Amelia Mateni

Graduate, Meredith Connell

“From small group sessions with experienced partner’s teaching juniors how to review a file, to actually being able to appear as a junior in trial, the theoretical and practical training the firm offers is incredible.” 

What kind of work have you been involved with at Meredith Connell? 

I started Meredith Connell as a graduate in the Crown Specialist Team in February 2020 and for the majority of my time, I have assisted in prosecuting serious crime. On a basic level, I assist senior prosecutors on a variety of tasks including but not limited to drafting pre-trial applications to appearing at a sentencing’s. 

The range of work I have been exposed to at such an early stage of my career has been second to none. 

What do you enjoy about working at Meredith Connell?   

The people. At the beginning of February 2020, I didn’t know much about the other graduates, but I assumed that we were all both excited and nervous about the unknown journey ahead of us. A year later, I could have never predicted that those graduates who started off as strangers, have become both colleagues and close friends. A big part of that has to do with the amazing team behind the scenes, so a special thanks to Cushla Hill and Eliza Lam in our People team for all the support over this past year.  

What has been the most challenging part of working at Meredith Connell?   

The biggest challenge was the transition from University life to full time legal work, Monday-Friday. For the first few months, it was difficult to adjust. But with the help of the team and the firms’ flexible working policy, I got there in the end and only snooze my alarm once in the mornings.

What sets Meredith Connell apart from other firms?    

The training at Meredith Connell is second to none. From small group sessions with experienced partner’s teaching juniors how to review a file, to actually being able to appear as a junior in trial, the theoretical and practical training the firm offers is incredible. The training at the firm has given me the confidence to be a better advocate and have a strong foundation in understanding the criminal law.

What are the social opportunities like at Meredith Connell? 

There are so many opportunities to network and connect with both those in the firm as well as those who the firm work closely with for example the teams in the Courts, the Police and other government agencies. Unfortunately many of the larger events planned had to be cancelled last year due to COVID-19 but I am definitely looking forward to social events this year.

What has surprised you about working at Meredith Connell? 

Coming into Meredith Connell I didn’t know what to expect because I had never worked in a law firm before. But I think the thing that has surprised me most is how rewarding the work can be. Every day I am reminded about the ability I have to impact the lives of individuals, their families and their communities and that is both rewarding and greatly humbling.  

Whether that impact is by recognising the voices of victims of offending or by having an understanding of the cultural practices of pacific and Maori defendants, the impact is felt and it is not taken for granted.

What has been your favourite experience at Meredith Connell so far? 

There are too many to choose, but if would have to be observing my managing Partner Kirsten Lummis in Court. She is such a fierce advocate and it’s very inspiring to be able to learn from her.

What would your advice to students be who are wishing to apply to Meredith Connell? 

Apply. Be confident in your journey and as cliche as it sounds, trust the process. I initially applied to intern at MC but just missed the cut. I then worked hard for my last semester and reapplied as a graduate because I knew that I wanted to start my professional journey here at MC. Thankfully I was successful second time round. So trust me when I say, trust the process.

What would your advice to students be who are wishing to apply to Meredith Connell? 

Apply. Be confident in your journey and as cliche as it sounds, trust the process. I initially applied to intern at MC but just missed the cut. I then worked hard for my last semester and reapplied as a graduate because I knew that I wanted to start my professional journey here at MC. Thankfully I was successful second time round. So trust me when I say, trust the process. 

Women make up 66% of our team and 40% of our partners. We eliminated the gender pay gap five years ago and everyone who works with us is paid the Living Wage.”

About the firm

MC might be another big law firm but it’s what we care about that separates us from the status quo.

MC is full of forward thinkers – our values are progressive and new. We take a genuine interest in issues impacting New Zealanders across Aotearoa.

In our role as Office of the Crown Solicitor for Auckland, our legitimacy derives from Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Our staff pride themselves on their multicultural and inclusive world-view.

In both Auckland and Wellington, MC is about collaboration, honesty, accountability, excellence, and doing the right thing every day.

Working at the firm

MC celebrates and supports diversity. With an average age of 31, MC leads on social justice and we encourage our team to take part in movements they support.

Women make up 66% of our team and 40% of our partners. We eliminated the gender pay gap five years ago and everyone who works with us is paid the Living Wage.

With 100 years of experience behind us, we’re by far New Zealand’s biggest and most successful litigation firm.

So if you want to learn about litigation and all aspects of the law, MC is the place for you.

 Sound good? Get in touch.

 

Opportunities for students

MC’s Winter Internship Programme focuses on developing you as a lawyer – taking what you’re learning in lectures and putting it to the test.

The Internship is new, practical and spread out over more than two months.

During your time with us you’ll meet all our MC players and immerse yourself in a team where you’ll do meaningful work and learn from the best in the business.

Winter is our busiest time which means you’ll see how we work together and support each other to get results for our clients.

 

Junior Lawyer

Lucy Macdonald