Five minutes with… Zoë Bowden, DLA Phillips Fox

by NZ Lawyer06 Oct 2014
DLA Phillips Fox law clerk Zoë Bowden was recently named a College of Law top performing graduate in her intake of Professional Legal Studies, topping the class on Representing a Client in Court.

The intake comprised of groups in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, with approximately 268 students participating across two modules.

Bowden tells us about her journey to becoming a lawyer, and what she’d like to change about the future of law.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
A love for classics, history and Atticus Finch at school led me to consider studying law.  Once at law school, I found studying law to be challenging and engaging - important attributes for a five year degree!
How long have you worked at DLA Phillips Fox for and what brought you to that position?
I summer clerked with DLA during my university holidays and luckily for me, they asked me back.  I have since worked at DLA for a little over 6 months.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
A threatened personal grievance based on ghosts in the workplace.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
  • Michelle Obama - Impressive in her own right.
  • JK Rowling - Harry Potter has provided me with years of wonderful escapism.  I admire JK immensely and I know that the conversation would flow (perhaps a little too easily).
  • Ernest Shackleton - I am obsessed with Antarctica, and find the stories of early polar exploration fascinating.
You’re based in Wellington – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
The choices are endless, but Havana Bar have great drinks, food and live music.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
You can never be overdressed or overeducated (this advice was not received from Oscar Wilde personally).
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I love being out on the water, especially during the summer months.  Boating, fishing and scuba diving all fit my idea of a good time.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer…
I would be making and narrating nature documentaries à la David Attenborough.
If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
In light of my answer to question 4, attempt to arrange dinner plans with the Obamas.
What do you love about your job?
The quality and variety of legal work I am exposed to, coupled with my supportive and encouraging colleagues.
 What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Not much.  DLA has a great culture and working environment.  However, in keeping with previous answers to this question, I too would elect to get rid of six minute billable units and timesheets.