Family law reform and keeping busy: five minutes with Samantha Bills

Dewhirst Law solicitor Samantha Bills tells NZ Lawyer how she came to lawyering.

Family law reform and keeping busy: five minutes with Samantha Bills
Dewhirst Law solicitor Samantha Bills tells NZ Lawyer how she came to lawyering.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I have known that the law was for me since I was 12 years old. It all started with Legally Blonde, it is very inspiring! Seriously though it was a lecture I went to by Professor Mark Henaghan (University of Otago) which showed me the way that law intersects all aspects of life, and how could you not want to be a part of that.

How long have you worked at Dewhirst Law and what brought you to this position?
I have been at Dewhirst Law for 8 months. Four of us started Dewhirst law together in September. We decided that it would be a good idea to have a fresh and collaborative firm. Having only practiced at one firm before, it is exciting to be a part of a new law firm, helping it to grow and develop its practice.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
Recently our office had a rock thrown through its window. Let’s just say we don’t think it was an accident…

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio
Matt Damon
Jack Nicholson

Because The Departed is my favourite movie, and I am a real movie buff so it would be amazing to meet them.

You’re based in Whanganui – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
Nothing quite beats cocktails at Mint after a long week.

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I keep busy by being an active member of the local Young Farmers Club, and Women’s Network Whanganui (a charity celebrating women all around the world). Plus Whanganui’s movie theatre has a really excellent cheap day Tuesday.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A nursery woman. I have green fingers and I could continue on part of the family business.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2016?
Family law reform.

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
I don’t think I could pass law in a day so organise a trip to meet Prince George and Princess Charlotte (immediately so I could get there straight away).

What do you love about your job?
The people. They constantly provide me with better work stories.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
The heating in our office. Two people like it to be really hot and two people like it to be cool. I like it to be cool. Somehow as a team we cannot manage to work out the perfect temperature (no matter what we do).

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