'I really want to make a difference...'
'I am aware that there are just too many problems facing the world,' says Richard. 'I really want to make a difference.'
Richard believes that by studying Law he is going to be in a strong position to achieve his aspirations.
'A Law degree allows you to build a skill set that not many other degrees can. It's a great asset even if you do not decide to become a lawyer.'
Richard is already developing those skills by volunteering as a case worker at Community Law Canterbury.
‘I am really enjoying my volunteering time,’ he says. ‘The exposure I am receiving is enormous because we deal with real clients and real problems. It is a good opportunity to apply to practice what I've learned in university, and it is giving me a better idea about what my interests are – criminal law, intellectual property law and public law.
As well as practical skills, Richard enjoys the intellectual challenge that comes with studying Law.
'I love the ambiguity of the Law. It has always intrigued me and I love problem solving. There are always two sides to a legal issue and this leaves a lot of room for critical thinking which empowers me to think outside the box to solve problems. I also like how broad the Law is – the range of different areas it covers keeps my interest going.'
Richard hopes to start his career in the public sector, or with the Crown Prosecution Service, 'and then my ultimate goal is to have my own private practice.'
Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Richard attended high school in Christchurch and was keen to stay in the city to attend university. It was fortuitous that UC's School of Law was the one he would have opted for in any case.
'Canterbury has a very prestigious law school,' he says. 'I think the most appealing part was that most of the Law lecturers at UC are the writers of the text books – it is an insightful experience being taught by the book writers themselves! Being able to receive information first-hand from these incredible people appealed to me.’
Outside lectures, Richard finds that the vibrant community feel on campus supports his studies, and his free time.
'The University has a very good LawSoc. I particularly enjoy having our very own moot court where students are allowed to practise their advocacy in competitions,' he says.
'UC has a great campus – especially the libraries and the cafés. I really enjoy student life here.'
Off campus, Richard likes to play golf and is a keen photographer. He also likes travelling and discovering new cultures.