New Zealand Law Society - Becoming a lawyer often a generational tradition

Becoming a lawyer often a generational tradition

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It’s not unusual to find a family where several generations have produced a lawyer or two.

Recently Jack Fletcher graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria.

His achievement mirrors a family tradition that is now four generations old, or put more simply, his father is a lawyer, and so was his grandfather and great grandfather.

Jack’s great grandfather Walter Vernon Roy Fletcher was the first lawyer in the family, graduating in 1928; Jack’s grandfather Ronald Alan Fletcher received his LLB in 1958; and Jack’s father Hamish Quentin Fletcher graduated in 1989.

Hamish Fletcher says the family tradition began when Vern was encouraged to study law by his father, Walter Harold Fletcher, who worked closely with the legal community in his role as Commissioner of Stamp Duties in the 1920s and 30s.

“My grandfather went on to practise law for 51 years, and was a founding partner of Nelson law firm Fletcher and Moore in 1950, he says and he was a specialist in town planning and local government law, and represented the Nelson City Council as its lawyer between 1933 and 1974,” Mr Fletcher says.

Hamish’s father, Ron Fletcher, worked as a lawyer for 55 years, spending most of his career in Nelson at the family practice as Managing Partner.

Hamish has been practising law for 28 years, spending 25 of those years working side by side with his father Ron.  He then established his own law firm, Hamish.Fletcher Lawyers, in Nelson in 2003. He is also a partner in Oceanlaw New Zealand, which is the country’s leading specialist fisheries, aquaculture and maritime law firm.

Jack Fletcher who graduated earlier this month started working with Kahui Legal at the end of his first year.

“They really guided me through my studies and opened my eyes to the Māori legal space and opportunities in the Māori economy, which is a developing and really fascinating area of law,” he says.

Last year he was the co-president of Nga Rangahautira, the Māori Law Students Association, and took part in a programme for young Māori leaders called Tuia Te Here Tangata.

This year Jack Fletcher is studying at Waikato University where he’s doing a full immersion Te Reo Māori course.

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