Mark Henaghan is a Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Otago. He is also a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Professor Henaghan is a leading New Zealand authority involved in the cutting edge of international developments in family law. In addition to publishing both nationally and internationally in his specialist area, He is frequently called upon by the New Zealand media for his expertise in family law.
Why did you choose law as a career?
I chose law as a career because I like the idea that the law can be used to create a fair society.
Do you still feel that way?
I still like the idea, but realise the law can also be used to create an unfair society.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying law?
Be interested in how the world works. Look around you and question how things are done. Read widely across different disciplines. Observe human behaviour closely.
What is the one thing that has given you the most satisfaction in your career?
I get immense satisfaction from seeing the students I have taught in first year law being admitted to the bar.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a lawyer?
The biggest challenge is explaining to people who have been badly let down by the legal system that there is little that can be done to change their situation.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing New Zealand lawyers?
The biggest challenge for NZ lawyers is making sure that we are available to all sectors of NZ society.
What do you enjoy doing outside lawyering?
Skipping, biking, playing rugby, going to the movies and reading books.
What music do you listen to?
Simon and Garfunkel, The Hollies and Aretha Franklin.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron.
The best movie and TV shows I've seen?
Brother Son, Sister Moon and Faulty Towers.