Expanding career opportunities

Master of Laws student Jamie Molea always had his sights set on postgraduate study after completing his LLB, and the opportunity to study while interning at a law firm confirmed Wellington as his first choice.

Jamie Molea in front of the Law School.

Jamie, who hails from the Solomon Islands, finished his undergraduate degree at the University of the South Pacific last year, and began looking at options for postgraduate study. He was drawn to Victoria University of Wellington because of the Law School’s research reputation and the option to study for a Master of Laws by coursework. He says the experience has been very different from undergraduate study and has really enjoyed learning from other students during student-led seminars. “It stimulates constructive discussions and challenges students to really dig deep and think outside the box.”

A highlight of his degree so far has been his internship at maritime and commercial private law firm, Izard Weston. “Although I had spent time working in the High Court of the Solomon Islands and the State Law Office of Vanuatu, my work experience within the private legal sphere was very limited,” Jamie explains. “During my time at Izard Weston it has been refreshing to work with people from so many different professional backgrounds. It’s given me a more practical perspective on the realities of working with people and clients in the legal profession.”

Jamie received the Angelo South Pacific Postgraduate Educational Scholarship in Law, and Emeritus Professor Tony Angelo QC has acted as a mentor for him during his studies. Tony also arranged some additional practical experience for Jamie at the Crown Law Office in Wellington.

“Professor Angelo has been such a great influence on me during my time here. He's my go-to person and has been mentoring me, seeing where my interests are and giving me advice on potential career paths. Basically, he's been a great motivator for me and other Pacific Island students here.”

When he finished his undergraduate study, Jamie thought he knew the path his career would take, but postgraduate study has expanded his view of the legal profession. “My Master’s studies have opened my eyes to how big the legal spectrum really is, and helped me find different fields in law which I could pursue as a future career. I could see myself working in the public sector, I have developed an interest in international law… all because of the courses I have taken during my Master’s.”

Jamie has been taking advantage of the Wellington lifestyle and being able to live in the middle of the city. “People here are very friendly, and Wellington is such a beautiful city—everything in and around the central city is so accessible. There is so much to do outside of studying, not just in Wellington, but throughout New Zealand.”

His love for Wellington has also spilled over into another of his big passions—sport. Although he is an avid football fan in the Solomon Islands, Jamie says that being in New Zealand has allowed him to get more familiar with rugby, and he has become a fierce supporter of regional Wellington rugby team the Hurricanes. He says, “I go and watch Hurricanes games whenever I can, and the All Blacks frequently have home games in Wellington, so an All Blacks game is next on my list!”