Five minutes with … Sarah Jury

by Hannah Norton29 Jun 2015
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
My father is a lawyer, I worked for him in high school, it didn’t seem too bad (although I expected it would be quite boring, and I wasn’t disappointed).

How long have you worked at McLeods and what brought you to this position?
I’ve been with McLeods since 2004. I answered an advertisement for a staff solicitor that said something like “too many chiefs looking for an Indian”. At the time I was working in Auckland and actively looking to move to a smaller town.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
There was a dispute about (allegedly) the largest matchstick sculpture in the Southern Hemisphere…

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Agatha Christie, Gretchen Rubin, and another one of my current favourite authors (I can’t pick, would have to draw names out of a hat or something).

Where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work in Kerikeri?
My haunts are Café Cinema (which is next to our office); the Pear Tree (which is on Kerikeri Basin next to the Stone Store with a beautiful outlook) and Food @ Wharepuke for special occasions (it has amazing food).

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
When I was a kid I played club soccer on an all-boys-except-for-me team. I’m not particularly athletically gifted and at one stage was complaining to my younger brother about the boys on the team giving me a hard time for not being good enough. My brother told me if I wanted them to stop hassling me I should get better at soccer. I remind myself of this moment when I need to hear “get over yourself, stop whining, and do the best job you can”.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I have an energetic and bright six year old daughter and a husband of 15 years, so that’s probably my main hobby. I have always read obsessively, I read twice as fast as anyone I know, will read anything and get through about 5 books a week. Kindle Unlimited has really changed my world, although we do have floor to ceiling bookshelves at home. I also belly dance, which is something I am lucky enough to do with my mother and sister (although our teacher moved away so we are on a hiatus at present).

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
If I wasn’t a lawyer I would be a (poor) novelist.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in New Zealand in 2015?
I don’t know if it’s the single biggest issue, but one I am concerned about is legal aid and access to justice. Particularly in the family law area in Northland it seems that clients are unable to access representation.

If you had John Key’s job for one day, what would you do?
Throw some kind of concert extravaganza and enjoy myself. I’m not kidding myself that I would be able to do his job or fix anything in a day.

What do you love about your job?
There’s a lot to love- helping clients, reading and drafting documents, dressing up, our lovely staff, sunny offices, short commute in a convertible…

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Our staff keep leaving - going on OE’s, parental leave, getting qualifications, making changes. I would like it if they all just stayed put thank you very much.