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Thread: How would I go about being a lawyer in NZ?

  1. #1
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    Default How would I go about being a lawyer in NZ?

    Hi there, in a few years I'll be starting college here in good ole' Murica and am planning on studying Pre-law and becoming a lawyer. My plan is to save up enough money to visit NZ (which I'm already doing), and since the age of 8 the country has intrigued me because of the landscapes, the climate, the environment, the culture, and the way the country is run. To me, America is fairly boring and it's way too spread out. Pollution is everywhere here, you can't get jobs if you aren't in a big city, recessions are happening every 20 years because of our interference in foreign countries, education here is a catastrophe for such a developed nation of 300 million people, healthcare is more like a privilege here rather than a guarantee, and from what I've seen is that Americans seem to be very materialistic and are very obsessed with items. I have had friends from NZ, and from what I've heard Kiwi's are laid back and appreciate the outdoors and the environment much more, and don't value things as much as Americans do. I'm a laid back person, and I like it when things are at a slower pace. Also from the Kiwi's I have known, they seem very friendly, approachable, and polite. I love my country, but there are a lot of negative things here and uncertainties (political and economic). I'm only 16, but I have thought a lot and I want a bright future, and NZ I think -- can fulfill that. NZ seems like a more modernized Britain, in a sense.

    Anyway my main question here is: how would I go about being a lawyer in NZ if I attended law school in America? And if I couldn't transfer from being an American lawyer, would I just have to attend law school in NZ? And would I have to do Pre-law in NZ as well? I would appreciate if someone could tell me how it'd work. Thanks
    Last edited by Huckleberry; 5th October 2014 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    As you will see here https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-la...sion/admission, conditions vary depending on the kind of foreign qualification held. It would have to be assessed, and you would then be told which further courses you would have to take in order to qualify. (There would very likely be some, since the laws and legal systems of the US and NZ are different.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    As you will see here https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-la...sion/admission, conditions vary depending on the kind of foreign qualification held. It would have to be assessed, and you would then be told which further courses you would have to take in order to qualify. (There would very likely be some, since the laws and legal systems of the US and NZ are different.)
    The whole transfer process seems very very tedious and complicated, so would it probably be in my best interest to get the law degree in NZ? My other question is how long is law school in NZ? I've read that it was 3 years (compared to 4 in America) but it didn't look like an accurate source. Another question is what is the cost on average of law school in NZ?

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    I'm sure you'll have some answers from knowledgeable people already in the country when NZ wakes up later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huckleberry View Post
    The whole transfer process seems very very tedious and complicated, so would it probably be in my best interest to get the law degree in NZ? My other question is how long is law school in NZ? I've read that it was 3 years (compared to 4 in America) but it didn't look like an accurate source. Another question is what is the cost on average of law school in NZ?
    Law school in the US is only 3 years, but you need a bachelors degree (4 years) before you can apply (at least to anywhere reputable). Law school in New Zealand is 4 years, but you do that straight out of high school. If your goal is to be a lawyer in New Zealand, you are probably better off going to university in NZ.

    As an international student, you're looking at a little under $26k (NZ) a year for Otago. http://www.otago.ac.nz/prodcons/grou...tago051882.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
    Law school in the US is only 3 years, but you need a bachelors degree (4 years) before you can apply (at least to anywhere reputable). Law school in New Zealand is 4 years, but you do that straight out of high school. If your goal is to be a lawyer in New Zealand, you are probably better off going to university in NZ.

    As an international student, you're looking at a little under $26k (NZ) a year for Otago. http://www.otago.ac.nz/prodcons/grou...tago051882.pdf
    Wow what a difference, and I do wanna be a lawyer in NZ. America is too overwhelming for me, also so to be a lawyer in NZ it only requires 4 years of college schooling and that's it? And 26k for a law student (not pre-law) per year is nothing compared to what it is here. From what I know, the average American lawyer has to pay over $250,000 once they get out of law school, and it can take anywhere from 2 and a half to 8 years to pay that back, and by that time your credit is messed up. Even though American lawyers make a little more than Kiwi lawyers, I think there are a lot more pros because of the environment and schooling requirements.

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    Hi Huckleberry,

    As NZ law and US law, although based in similar ideology, are quite different, you might want to consider that you'll have to do additional schooling if you change nations after you become qualified. Depending on what area of the law you want to study, it might be an advantage for you to do that if you want to serve a US/Kiwi international community. For information on how to become a lawyer in NZ, this is where you want to start: https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-th...-career-in-law This link has links to the Universities that offer law degrees in addition to the other steps you need to become qualified in NZ.

