“Law is incredibly pervasive, which is why anyone could benefit from studying it.”
Alexander Latu hasn’t wasted any time since graduating with his Bachelor of Laws with Honours and BA in Politics from the University of Otago.
Shortly after donning his robe and cap for graduation, he was on the ferry to Wellington, and a day later he was beginning a new job, researching the finer details of some of the most pressing and controversial legal cases of the day.
Alexander had secured a position as a Judge’s clerk at the Supreme Court – New Zealand’s highest court, a role that he describes as stimulating and challenging.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of the work was being at the forefront of what’s going on and working on some of the more interesting cases that are being dealt with in New Zealand,” he says.
Alexander credits the strength of the teaching and the supportive atmosphere provided by the Otago Law Faculty for the ease with which he has been able to adapt to his new line of work.
“The research skills I learnt at Otago have been indispensable, as well as the constant commentary and feedback I received while I was studying,” he says. “There’s a real collegiality that develops. People in the faculty know who you are and take the time to help you.”
It’s also an environment in which hard work is rewarded, as evidenced by the impressive haul of scholarships and prizes Alexander earned during his time at Otago, including a University of Otago Prestige Scholarship in Law, the Law Society Prize and the Pacific Peoples’ Final Year Achievement Prize.
He is currently completing a Master of Laws degree in Administrative and Constitutional Law at New York University, after being awarded a Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Student Award in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding work.
The breadth of the subject of Law means that it has something to offer most prospective students, Alexander believes. “Law is incredibly pervasive, which is why anyone could benefit from studying it, and especially from giving it a go in first year."