Georgia McDonald

Litigation, Law North

“The litigation work is pretty exciting, there is a lot happening up here and the situations we come across are so varied. There definitely isn’t a shortage of opportunities to learn something new.” 

Why did you decide to study law? 

I made my decision on a bit of a whim. I had my heart set on doing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Classics but I convinced myself that wasn’t going to land me a job. So I decided I needed to do something to back it up. It was either going to be law or a science degree… I ended up choosing law after a horrid evening of chemistry homework and the deal was sealed after reading the Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson – the series ends with a very juicy trial and I thought it sounded like a bit of me.  

Where do you currently work and what do you do?    

I currently work at Law North in Kerikeri. I am in the civil litigation team but being a reasonably small provincial firm I also take on some general work. The litigation work is pretty exciting, there is a lot happening up here and the situations we come across are so varied. There definitely isn’t a shortage of opportunities to learn something new! The litigation work involves anything from relationship property disputes, estate claims, debt recovery and a lot more. I actually started in a general practice firm in Auckland so that gave me a really good grounding for the civil litigation team up here as you don’t know what is going to come in the door. As for the general work, that involves things like Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and trust queries. I think of this as ‘bread and butter’ type work that is always helpful to keep your eye in and like I said, this work does cross over in the litigation side from time to time so knowing how to prevent later problems when drafting documents, like Wills, is really helpful. 

What do you enjoy about your work?       

I love working in a smaller community and putting down roots, I find it so much more satisfying than being anonymous in a big city. Community connections are important in every law firm but especially so in the provinces as there isn’t a huge turnover of people and those connections are vital to make sure clients keep coming back to you rather than jumping around (and possibly bad mouthing you). Seeing as I grew up in a small town this environment really suits me. I also love the variety of things that come across my desk – I get to experience a lot of different areas up here seeing as the area is so spread out and there are limited options for law firms. I feel like the firms in bigger cities don’t often see that kind of variation.       

What do you enjoy outside of work?

I have discovered a love of powerlifting since moving up here, I’ve become pretty involved with the Northland Powerlifting Association and even competed at the NZ nationals in 2020! This has been an awesome way to put down some connections in the community and meet people – which can be tricky in a new area. I also love all the beaches and bush walks up here, I learn about a new hidden treasure almost on a weekly basis, there is so much to explore.  

What advise would you give to someone considering study law? 

For anyone considering studying law, make sure you enjoy reading and writing. You may not enjoy it as much at the end, but you have to do a lot of it through your degree. Also, don’t play the comparison game. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or achieving and really focus on your own lane. It is really easy to slip into a bad mindset and second guess yourself at law school (and once you hit the job market) but letting go of all those things is key to actually progressing – regardless of whether you end up in a law office or not. 

Trade Policy & trade Negotiations 

George Greig