2014 – 2015
After returning to New Zealand after the Warsaw climate talks, I worked for two years as a solicitor at the Auckland Community Law Centre – which used to be called the Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office. The Centre gives free legal advice to people who can’t afford it.
It’s a great way to pay the bills through my LLM, and a definite introduction to the other New Zealands that people live in.
Community law is a great way to hone your client service skills. We have a small office, so every lawyer sees clients daily, and we get a lot of Court time and face time at disciplinary meetings with clients’ employers and mediations.
Plus, when I was a commercial lawyer none of my clients ever sent me a thank you card.
Because of our limited resources, we can only go all the way for a client where they have no other option and are facing seriously life-changing legal risk. That means that when we are able to take a client’s case on, beyond just giving initial advice, what we do brings (or prevents!) really transformative life changes.