Best and brightest celebrated at Law Awards

17 May 2018
The Honourable Chris Finlayson QC addresses the audience.

The Auckland Law School celebrated its top students at the 2018 Law Awards last week.

Hosted by the Dean of Law Professor Andrew Stockley, and attended by hundreds of students and their families, the event recognises the hard work, commitment and perseverance of the award-winners.

This year’s guest speaker was the Honourable Chris Finlayson QC, politician and Member of Parliament and former Attorney-General, who conceded that as Auckland Law School was now ranked 29th in the world, out of more than 5000 institutions, it surpassed his old law school.

“It is hard not to look green with envy when I see how well Auckland Law School does in many areas,” he said.

He spoke of the need for graduates to continue learning and stay abreast of the law as subject areas constantly changed. Further he advised new members of the legal profession to be generous to others, as well as themselves and be mindful that it’s a long term career, urging them to look after themselves.

Professor Stockley and Associate Dean Craig Elliffe personally presented the awards to those students who have won prizes, scholarships, competitions, both here and abroad, as well as representing the Law School and/or been student leaders in the previous 12 months.

“Tonight is about celebrating the achievements of some of our most talented students and reminding them to continue to work hard, to excel and to contribute as they progress in their degrees, their careers, and their lives,” said Professor Stockley.

He thanked all those who had donated prizes and scholarships, supported student societies, events and competitions, and given financial assistance to the Law School.

“The prizes, scholarships and donations you provide mean a lot to our students. They recognise their hard work, hours spent in the libraries, staying up late before exams, seeking to master particular cases, legal principles, and areas of law.”

He spoke of the interesting and diverse careers that Auckland graduates go on to enjoy, as leaders in the law, as well as Government, business and a wide variety of other sectors. Ten percent of all MPs are Auckland Law School alumni.

“Our graduates contribute to the law and to society in many ways from having charge of a major legal aid programme in Australia, to representing domestic workers in Hong Kong who have been exploited and poorly treated, and in all sorts of other ways standing up for those who are powerless, who suffer injustice and face barriers to receiving the protection of the law and the courts,” he said. 

A total of 191 prizes and awards were given out on the night with the Auckland District Law Society’s Prize for the Top Law Undergraduate going to Bridget McLay.

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The University of Auckland
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