Thinking of a Career in Law

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If considering a career in New Zealand law you would do well to research skills and competencies required by prospective employers to see if you believe you have them or could develop further. There are a set of core skills common across all law careers.

You may then find that certain roles or companies require a specific set of additional skills. As well as role specific criteria, most employers tend to recruit candidates who have a ‘life’ outside of the job. Interests outside of the career can help with relieving the stresses of a role and law certainly comes with stress as standard!

What skills do law firms seek?

Core skills:
1. technical legal ability
2. commercial instinct
3. analytical ability

Essential other skills:
– creativity
– enthusiasm
– determination
– team working (team player and/or leader)
– motivation
– intellectual ability
– stamina
– adaptability
– common sense
– entrepreneurial
– commitment
– good communication skills
– attention to detail

Communication Skills & Team working Skills

Good communication skills are essential for all roles in law. Written and oral skills both need to be good. Reports, accounts and legal documents all need to be of a very high language standard. Lawyers need to able to communicate well with the clients and their colleagues. Depending on the role taken on, public speaking and presentations could be a daily occurrence, so confidence in front of an audience will be essential.

Lawyers receive instructions from a variety of people so effective listening skills are essential to their success in their role. An equally key skill is an ability to interpret and also summarise large amounts of information. Details are important to be able to communicate well on paper with colleagues and clients. Any errors in documents and emails can lead to a negative impression. Additionally an excellent eye for detail is important, even seemingly minor mistakes could ultimately alter the meaning of contracts and clauses.

All lawyers need to be able to work as a team player but will also need the ability to step up as a leader when in charge of a case. Lawyers need good communication and team working skills. A law firm is a service environment involving daily contact with clients, colleagues and other professionals. Team work within a work place is always important because the type of work tends to be on a big scale and complex so it is unlikely you would be working on a project by yourself.

Motivation & Commitment

Why do you want to be a lawyer? Is it because you are a keen viewer of Law & Order or is it because you want to work in the family firm. Whatever your motivation you need to be aware of the time and commitment involved and demonstrate that commitment. Through part-time work you can demonstrate commitment to a role and if that work can be in a law-firm during study then even better.

Intellectual ability

A lawyer is a demanding role intellectually so excellent grades and academic achievement are essential to success and proving to prospective employers that you have technical skills and expertise required. A Bachelor of Laws Degree is required in New Zealand to be a lawyer and takes 4 years of full-time study at university.

Stamina and Resilience

At times long hours will be necessary to meet deadlines, it’s the nature of the job for many lawyers. Puttying in the extra effort to achieve results will certainly be a key aspect to a successful law career. Remembering to find a balance with your health, relaxation and stress relief will certainly aid this success.

Commercial awareness (commercial sense) and Adaptability

When looking to work for a law firm the partners will be interested in how you think you can help their business grow. Are you able to identify areas for growth and potential increase in profits? Being aware of current events can demonstrate that you are consistently aware of changes in the world. Despite the best laid plans cases do not always go as planned. Being adaptable and having the ability to change plans and think on your feet are good skills to be able to demonstrate.

High street firms may well have a slightly different list of essential skills as compared with larger law firms. The differences come down to the type of work and clients. For example smaller, local firms often have a strong family law and personal injury or crime focus to their business. Small firms therefore tend to recruit trainees with good people skills.

Lawyers who specialise in criminal law will need to get used to being available out of hours. Out of hours overtime can sometimes make maintaining a work/life balance challenging. Your phone could ring anytime requesting your attendance at the police station for a client interview. While some days might not be very busy, on others you might be preparing trials at the office into the evening.

To succeed in a job application you will need to be familiar with the key skills and competencies that law recruiters require and make sure they are addressed in your applications for positions. As well as key skills and qualifications prospective employers will want to see that you have interests outside of a job for a work-life balance. Do something outside law: volunteer, join a club, participate in a team or sport – show that you have the motivation to do more than just study and work.

Some people can be interested in law but not actually decide to train and practice as a lawyer. A lawyer is highly trained and a specialist in matters relating to the law so they can best advise clients on the best course of action. Lawyers work professionally and often independently to look after the interests of others. Lawyers trained in New Zealand are qualified to practise as both barrister and solicitor in Wellington.