    I love your enthusiasm for NZ. You are right. NZ can be considered preferable to living in the US by a lot of US citizens. I am one of those. However, I think you are romanticising and idealising NZ. I'm not sure what you mean by a "modernised Britain" but your perception, perhaps, may not be entirely accurate. You are young and looking forward to a new future. That is wonderful. It is possible that NZ could be the place that makes you happy. However, I would advise you to inform yourself about the negative aspects of NZ. I'm not telling you not to be cynical but make sure your idealism is properly placed to serve you and the world by real knowledge. Do not let go of your idealism but make sure you are aware of the obstacles you might face. Don't be so sold on your idealised version of NZ that you might miss the opportunity to do or go to the place that will truly offer you what you seek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwieagle View Post
    Hi Huckleberry,

    As NZ law and US law, although based in similar ideology, are quite different, you might want to consider that you'll have to do additional schooling if you change nations after you become qualified. Depending on what area of the law you want to study, it might be an advantage for you to do that if you want to serve a US/Kiwi international community. For information on how to become a lawyer in NZ, this is where you want to start: https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-th...-career-in-law This link has links to the Universities that offer law degrees in addition to the other steps you need to become qualified in NZ.

    I love your enthusiasm for NZ. You are right. NZ can be considered preferable to living in the US by a lot of US citizens. I am one of those. However, I think you are romanticising and idealising NZ. I'm not sure what you mean by a "modernised Britain" but your perception, perhaps, may not be entirely accurate. You are young and looking forward to a new future. That is wonderful. It is possible that NZ could be the place that makes you happy. However, I would advise you to inform yourself about the negative aspects of NZ. I'm not telling you not to be cynical but make sure your idealism is properly placed to serve you and the world by real knowledge. Do not let go of your idealism but make sure you are aware of the obstacles you might face. Don't be so sold on your idealised version of NZ that you might miss the opportunity to do or go to the place that will truly offer you what you seek.
    Thank you for your insightful response. I know that I should reconsider a lot of things, and think carefully about this. Since I was a young kid, I've been reading all about NZ. I keep trying to find flaws, but there aren't many (I admit some though). From what I know, consumer products are relatively high, and food can be sky-high in terms of prices. It seems to also have a problem with home affordability. I also know that NZ is a very isolated country, which makes travel abroad costly. The term used ("modernized Britain") is probably inaccurate, but it's what it seems like mainly on the South Island. Another thing that draws me to NZ is the fact that there is a massive appreciation for the environment, outdoors, and nature. I love nature, and the outdoors and one thing I have a passion for is sailing, which I know is big in NZ. One last thing that draws me to the country is that for the most part -- the country has a very temperate climate (much like the Napa Valley in California), and the further you go on the South Island, it gets cooler. Cold weather is my favorite. I'm from America's biggest city, and I am pretty used to expensive items and food. Where I live the average bottle of water would cost me anywhere from $1.50-$3.00 PLUS tax! I know that I may be too young to be thinking about all of these things, but at least I have an idea of what I like and want. I turned 16 a few weeks ago, and although I may be only 16 - I am glad that I am starting to think about these sort of things. However, this I know is probably thinking way ahead of time.

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    Also in comparison to your home state (CA), how would you compare life and the overall quality to it in comparison to living in NZ? Also why'd you make the move? And would you ever go back?

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    I only bring this up again because I think most people would describe the South Island as the opposite of a "modern Britain". There is a joke on the SI that we are 50 years behind the rest of the western world. Obviously, this is joking hyperbole but it's not far off in some ways. That has negative consequences and positive ones. Those could be different for you than for me.

    The population of NZ is 4 and half million, only 1 million live on the SI, and half of those live in Chch and Dunedin. The people who actually live every day in nature, who utilise the rivers and beaches, and who hunt, gather, farm and forage are small as a percentage of the NZ population. It's a bit of a myth that NZers, on the whole, are more interested in environmental issues (compared to other nations) when actually so many of them are, at best, apathetic to what happens to the environment because they are so far removed from it. You can find a community of diverse individuals who care about the environment as a sustainable resource. We have a great community of friends of various backgrounds (from farmers to hippies) who care about preserving nature for various reasons. My sister-in-law is from the Western Adirondack region in NY and every time I've been there, I've found the people, the land, the societal relationship with the environment to be very similar to NZ. The Kiwi relationship with nature isn't really different than other similar nations with similar types of activities. I will make one counterpoint, in my community, because the population is small, people with strikingly different viewpoints must live in a co-operative manner to achieve similar goals even if their lifestyle and politics are very different. However, I do know a lot of people who come from other rural areas of the SI who found that uniformity of behaviour and thought was more the norm.
    I think it's awesome that you're dreaming about NZ and planning ahead. 16 is not too young!

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