Five Minutes With Amanda Barclay: Department of Corrections

by Mackenzie McCarty23 May 2014
Amanda Barclay is a member of the in-house legal team at the Department of Corrections, as well as the recipient of this year's CLANZ-MAZ Young In-House Lawyer of the Year award at last week's annual CLANZ conference in Dunedin. Below, she talks to NZ Lawyer about her alter-ego as a performing artist - and where to get the best curly fries in Wellington...

NZL: What made you decide to become a lawyer?

AB: It’s kind of just the way that my mind thinks. I like people and I like problem-solving, so I guess that’s why law seemed like a good idea. I studied music as well. I did a double degree here at Dunedin, in music (performance voice) and law at the same time…There are some pretty big names who have done the music and law thing.

How long have you been with the Dept of Corrections for?

Just over a year - I’ve been there for about 15 months. I worked at another government department before-hand; I was at MSD and I did have a couple of years in private practice.

What’s the oddest or most unusual thing you’ve been asked to do at work?

Now that I work for the Department of Corrections, it’s always unusual to go inside the prisons. That’s pretty…interesting.

You’re based in Wellington – where’s the best place to go for an after work drink?

I really like the Sprig and Fern. It’s got great craft beers on tap and excellent curly fries!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, personal or professional?

“Get a job.”

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I’m into music so I like going to see concerts, gigs or the performing arts.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…

Probably a struggling singer!

If you had John Key’s job for a day, what would you do?

Pour a whole lot of money into the arts and the public sector.