Rome and London on the horizon for talented alumna

27 July 2012

Lisa Hsin 3

It is only a few months since Faculty of Law alumna, Lisa Hsin, arrived back in Auckland after completing her LLM at the University of California, Berkeley but she is already preparing for the next chapter of her life – this time bound for Rome, then London.

After graduating with a BA/LLB (Hons) from The University of Auckland in 2008, Lisa’s passion for art and law led her to further her studies and do a Certificate of Art Law at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. She then returned to New Zealand to work in Chapman Tripp’s Auckland Litigation Department.

“Although I’d started practising law, in the back of my mind I’d always wanted to do a Masters,” says Lisa. “So with encouragement from Faculty of Law Associate Professor Rosemary Tobin, I decided to apply for the Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship to do a LLM at Berkeley. I was lucky enough to be accepted and left for California in August 2011.”

At Berkeley, the focus of Lisa’s LLM was her thesis, which combined her interests in Chinese law, Art law and International law. Commenting on her time there she says “there are lots of subtle differences in the classroom but a lot of my learning was actually done outside the classroom. There’s a gloss on life in America which I think is what most people see, but getting involved in the local community through my work at the Berkeley YMCA, the China Town Immigration Clinic and as a policy intern at San Francisco City Hall, I also really appreciated how good we have it in New Zealand.”

Lisa graduated from Berkeley with a LLM in May this year and is now relishing the thought of heading to Rome shortly to work as an intern for a couple of months for UNIDROIT and UNESCO drafting model laws associated with the secretariat work in relation to the field of cultural property.

Following her time in Rome, her next destination is London where she will take up a permanent position as an Associate with the Commercial Disputes Department at international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. She says the work will be commercial, with an international focus, and with clients like Sotheby’s and other major museums around the world she will also have the opportunity to work on international art law issues which she is very excited about.

Reflecting on her time at The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Law she says she thinks it gave her an ideal foundation for her studies at Berkeley. “There is a real emphasis on team work at the Law School and this collaborative spirit is something new to students from other parts of the world. I was also lucky enough to have completed a dissertation as part of my honours program in law which gave me a taste of what it would be like to do a lengthy writing project with limited supervision. Academically, in my opinion, Auckland’s standards are on par with Berkeley and other top American law schools.”

If she had any advice for current law students she says “make sure you get involved in your local community, not just among your law school environment, but really get to know the place you’ve chosen to live and study in. Get to know the locals because they can teach you so much about life, which will be so different to yours. Do something to challenge yourself and use the study abroad experience as a way of opening your eyes, your mind and expanding your world, and in turn, you might even get to know yourself better.”