Legal graduates work in a wide range of areas: private practice, parliamentary drafting, the public service, public companies, university teaching, the judiciary, research, law reform, local government, private companies and state-owned enterprises. Options other than being a lawyer include: legal executive, court reporter, court registrar or legal secretary.

Becker & Co are lawyers based in Wellington with over 25 years of experience in many areas. For lawyers Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wellington based who can help with: litigation, immigration, mediation, employment, property, trusts and wills, business and IT law then visit www.becker.co.nz for more information and contact details. For experienced and reliable legal advice in Wellington and surrounding region you can trust the team at Becker & Co.

Contact our friendly team to at Becker & Co to make a booking!

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Unbelievably True Court Cases

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Sometimes people need a lawyer for the most unusual reasons. In NZ there aren’t many court cases that are considered bizarre but throughout the world there are some very odd examples of court cases where you would certainly need an experienced lawyer on your side!

Driving a Mini

Have you ever entered a radio phone in competition and actually won. Cathy McGowan (USA) did just that and won a brand new Renault Clio. You can easily imagine her excitement turning to disappointment quite quickly, when she turned up to collect her prize only to be given a miniature toy replica of a Renault Clio, NOT the full size version which you can actually drive! Cathy got her lawyers on to the case and successfully sued the radio station for $28,000!

Doppleganger

Has anyone ever told you, you look like a famous person? Allen Heckard of Portland, Ore.,was regularly mistaken for the athlete Michael Jordan but bearing a resemblance to the star wasn’t something he enjoyed. He decided to sue the NBA star along with the co founder of Nike, Phil Knight, in 2006 for $832 million.

However although he looked similar to Michael Jordan, even sporting a similar earring, he was eight years older and six inches shorter than the real Jordan. As you can imagine the lawsuit was swiftly dropped and you do have to wonder how he even reached that $832 million figure!

Bears really do love honey!

It’s not just human beings you can threaten to sue. In Macedonia a beekeeper filed a case against a bear who had been stealing the honey from his beehives. He had reportedly tried to deter the bear with loud music and bright lights. The bear was excused from attending court but the jury filed in favour of the keeper for lost earnings due to theft and he was awarded 140,000 denars. The amount was paid by the government as, believe it or not, bears don’t have access to bank accounts.

When it rains it pours!

Imagine filing a case against the radio station because their weather report caused you to become ill? An Israeli women did just this when the weather report was for fine weather and it rained. Being caught out in the rain she claimed she contracted the flu and had to have a week of work and was out of pocket for having to purchase medication. She won her case and was awarded $1000!

At the Wellington courts you won’t usually find these types of cases but if there does come a time when you need the advice of lawyers in Wellington, solicitor or barrister in Wellington then Becker Lawyers, offer advice and services on all aspects of law including: property, immigration and family court. Visit the website becker.co.nz for a confidential consultation.

Contact our friendly team at Becker & Co to make a booking!

See more: Thinking of a Career in Law

4 Tips on Relocating to Wellington

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Creative and energetic, Wellington has been called by many “the world’s little capital city”. With more bars, restaurant and cafes per capita than even New York, with more than 363 kilometres of walking and biking tracks and with a flourishing economy, Wellington is definitely a very cool place to live in.

Already proud of its lively nightlife, world-renowned culinary culture and world-class coffee & beer culture, Wellington is a unique city that has managed to combine the cosmopolitan, innovative way of life with the warmth and traditionalism of a village. Due to the temperate climate combined with the low cost of living, Wellington is a very good alternative to any other city in New Zealand or Australia.

If you wish to relocate to Wellington, it is important to be aware of some the perks of living in this great city. Here are 4 tips on relocating to Wellington.

1. Know the Climate

The climate in this area is known as being “marine”, with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. The temperature seldom goes higher than 25 degrees or below 0 degrees. This makes Wellington a great place to live for people who are used to live in regions (mainly in Europe and USA) where temperatures range from -20 degrees Celsius during the cold winter months up to 40 degrees Celsius during summer.

2. Be Aware of the Business Sector

As an expat willing to relocate to Wellington, probably one of your most pressing concerns is to find a secure, well-paying and rewarding job. The good news is that the business environment in Wellington is strong enough to accommodate many types of job seekers.

