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LLM Student Profiles

Janet Duan LLM

Janet Duan LLM (Chinese Version)

Mohammed Alkahtani LLM


Asena Can   LLM 

Asena Can

Background

I obtained my degree in Law in Cologne, Germany. After my bar exam, I started my MBA for Lawyers in Kiel, Germany. As part of the MBA I had the opportunity to go abroad, so I decided to go to the University of Waikato and to do an LLM programme. I have chosen to do the LLM as it will broaden my horizons and improve my knowledge in International Law, while introducing me to the Common Law System. This programme will enable me to work internationally and to assess arising legal problems more accurately, in English. This is exactly what I need for daily work and my long-term career.

Experience as a Waikato Student

The academic staff, as well as the library staff at the Law School, are very professional and supportive. I especially appreciate the wide range of research resources offered by the University of Waikato, for example, there are numerous free tutorials for writing academic papers and using research databases and other various services. The University campus is set in a beautiful environment offering lakes, cafes and sport grounds for recreation. There are also a lot of activities for international students offered by the International Students Centre like day excursions, weekend trips in both the local region and to other cities.

I find Hamilton perfect because it is central and I have been able to travel from here easily. In my first six weeks I have been to Auckland, beaches in the Coromandel peninsula, the Glowworm Caves at Waitomo and Rotorua.

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Cain Kerehoma   LLM 

Cain Kerehoma

Current Position

Consultant - Kahui Tautoko Consulting Ltd

Secondary School

Te Aute College (Hawkes Bay)

Experience as a Waikato Student

There is a strong whanau ethos within the Law School, with the university, staff and students working collectively to produce some of the finest and most talented leaders of tomorrow. Waikato Law School has a growing reputation for producing 'outside the square' thinkers which can be seen by the wide range of sectors that graduates have ended up in.

Challenge

The balancing act of being a father of three, a hapu and iwi member as well as doing fulltime work. Still find time to watch the All Blacks though!

Currently

I am currently working as a Consultant for Kahui Tautoko Consulting Ltd in Wellington working across a number of different disciplines and sectors – much of which draws on the skills learnt during my time at Waikato Law School. No reira, nga mihi atu ki te whanau o Te Wahanga Ture.

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Feng Guo   LLM 

Feng Guo

Background

I finished my Bachelor Degree in Southwestern University of China.

Experience as a Waikato Student

It is my honour that I can do my Master of Laws degree in such a beautiful and comfortable University. The Professors at the Law Faculty are excellent and impressive and the classmates are very friendly. The Law Faculty not only brought me lots of knowledge, but also a period of wonderful life experience.

Currently

The biggest challenge for me is the academic writing ability.

Future Plans

Be a capable lawyer in China with the experience and knowledge that I have learned in New Zealand.

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Hasan Shebaily   LLM 

Hasan Shebaily

Background

I graduated from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law. I have been working as a lawyer in Saudi Arabia before getting the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz programme for scholarship co-ordinating with Saudi Higher Education Ministry to study for an LLM at the University of Waikato.

Experience as a Waikato Student

I have learnt a lot about New Zealand’s culture as well as getting a new education and information about Law since 2007. I am happy with all the School of Law staff and encourage other students to study at University of Waikato School of Law.

Future Plans

In the future, I would like to do my PhD in Law or go back home to find a good job to provide me with the ability to continue my higher education. I then wish to start my own legal company.

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Hermann Schemenauer   LLM 

Hermann Schemenauer

Background

I have passed my Second State Exam in Germany. I have chosen New Zealand for studying a year abroad because I heard a lot about this fascinating country.

Experience as a Waikato Student

I started my Masters program at the University of Waikato in February 2009 and during my first semester I enjoyed the interesting classes and the good and supportive relationship to the professors and staff members. Everybody I meet is really friendly and helpful. The University of Waikato offers among other things corporate law and IT-law with an international focus. This suited perfectly my interests, as I worked in Germany for international companies and the The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection. I am also happy to have the possibility to study in such a beautiful country.

Future Plans

During my time here in New Zealand, I want to improve my English skills and of course achieve the LLM. In the leisure time I like travelling around the country and learning about the culture of its people. After having finished my studies, I intend to work as an international lawyer in a law firm and maybe to work in a company later on.

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Leilani Tuala-Warren   LLM (Distinction) 

Leilani Tuala-Warren

Current Position

Executive Director - Samoa Law Reform Commission

Secondary School

Leififi College

Background

Leilani Tuala-Warren was raised in Samoa and attended Leififi College. Leilani graduated with a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from the University of Waikato in 1998. Leilani returned to Samoa to work for the Office of the Attorney General before coming back to the University of Waikato to teach law in the Faculty of Law, and commercial law in the School of Management. In 2005 Leilani returned home to Samoa to practice law in her family's law firm, Tuala & Tuala Lawyers, until November 2008 when she was appointed as the Executive Director of the newly established Samoa Law Reform Commission. Leilani is married to Aidan Warren, also a graduate from the Faculty of Law at Waikato, and now a partner in the Hamilton law firm, McCaw Lewis Chapman. Together they have three children.

