Law + life balance.

Getting to know Suzanne Trounson
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Suzanne Trounson

Describe your journey to UC?

I actually failed university entrance when I finished high school. So with that option gone, I went sailing for a few years and then worked in London. When I wanted to move forward in my career in the UK, it became apparent that I needed a degree so I returned to Canterbury.

What were your biggest fears about applying?

Not knowing whether I would even get in to law school! But I completed my first year of Law as a Certificate of Proficiency, which is a way of getting into UC without the right entrance requirements. As long as you pass with certain grades, you can stay in. So I studied hard, applied myself and got all the extra help I could.

And you passed?

To my surprise, I did! I was over the moon to be invited into second year. I then decided to aim for the Honours programme, which is reserved for the top 5% of students. That was certainly satisfying to achieve as I thought that would be out of reach. But I think you have extra motivation returning as a mature student and there is plenty of support available.

What are you most proud of?

I've been offered a job at the Court of Appeal in Wellington after I graduate. I guess I still think I’m dreaming. The role is essentially assisting a judge with research and court work. I would like to work in litigation so it is a great stepping stone.

So there's a job waiting for you!

Yes. I was worried that it would be difficult to get a graduate job at age 32. But it appears to be the opposite. Employers seem to value older students who are settled and have that added life experience.

Best thing about UC?

Opportunities and diversity. There are so many different people and styles of thinking. It's refreshing. The law school is great too - it is comparatively smaller than other law schools, which gets students closer to the many opportunities that are out there.

Any advice for others like you?

Just go for it. Try to simplify things and keep your eye on the big picture. It's busy, but it is worth it. I study law full-time, work two days a week and occasionally find time to sail. If you put your mind to something, you can certainly achieve it.