From teacher to litigation lawyer, the road to graduation

16 December 2019

Learning to study was the key to success for Patrick Brand. This week, he is graduating from the University of Canterbury (UC) with a Bachelor of Laws and looking forward to a fulfilling career in litigation.

  • Patrick Brand

    Patrick Brand graduates this week with a Bachelor of Laws and looks forward to a fulfilling career in litigation.

Learning to study was the key to success for Patrick Brand. This week, he is graduating from the University of Canterbury (UC) with a Bachelor of Laws and looking forward to a challenging career in litigation.

In 2006, Patrick Brand first enrolled at UC in a Bachelor of Commerce degree and after becoming “quickly fascinated with Law,” was accepted into the UC School of Law in 2007 where he was properly challenged for the first time. 

“I didn't have the drive or the academic rigor to get through the workload associated with 200-level law papers. I went to lectures and loved the content but didn’t know how to translate that into success,” says Patrick.

At the same time as study, Patrick worked at a high school as a boarding master and changed course to train as a teacher of Geography, History and English. After several years working as a teacher, senior dean and lead teacher, Patrick decided to go back to university and complete a law degree. It was a burning desire to finish what he started that encouraged Patrick to again enrol to study Law at UC in 2017.

“The biggest challenge of returning to study was adjusting my lifestyle. I was going back to study after several years working.  It was daunting to know I would have to start at the bottom again after graduating, but I took solace from knowing that if I worked hard one day, I would be doing something I find fulfilling and challenging.”

Patrick is a law clerk at Walker Street Chambers where he has worked for the last 18 months and hopes to work as a litigation lawyer in future. Once Patrick completes his professional legal studies he will work full-time with barrister Anselm Williams, also at Walker Street Chambers.

“I want to work in litigation. I want to be an advocate for people, representing and guiding them through their legal problems.”

Patrick credits the fantastic lecturers in the UC School of Law for his success, especially those that facilitated learning rather than simply lecturing, and the library support staff for their help with research and assignments.

This week Patrick’s hard work pays off as he graduates along with 1,917 other UC graduands in ceremonies at the Christchurch Town Hall.

For further information please contact:

UC Communications team, media@canterbury.ac.nz, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168