Experience as a Waikato Student

Leilani has fond memories of her time at Waikato: "My Waikato experience and education took place in an environment which fostered and nurtured self-development and independent learning. It was a place that allowed my confidence to grow. My law degree has given me the confidence, skills and knowledge to practice law and now to assist in the formulation and development of legal policy. The most notable feature of my law degree was 'studying law in context' because I am now living law in context in Samoa."

Currently

I am now part of the Samoa Law Reform Commission which reviews laws to ensure that they are relevant to the Samoan context. My law degree from Waikato gave me solid grounding to be able to do this.

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Mange John Matui   PhD 

Mange John Matui

Background

With a Master of Laws degree from the University of London under his belt, Commonwealth Scholar Mange John Matui picked the University of Waikato Law School for his PhD studies because it offered specialist supervision in corporate governance.

Experience as a Waikato Student

"I've had two wonderful supervisors whose sheer enthusiasm and encouragement for my research has been a motivating influence," says Mange, who will submit his doctoral thesis this year (2010). Mange says his time at Waikato has been a happy one. "When I first came here I was pleasantly surprised to find open, friendly and generous people at the Law School who go out of their way to make students feel at home and settle into their studies. After having been to other universities, I find this to be very unique about the University of Waikato - it must be something to do with being a Kiwi, but whatever it is I'm grateful!"

Currently

Mange says corporate governance is an area of law not developed in his native Papua New Guinea. "It's a very new concept, but with problems in governance and accountability in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), particularly in a developing country like PNG, discussion of issues in corporate governance is important."His doctoral research focuses on statutory corporations and SOEs. "One of the biggest grey areas is the continuous government interference in governance. There's no effective accountability and SOEs lack efficiency in delivering goods and services to the people."

Future Plans

On his return to PNG, Mange will be helping to draft generic corporatised legislation to cover these issues of governance and accountability. "It's a big task, but we need to get the message across," he says. "The important thing is information and training for directors, CEOs and up and coming managers."

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Marcel Eusterfeldhaus   LLM 

Marcel Eusterfeldhaus

Background

I attended a Study Abroad programme in Australia 3 years ago. While I was there, I had the chance to take a short trip to New Zealand. I knew instantaneously that I would come back to this unique place with its beautiful natural environment. So, after passing my First Legal State Exam in Germany, I came back to start my Master of Laws programme. I chose the University of Waikato, because of its professors' excellent reputation in my focused area of research, which is Energy Law.

Experience as a Waikato Student

Everyone in the Law Department has an open-door policy regarding students. It is great to know that you are offered support whenever you encounter problems. Furthermore, as a postgraduate student I have access to a lab which I share with other postgraduates. It is a nice place to study because you are surrounded by people doing the same work as you. There are also plenty of sports offered at Waikato. I like to escape for a decent game at the Uni tennis courts for a break during lunch time. But you can also go to the lovely lake to chill out.

Future Plans

After finishing my Master of Laws programme at the University of Waikato, I plan to complete my PhD studies in Germany. I will then complete my studies with the Second Legal State Exam.

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Maree Brown   LLB / BSocSci, LLM 

Maree Brown

Background

I completed my LLB at the University of Waikato, as well as a BSocSci in Psychology and Philosophy.I have recently returned from a year long exchange at the University of Copenhagen. Whilst in Denmark I attended the national Model United Nations, and competed as a member of the Danish moot team in the Telders European International Law Moot Court held in the Netherlands. My partner and I were placed 8th in this competition.

Currently

I am currently undertaking an LLM in International Law, addressing issues pertaining to the problem of defining terrorism, the neutrality of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the exception of aboriginal subsistence to the ban on whaling.

Future Plans

I plan on completing my Masters at the end of the year. I would like to get a legal job and get some experience before heading off overseas (probably London) again to work as a lawyer for a few years.

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Maximiliano Mendieta   LLM 

Maximiliano Mendieta

Background

My name is Maximiliano and I am from Paraguay (South America). I finished my last legal studies in my country in 2004. I also worked in Paraguay for about eight years, at the Office of the Attorney General. My specific post was in the Economic Crimes and Anticorruption Department.

Experience as a Waikato Student

When I received a scholarship from the New Zealand Government to complete a Master of Laws in New Zealand, I enrolled at ‘Te Piringa – Faculty of Law’ at the University of Waikato. I have attended the University during the 2010 and 2011 academic years. For me, it is an honour to study in one of the least corrupt countries worldwide. Moreover, I have observed that New Zealand is not only a definitely beautiful country but is also a country full of wonderful Maori culture. From the very beginning, all the staff at the University of Waikato have been extremely helpful and friendly to me, which has enhanced my experience as an international student. Furthermore, I have gained substantial knowledge and support from all the staff of the Faculty of Law.