There are plenty of public and private jobs available, in both financial and business sectors. What’s really interesting about this city is that the creative sector is also very strong, offering many jobs and other opportunities to international talent such as artists and people with experience in movies, fashion, music and theatre.

3. Enjoy the Lifestyle

Another aspect you need to be well aware of before relocating to Wellington is the lifestyle of the city. Wellington features all the luxuries and conveniences of major cities. The city is practically surrounded by water, offering exquisite harbours, waterways and beaches.

People in Wellington love sports and would do anything just to spend a few hours kayaking, sailing, surfing, rowing or scuba diving. People play rugby and cricket in the parks all throughout the city.

4. Find an Immigration Lawyer

Ultimately, you need to find an experienced immigration lawyer in Wellington, especially if you want to get the peace of mind that your relocation process is smooth and you will have no problems whatsoever finding a job.

Becker & Co is one of the best lawyers in Wellington, offering both property and immigration services to people willing to move to this beautiful area of New Zealand. Our attorneys have many years of experience in immigration law and could help assist you with any type of immigration-related matter, including entrepreneur visa, relocation visa, investor visa, work, residence and any other types of visas.

Contact us today at www.becker.co.nz and get a free quote and useful advice on how to make your relocation process easier.

Contact our friendly team at Becker & Co to make a booking!

See more: Unbelievably True Court Cases

Professional Legal Advice in Wellington from Becker & Co

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Becker and Co Lawyers Wellington, service Wellington, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt in New Zealand. We offer legal advice in Wellington wide for a variety of services where you may require assistance from a lawyer, barrister or solicitor. As Members of the New Zealand Law Society you can be reassured of receiving a quality and reliable service from our team of experienced and qualified lawyers.

Professional Lawyers with over 25 years’ experience in:

– Business
– Property
Employment Law 
– Litigation
– I.T. Law
– Trusts & Wills
– Mediation
– Immigration

Business

We can offer you the best commercial law advice in relation to all areas of your business; contract, company and regulatory law. Overseas companies, mergers, franchises, shareholder agreements, sales and purchases, liquidations, leases, partnerships, business disputes, commercial property, shareholder and director disputes all handled by our experienced team.

Property

With experience of all property matters including: buying and selling, rental properties, residential and commercial, vineyards and farms, refinancing, estate planning and trusts, asset restructuring, subdivision and disputes we can assist you to find a solution. When a relationship ends there is often property involved, we can assist with reaching a solution for all parties of interest.

Employment Law (Employers & Employees)

We are able to advise you on all manner of issues relating to employment law to resolve disputes whether you are an employee or the employer. We can assist with; employment contracts and policies, redundancy, termination of employment, discipline, health and safety, restraints of trade, bullying claims and human resources management.

Litigation

Members of Beckers and Co have appeared in High and District Courts, as well as tribunals. We can handle all civil litigation issues and some criminal matters too.

IT Law

Making sure you are aware of New Zealand’s Information & Technology (I.T.) laws is important as new technologies bring with them new challenges. We can assist with terms and conditions for a wide variety of trade and copyright matters.

Trusts and Wills

We offer advice on the creation of trusts, transfer of trusts, variation in trusts and wills, resettlement, liquidation, estate planning and asset protection. If you need to challenge a trust or will we can help. We have a professional trustee company that can act as an independent option in some trust cases. We assist with creating trusts and transferring any assets.

Mediation

As the principal associate member of the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of New Zealand for many years; we have been involved in numerous mediations and negotiations. For a confidential consultation and experienced advice contact us today.

Immigration

We are in regular contact with the Immigration Department. Having assisted with hundreds of applications for individuals and businesses we have the experience to advise you with your application. We aim to ensure that your application progresses smoothly in a timely manner. For more detailed information in relation to immigration issues for New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom please visit our website and contact us for your free 20 minute initial consultation.

To secure the services of Becker and Co Lawyers one of the most trusted law firms Wellington wide visit www.becker.co.nz and contact us for your free 20 minute discussion.

Contact our friendly team at Becker and Co to make a booking!

See more: 4 Tips on Relocating to Wellington