New Zealand Law Society - From law to banking and back to law

From law to banking and back to law

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Deanne Taylor
Deanne Taylor

Deeanne Taylor’s passion for the law blossomed at a very young age. However, it took a period of reflection during her time as a junior solicitor, changing careers and working overseas, for her to re-evaluate her approach to the realities of the legal profession and return to the law in Blenheim.

She thinks her early interest in law may have been through watching lawyers in courtrooms on television “but, even at the age of nine, I recall being motivated by a desire to help the perceived underdog and to have a job that I thought would be intellectually challenging.”

After high school, Deeanne enrolled in the University of Auckland, starting law school in 1998. “I enrolled in the LLB and not a double degree because I had tunnel vision in that I only wanted to be a lawyer, so didn’t want to spend an additional year at university when I could be gaining experience in the workforce.”

Deeanne graduated with Honours in September 2002 and obtained work as a law clerk for one of the larger commercial firms in Auckland.

Steadily climbing the ladder, she became a junior solicitor and was placed in a team specialising in mergers, acquisitions and securities. However, working in the legal profession was not all she had thought it would be.

“In my early 20s I was incredibly shy and, needless to say, I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I recall, at firm functions, I seemed to end up chatting to the waitresses and I felt more at home building friendships with the firm’s secretaries and word processors than the other lawyers.”

After just two and a half years, Deeanne voluntarily resigned. “If I had realised what practising law was like in ‘real life’ I would have chosen a completely different career path.”

After leaving her job, she found work in the business sector as a Business Banking Manager for the National Bank (now the ANZ).

Again, attracted to the possibility of “making a difference” in her local community, her new position involved assisting and advising small to medium-sized local businesses and their owners by helping them achieve their business goals and aspirations. “I wanted to have contact with ‘real’ people and to have a greater amount of variety.”

From Auckland she moved to England and worked in banking in Bristol, with the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, until she was 29. It was at this time that she decided to take a career break.

“I relocated to Queensland and then Perth and had four children, twins – a boy and a girl called Luke and Lucy, who will be three in August and two older girls, Ruby aged five and Isobelle aged seven.”

After eight years in Australia, Deeanne and her family decided to return to New Zealand. “In late August of 2016, after literally examining a map of New Zealand and having visited Blenheim for one day in February 2016, my family and I stepped off the plane and arrived in our new home of Marlborough.”

On 3 October 2016, Deeanne returned to full-time employment as a solicitor for Wisheart Macnab & Partners.

“I have to say that after many years of not feeling fulfilled in my employment, and of not understanding why the desire to be a solicitor never panned out for me initially, that all of my past employment, however unfulfilling at times, has all contributed in equipping and preparing me to be exactly where I am now, which is exactly where I am meant to be.

“After many years of feeling unsettled, I am home and it’s a beautiful peaceful feeling.”

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