LEGAL ACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

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Jesse. Law and Arts.
Ngāi Tahu

What was your journey into law at UC?

I actually wasn’t very academic at high school. But one of my teachers pulled me aside and said, ‘I think you can do it’. I started out doing law in Wellington but switched to UC after a couple of years for personal reasons. I found that UC was more my scene. It was closer to home and the people felt more ‘me’. So applied to UC law and here I am!

Are you the first in your family to go to uni?

I am. I’m from a family who had some funny ideas about what it’s like to be a student. They think I play golf all day! It’s a bit of pressure, but it’s not an unattainable barrier. With a bit of hard work anyone can do well.

How have you found uni?

In some ways my path has been a bit of a battle. As a high school student in Timaru, I’d look at a uni student and think, ‘how’d they get there’? I lacked the formal academic skills - particularly with writing but I was able to get reasonable grades because I could follow the content and concepts easily. I just found it hard to articulate it on paper. But UC has helped develop my academic skills to complement my individual intelligence to create the student I am. I kept working on more skills and the gap closed. I’m confident in my abilities now, but it’s taken a few years! Now I’m achieving A’s!

What support did you find here at UC?

When I arrived I was able to access help with my transition through the academic support services. I also found the lecturers were really accessible and gave me feedback with what I needed to do with my writing style. In addition, UC law students are really supportive and pointed me in the right direction. I was also able to make contacts through the clubs with other students in my classes.

"When I arrived I was able to access help with my transition through the academic support services. I also found the lecturers were really accessible and gave me feedback with what I needed to do with my writing style."

Have you got involved into the UC culture too?

I’ve been a member of CUBA for the last three years, the UC board-riders club. We do surfing, skating, snowboarding, that kind of thing. They set up surfing missions and social events. The club scene is really unique at UC. They all seem to be well resourced. Plus there’s free food and drinks! It’s been a great way to meet people and broaden my horizons.

What’s your ambition with law?

I’ll do my profs straight after my degree so I can be admitted to the bar. What gets me ticking is property law and trusts. There are a lot of loopholes that can catch people out. I’m also interested in child and family law. I’m really passionate about looking out for people’s rights and especially advocating for children.

How has being at UC surprised you?

I was so immersed with the idea of university being a big scary dog. I had a lot of anxiety that I wouldn’t be good enough. But coming here, I’ve found the opposite. People want to help. UC has given me the chance to finally be confident. It’s helped me become the person I am today.