Law talent—to the power of three

There is a buzz around town: Graduation week at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is getting underway. For the Tu’inukuafe household, today is the day that their sons― identical triplets Cale, Max, and Jackson―will don their Law graduation robes and cross the stage, together, to receive their degrees.

Identical triplets Max, Jackson and Cale graduate from Law
Identical triplets Max, Jackson and Cale Tu’inukuafe graduating with Law degrees from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Separated in age by only a few minutes (Cale was born at 2:02, Max at 2:03 and Jackson at 2:05 am respectively), the brothers from Takapuna are making their family―and the Faculty of Law― extremely proud.
We caught up with them ahead of the big day so they could answer some big questions.

Why study Law at Victoria University of Wellington?

Although Cale, Max, and Jackson chose to study Law independently of each other, they all agreed that moving to Wellington, and studying at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University, provided an opportunity to try something new.

“It also made sense to study law in the capital, where we would be well placed next to both Parliament and the Supreme Court,” says Max, who enjoyed analysing and solving problems at school and had a feeling that Law would be the right fit.

“Initially, I was only going to pursue an Arts degree,” says Cale, “but by the end of school I changed my mind and settled on studying Law alongside Arts. I was on the hunt for a challenge, so this choice made a lot of sense.”

Like his brothers, Jackson’s favourite subjects at school were History and English so it was natural for him to pick “something that involved a bit of reading and writing,” he says. “I also wanted a challenge and knew that Law would be able to provide that for me.”

How do they describe their student experience at the Law Faculty?

The brothers agree that Law school could be a little intimidating at first, but, as Cale says, “the faculty does a really good job of providing support and making you feel looked after.”  Max agrees that the support of the Māori and Pasifika team, the extra tutorial sessions, and the fun student events such as Law camp, wine and cheese evenings and the Law ball, were all great motivators “to keep grinding through the hard parts.”

However, it’s the competition among the brothers that caused the most pressure. “We are all extremely competitive with each other in everything that we do. Everything. Studying Law alongside each other was no exception” says Jackson. Cale agrees: “Even if we didn’t study together, we would genuinely always end up being within a couple of marks of each other.”

Just imagine the banter around the dinner table, or the rugby field, or the basketball court…

What’s the most vivid memory of studying Law at Victoria University?

From the first LAWS121 test for Cale, to “legging it down to Pipitea for the 5:30 lectures, and then hiking back home up the hill in the dark” for Max, those were, as he says, “fun times”.

Jackson remembers being told during their first lecture that it was likely the person sitting next to them wouldn’t graduate from Law. “We were all sitting next to each other that day,” he says.

What was the most useful thing about university?

For Cale, it was learning how to manage his time and stress levels effectively. “I learnt that sticking to a routine and not cutting back on things I enjoyed actually made me more productive,” he says.

For Max it’s all about the technical skills: “Learning how to produce a concise, well-researched, well-structured piece of writing that analyses a problem then sets out clear reasoning for an argument is the number one skill for me.”

Jackson found honing his interpersonal skills useful. “Learning how to relate to and communicate with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds has been invaluable. It’s something that I draw upon everyday.”

So, what’s next for Cale, Max, and Jackson? All three are currently working as lawyers so, for now, the plan is to keep building their experience before going overseas. “Like my brothers (surprise), I would like to travel,” says Max. “I’m currently thinking about spending a year living in Sydney then I would be keen to settle down in London for a few years and really explore Europe.”

Cale and Jackson’s sentiments exactly.

Interested in Studying Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington? Find out more about our Bachelor of Laws—LLB degree.