Breadcrumbs

Grace Walker

Bachelor of Laws

Law, Political Science

Key Info

Qualification(s):
  • Bachelor of Laws
Subject(s):
  • Law
  • Political Science
Scholarship(s):
  • Vice-Chancellor's School Leavers Academic Excellence Scholarship
Achievement(s):
  • Founder and President of Waikato Women Students In Law Association

Grace Walker has a strong sense of social justice and for her, law seemed the natural fit. “I chose to study law because it offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills and explore many aspects of human life. I wanted to understand human rights, justice and how power in society is held to account so I could speak up for those without a voice.”

Unsure about her choice of university Grace attended the annual University of Waikato Open Day and found that Waikato was the perfect choice. “I’m from Auckland so I wasn’t sure which uni was right for me. When I attended the Waikato Open Day, I was surprised by the supportive vibe the campus radiates. In high school, you’re told that at uni you’re on your own and that you won’t get much help but at Waikato, I found that it was quite the opposite. Te Piringa – Faculty of Law promotes the concept of ‘colleagues not competitors’ and I was drawn in by the individualised and ongoing support students receive from their lecturers, tutors, mentors and fellow students.”

A highlight for Grace was receiving a summer internship position in the criminal law sector. This internship provided her with the opportunity to assist prosecutors with case analysis and the preparation of submissions that were heard in the District Court.  “I think that the skills I've obtained during my time at Te Piringa has set the foundation for me to achieve anything.”

In January this year Grace initiated a new student association, the Waikato Women Students’ in Law Association (WILA). The association provides support and advancement for women in the legal profession with a focus not only on students at Te Piringa –Faculty of Law but on the wider society as well.

“The legal profession is in serious need of gender equality, and creating WILA was the first step towards fostering this. I wanted to create a safe place for female law students where there is mutual support, respect and a variety of social events that relate to promoting the role of women in law and in society.”

In the future Grace hopes to advocate for human rights and to work on legislative reform. “I hope that through my studies, I will be able to add to the field of learning within developing areas of law and make a positive and real difference in people's lives.”

Why law?

I chose to study law because it offers the opportunity to develop a range of skills and explore many aspects of human life. I wanted to understand human rights, justice and how power in society is held to account so I could speak up for those without a voice.

What is the most memorable achievement you've had so far?

Definitely receiving an internship position in the criminal law sector over the summer of 2018/19. I assisted prosecutors with case analysis (review of evidence/ preparation of court files) and wrote up submissions that were heard in the District Court.

What's your favourite topic or area of law you have learnt about?

I’d have to say Cyber Security with Wayne Rumbles. This focusses on the legal aspects of cyber crime such as hacking, cyber terrorism, malicious code and harmful communications.

Where do you see yourself in the future? 

I see myself advocating for human rights and working on legislative reform. I hope that through my studies, I will be able to add to the field of learning within developing areas of law and make a positive and real difference in people's lives. I think that the skills I have obtained during my time here has set the foundation for me to achieve anything.

How have you changed in your time at Waikato?

When I first started at Waikato, I didn’t know anyone and I was shy about making new friends. However, I soon realised that everyone was in the same boat as me and was really friendly, so I began putting myself out there more. This led to having a whole network of friends, job opportunities and even creating a new association on campus. I’ve also learnt how to manage my time effectively and be more responsible.

What's your number one tip for making the most of uni life?

Get involved in any opportunity that comes your way. Lecturers, tutors and student leaders are here to help you navigate your way through law school, so take advantage of that and get to know them. 

What advice would you give to female law students?

Never be afraid to use your voice. You are capable and powerful of doing anything you set your mind to.


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