Anishka Prasad was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Auckland in September 2013.
Tell me a bit about yourself
Born in Fiji Islands, and the eldest sibling in her family, Anishka Prasad and her family came to New Zealand when she was 14 years old. "Most of my schooling, university, and other foundational years were spent in West Auckland."
Anishka completed her BA through the University of Auckland and her LLB from the University of Waikato: "Education played an important part in my upbringing, and I was strongly encouraged to pursue something I enjoyed learning about."
Currently a Senior Trustee for the Public Trust she has experience in a variety of fields: portfolio governance, contract management, employment, insolvency and construction law and alternative dispute resolution. She also speaks Hindi and worked previously as a solicitor at both Grimshaw & Co and Hucker & Associates.
When did you realise that you wanted to be a lawyer?
Like a lot of solicitors, Anishka had a preference for humanities-based subjects at high school.
"I developed a liking for history, literature, and languages at high school. As time progressed, I started to enjoy the art of problem-solving as well, and trying to help out people as best I could."
Each lawyer I've spoken too gives a different story of why or how their passion for the law was sparked. Anishka attended a career expo while attending high school which was clearly influential: "…I was naturally very drawn towards a career in the legal profession for the given reasons."
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
"I enjoy being able to deliver professional advice to people when they need it the most. Advising them on the various options they might have, by making an assessment of the most efficient and effective procedural avenues."
Is there anything you wish you learnt in law school that wasn't covered, either in the study or practically?
"I think the one way in which law school could have prepared me better for legal practice would have been through more practical courses. I believe there are a lot of skills that law schools touch very briefly upon, such as mooting and negotiation competitions that can be developed into larger components of the curriculum."
She continues, "There should be more of a balance between theoretical and practical components of the degree as a large portion of our legal profession demands these practical skills."
After finishing study, did you find the job matched the expectations you had in school?
"There was a slight difference between expectations at law school and the reality of working in the legal profession. I think expectations are very subjective though, and it really depends upon an individual on what they wish to make of their career."
Can you tell me about anyone who inspires you?
Anishka is inspired by a lot of people in her life. "It's difficult to pick an individual to be honest. I have had the privilege and opportunity to be inspired and mentored by various professionals when I was studying, and after I started working in the legal profession."
Are there any issues currently facing young lawyers and/or the legal system as a whole that you'd like to highlight?
This question has been getting some interesting answers, as some people think along the same lines and others notice different issues. Anishka's answer is an interesting one: "I think there are fewer opportunities for young lawyers than there used to be in previous years. This could potentially be due to the competitive nature of the industry, which has escalated over the years."
"Competition in any industry is not necessarily a bad thing. However, on the other hand, some young lawyers could feel short-changed for the level of legal work experience they may get in the initial years of their careers."
What are your favourite books/musicians/movies?
A bit of a bookworm, she cites some of her favourite books as the Rising Strong by Brene Brown, The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Angharad is a Wellington journalist.