Currently

The research that I have been doing has mainly been based in Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples Rights, International Law and Social Justice.

Future Plans

After finishing my Master of Laws at the University of Waikato I am going back to my country where I would like to work to improve our own human rights and social justice situation by teaching law and by continuing to work for the General Attorney’s Office.

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Semisi Pohiva   LLB / BSocSci, LLM 

Semisi Pohiva

Background

A desire to give back to his community is what brought Semisi Pohiva to the University of Waikato Law School. And after completing his conjoint degree in law and psychology, he decided to stay on to do a Masters in Law. Semisi, who is of Tongan descent, is Waikato born and bred. "There was really no reason for me to study elsewhere," he says. "Waikato Law School"s unique teaching style emphasises professionalism, biculturalism and studying the law in context, and it was flexible enough so I could focus on issues of relevance to my community."

Experience as a Waikato Student

Semisi's LLM research has looked at the citizenship rights of overstayer children in New Zealand, and particularly the effect of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 on children born to overstayers. The issue is further complicated by cultural adoption practices. "Tongan adoption practices are similar to the Maori whaangai system, so there are all kinds of problems in trying to legalise these cultural adoptions," he says. He has also looked at legal issues around domestic violence in the Tongan community. "The literature shows Tongan victims of domestic violence are among the most reluctant to seek help," he says. "Being Tongan myself, I see that in the community. In my research, I’m looking at the role of legal institutions and culture-specific refuge programmes, and also the role the church might play."

Currently

Semisi is heavily involved in cultural and youth work in his local community, and for the past three years has served as a residential assistant at one of the Waikato student halls of residence.

Future Plans

He plans to seek practical experience with a law firm when he graduates in 2010.

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Stephan Goenczoel   LLM 

Stephan Goenczoel

Experience as a Waikato Student

Great University, great country, great experience. I would recomend everybody to spend some time in such a beautiful country with an extremely friendly, open minded population. Furthermore, I was very fond of the University of Waikato and its warm atmosphere.

Future Plans

My career aspiration is to work at the Department for Foreign Affairs in Germany.

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Thomas Gibbons   LLM 

Thomas Gibbons

Current Position

Commercial Law Partner - McCaw Lewis Chapman

Background

I graduated with bachelors of Laws and Social Science in 2003 and I'm specializing in governance and strategy for my masters degree. I've also been writing a lot; co-authoring books on trusts and property law, have written more than 100 articles and case notes for legal and business publications. Most recently I've had a substantial text published – The Laws of New Zealand on Easements Profits and Covenants (second edition).

Experience as a Waikato Student

My Waikato law degree has provided a firm foundation for my career and continuing my studies with my LLM has helped develop greater expertise in my specialist areas of company law and property development.

Achievements

At the recent New Zealand Law Awards, I was top individual (and second runner up overall) in the Corporate and Commercial Law category. The awards recognise excellence in client service – understanding client businesses, and providing proactive and timely advice with a strategic and results-based focus. The finalists and winners were determined by clients. I was honoured just to be nominated - serving clients proactively and professionally is what the practice of law is all about.

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Willow-Jean Prime   BA / LLB, GradDip (MPD), LLM 

Willow-Jean Prime

Background

Recent developments in Treaty settlements, Maori governance and indigenous development are the focus for Waikato University masters student Willow-Jean Prime. She studied for her Bachelor of Laws at Waikato and after working in Wellington for three and a half years is now back studying and self-employed working on various whanau, hapu and iwi projects and Treaty claims. She's Te Kapotai, Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi and it's for them she's decided to return to study. "It's important to keep learning and to keep abreast of political, legal and economic changes as well as cultural trends. I've decided I can make a better contribution if I upskill."

Challenge

Willow Jean says Maori and indigenous development is her passion. Her undergraduate degrees (BA/LLB) were in Te Reo and Maori development and law, and she also has a Graduate Diploma in Maori and Pacific Development. "That combination has equipped me with a kete of skills to be able to contribute meaningfully to the positive development of my whanau, hapu and iwi. The challenge for me, and others working in this area, is to keep learning." She is confident walking in both worlds – Maori and Pakeha. "I'm inspired by the dedicated and committed people who've gone before me. We have to ensure that future generations of Maori are provided for spiritually, culturally, environmentally and economically. I'm not afraid of a challenge."

Achievements

Willow-Jean was awarded the Waikato University law School Haggie Scholarship, worth $5,000 and given to the most deserving Maori Masters student in the school in 2009. "That was a bonus - I've given up a good and steady income to study and I still have a student loan to repay. I'm honoured to receive the scholarship because Kamira Henry (Binga) Haggie was the law school's founding kaumatua - an important figure in the early history of the school and his wife Elizabeth is the school's kuia."

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