Born in the alpine lake town of South Lake Tahoe, situated on the border of California and Nevada, USA, Jack Hayashi is an Otago law graduate currently working at Simpson Grierson.
“My parents decided to move to New Zealand as my father worked with the company Harrahs [a Las Vegas based casino operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation] which helped with establishing and training employees for Sky City.
“I attended Rangitoto College, which was great as, being such a big school, it was easy to be involved in a variety of opportunities, trips and socialising.”
Jack has one older brother who moved back to the United States to study engineering at Berkley University, in California, and is working on designing and manufacturing a table-top cricket game.
What was your favourite subject at high school?
“Photography. Mr Bartlett [his teacher] was full of passion for the subject and wanted us all to do well, which made it easy to want to do the work.
“Having a fully equipped darkroom for developing film and photos has become a treasured experience, especially with how redundant it has become with digital tech.”
While studying his LLB and BA (major in politics, minor in psychology) at the University of Otago, Jack also did a year exchange. He completed semesters in Germany (Tuebingen University) and Denmark (Aarhus University).
When did you decide to pursue a career in the legal profession?
“It wasn’t until surviving the second year cut that I fully contemplated the path of pursuing a career in the law.
“I didn’t want to count my chickens before they hatched. I really enjoyed the practicality of the philosophical and analytical skills we have been shown in that first year.
“Pursing further study/career in the legal profession was the best way to develop these skills and way of thinking.”
What speciality area do you want to work in?
“I have really enjoyed my time in the construction team here at Simpson Grierson.
“The mix of dispute and transactional jobs keeps things diverse. Plus, it is very transferable knowledge so I am pretty happy to have landed in such a great speciality area. I am really excited to see how this journey develops.”
Is there anything you wish was offered in law school that wasn't covered?
“There seemed to be a lot of things on offer in Otago both in the diversity of course work but also extracurricular opportunities.
“It really depends on how much extra you are willing to do or how much you retain by the time you are finished. I never found myself wanting things to be offered that weren’t, more regretting missing opportunities to take up such things.”
Jack studied profs this year part time through the College of Law: “it really helped with learning the practical skills and standards for working in a law firm.”
How long have you been working at Simpson Grierson?
“I was extremely fortunate to be offered a summer clerking position at Simpson Grierson over the 2015/16 summer. Following that I began in a graduate position this year in February.”
What does your job entail?
“I work in the Construction Law team. The team is involved in large infrastructure projects, advisory work and dispute resolutions in the construction context. I joined the team in July and have been involved in aspects of all areas of the team’s work, which has been really eye opening and informative.
“As one of the two juniors in the team, my job mainly entails document preparation, reviewing and lots of training.”
As a graduate, what has been the best advice you have received so far?
“You have to find an area of the law that you are actually passionate about because it makes the good days great and the bad days minimal.”