New Zealand Law Society - Country boy's provincial career begins back home

Country boy's provincial career begins back home

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Of third generation Hawkes Bay farming stock 24-year old Richard Doole started his first law job the other day where he would like to stay – in the provinces.

Having graduated in May, and a country boy in the best sense, Richard says he is fortunate to be taken on by Napier firm Sainsbury Logan & Williams and is looking forward to being admitted to the Bar on 28 July.

Richard Doole
Napier. Grew up in Wairoa. 
Entry to law
LLB/B Com from Otago University, May 2015. To be admitted on 28 July 2015. 
Sainsbury Logan & Williams, Napier. 
Speciality area
Propety and general.

He works with partners Adrian Barclay and Lincoln Reid.

"With so many people coming out of the law schools there's heaps of competition among young lawyers to get a job.

"There's not many positions available and I was fortunate to get in on the ground floor, which is good, especially getting back to my home town area."

From an 1100 acre Wairoa sheep and beef farm originally worked by his grandfather, Richard was head prefect at Napier Boys High School in 2009, the year he won the parents' league award for tertiary education.

"I wasn't expected to stay on the farm.

"Dad's cousin Martin Doole is a partner in Napier firm Carlile Dowling and he's the only lawyer linked to the family I know of."

However, there is another legal family connection. It turns out that great uncle George Doole was President of the Hawke's Bay District Law Society in 1967 and 1968.

"I don't know what attracted me to law, I guess I kind of fell into it. Everyone at school thought I should be a lawyer but you never know what it's really like until you start doing it."

He says he enjoyed it so much at Otago "I thought I might as well keep it up" and emerged after five years of good fun with his double degree, "heaps of new friends … And it was still good fun…"

He did a commerce degree because of an interest in pursuing commercial law.

"Crime work doesn't interest me yet, but I might give it a go later when I've had more experience…

"I would recommend Otago to anyone interested in doing law. It is a good university, mainly because of the closeness between the university and the city.

"People come from all over and from all walks of life to study at Otago and be part of that special Dunedin scene … and I reckon Mark Henaghan's a pretty good law dean…"

Describing himself as an outdoorsy type, Richard is a keen fisherman, snowboarder and rugby player.

There's a family bach and boat at Mahia for sea fishing and he also enjoys trout fishing in the rivers around Lake Waikaremoana.

Wanaka was his favourite snowboarding spot while at university, and now Mt Ruapehu beckons.

At university he played fullback for the Dunedin rugby club – with his team finishing around mid-table – and he's looking forward to joining up with Napier Tech next season.

"I don't read much, have no favourite authors, like any 'old' music from the 1980s and 90s, don't sing or play any instruments, have lots of mates in Dunedin bands and don't mind country music…

"I watch a lot of TV, mostly sport and mainly rugby, the Under-23 World Cup soccer and US legal drama Suits – only because it has a good story line…"

With an older sister teaching and another working on a dairy farm who has just had a baby, Richard says he doesn't have any long term ambitions yet "but hopefully I can stay practising law in the Bay."

"Provincial areas need qualified people to stay rather than flee to the big city … I'm not a fan of the big city…"

Jock Anderson has been writing and commenting on New Zealand lawyers and New Zealand's courts for several decades. He also writes the weekly Caseload column for the New Zealand Herald. Contact Jock at

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