Bachelor of Arts in Chinese and Political Science
Bachelor of Laws
Associate - Foreign Registered Counsel, Stamford Law Corporation, Singapore
Born in Egypt, raised mostly in Macau and moving to New Zealand with her family as a teenager, Rasha was inspired to pursue a career as cross-cultural and diverse as her own background by gaining a Bachelor of Laws at UC.
'I think that the legal industry, like almost every other industry, is becoming increasingly international and integrated across borders. I aim to gain expertise in both local and international legal systems, because it's inevitable that the world will keep getting smaller, and cross-border interactions will keep increasing.'
Along with the Bachelor of Laws, Rasha also completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Chinese language and Political Science.
'To be honest, initially I wasn't entirely sure if Law was the subject for me, but by the end of my second year, I realised that I was in my element, and that this was definitely what I wanted to study. I found it really beneficial doing my BA as well, as I wanted to include a foreign language in my studies, and I also wanted to get a "big picture" view of how the world worked. That's why I chose Political Science as my second major.'
Rasha found her studies wonderfully challenging and loved the sense of achievement that comes from finding solutions to the complicated theoretical and practical issues presented in her subjects.
During the summer break before her final year, Rasha had the opportunity to work in the Auckland offices of DLA Phillips Fox, an international law firm. 'I found the summer clerking incredibly useful in learning the nuts and bolts of it all, and seeing how the law plays out in real life.'
Upon completion of her degrees, Rasha took on a role as a law clerk within the same firm's insurance team. Although she was busy balancing her responsibilities there with her Professional Legal Studies, Rasha found it valuable to study and work at the same time.
'The benefit of studying while working is that you learn as you go,' she explains. 'One week I would be learning about plain-language drafting skills as a course unit, and during that week I would have to draft a letter or document and employ those skills at work.'
After being admitted to the bar, Rasha continued to work at DLA Phillips Fox as a lawyer before moving to Singapore where, in her role as Associate - Foreign Registered Counsel at Stamford Law Corporation, she specialises in international arbitration. She is happy to be fulfilling her original goal of 'practising law in an environment where I am challenged and am constantly learning and developing'.
Though she initially chose UC because her family was based in Christchurch, Rasha is very glad she stayed on even after her family moved away.
'There are some excellent faculty members who are really passionate about the subjects they teach, and some great resources and facilities. I especially liked that UC didn't feel like some cooped-up campus, tucked away in the dark corners of a city. It was a non-intimidating atmosphere in which I felt motivated to learn.'