable.”

His advice for other students is to make the most of the opportunities on offer.

“Make the most of your time at university. Participate in your classes and tutorials as much as possible, and try to get out of your comfort zone. Get to know the lecturers and your fellow students.”

Employer comment
“The practice needs young graduates who want to learn about legal practice and court work. We were looking for someone who had a qualification in law and an interest in court work. Phillip’s enthusiasm and maturity were key in our decision to hire him. If you want a career in criminal legal practice, an interest in human frailty and the desire to make a difference are key.”


Philip Hamlin, Barrister, Hamlin Law