Jessica Ah Koy 

Graduate, Meredith Connell

I applied to MC not really knowing what to expect. It has turned out to be the best decision I could have made. 

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

I started at MC in the Crown Specialist Team in January 2021 and for the majority of my time, I have assisted in prosecuting serious crime.  My day to day consists of assisting senior prosecutors on a variety of tasks including but not limited to drafting appeal submissions, and appearing in court on bail matters and sentencing hearings.  

What is unique about working at MC?   

The training and guidance given at MC to be able to run your own criminal files is very unique.  You have access to some of the best litigators in the country, and are supported every step of the way to be able to do criminal appearances on your own and work your way up to running your own jury trials.    

What career steps have you taken to get to this point?     

My path to the law wasn’t linear . I studied a Bachelor of Social Work before I even decided I wanted to go to law school.  When I finally finished my law degree, I took some time off and travelled (in a pre-COVID world in 2019).  I returned to NZ, started my profs course and was then fortunate to get a job at a mid-sized firm working in trusts law.  After finishing profs and being admitted, I decided it was time for a change so I applied to MC not really knowing what to expect.  It has turned out to be the best decision I could have made.  

What has been your favourite experience at MC?    

I recently finished up my second round of in-house litigation skills training.  This involved being taken through some of the skills needed to run a criminal jury trial.  Each part of the training involved a theory and practical session where you were able to practise skills such as leading evidence, cross-examination, and opening and closing a case.  All of the work put in over the last three months culminated in a mock trial at the end of the programme where you are given the opportunity to show the skills you have learned in a life-like setting and receive feedback from the senior criminal partners.  This year we were able to run our mock trials from the new MC Training Courtroom. It was an amazing opportunity to practise for a real courtroom.  Even though the nerves were high at the time, looking back it really was a great experience and the perfect learning space to hone your advocacy skills.  

Did anything surprise you while working at MC? 

I was really surprised at the wide-ranging opportunities you are given at MC.  Apart from the day-to-day work and files that come through the office that you have the opportunity to work on, there are so many different social clubs and things going on at the firm.  You are spoilt for choice and there really is something for everyone. 

“MC is New Zealand’s largest litigation firm, by far. With 160 litigators we’re at least five times the size of our nearest rival”  

 

About the firm

MC is New Zealand’s largest litigation firm, by far. With 160 litigators we’re at least five times the size of our nearest rival.  

As Office of the Crown Solicitor at Auckland, MC is the repository and custodian of specialist knowledge accrued over generations to benefit the Crown, while ensuring prosecution decisions are independent from politicians.  But most of our work now comes from litigation beyond the Crown warrant.  We’re a blended firm, with our litigators doing Crown prosecutions and every other kind of litigation.   

MC derives legitimacy from Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our lawyers pride themselves on their multicultural and inclusive world-view.  In Auckland and Wellington, we’re about collaboration, honesty, accountability, excellence, and doing the right thing every day. 

Working at the firm

If litigation is your thing, there’s really only one major firm for you.  

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 65% of our team and 41% of our partners. We eliminated the gender pay gap six years ago and everyone who works with us is paid the Living Wage. 

At MC, you’ll be working with clients and appearing in court in your first year.  But, don’t worry – no firm invests as much in litigation training.  You’ll be taught by New Zealand’s top litigators in our MC Training Courtroom – an exact replica of an Auckland High Courtroom, the only one of its type in Australasia.  

And your wellbeing comes first.  We’re the first firm in the Asia Pacific region to achieve WELL v2 precertification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).  Plus we have free barista coffee for our team all day.  

 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. 

To find out more, contact olivia.klaassen@mc.co.nz or visit our website.

Lawyer

Ashley Varney