Glen D’Cruz is a man of many talents. In addition to being in-house lawyer at South Pacific Pictures, one of New Zealand’s largest film and TV production companies, Glen is also a drummer in several bands, doing originals and covers. Insights spoke to Glen about what attracted him to law, his life as a musician, and advice he might have for younger lawyers looking to succeed – while pursuing interests beyond law.
“I was as confused as most when I graduated high school, with no solid idea of what I was going to pursue at University,” admitted Glen. “I knew pretty quickly what I wasn’t going to do – maths and the sciences! So, by default, I opted for something on the other side of the spectrum. At the time I also looked at journalism or social studies, but eventually signed up for Stage 1 Law at Auckland Uni. It seemed like a noble career and path that would give me an opportunity to help others.”
Embrace your non-law life
Lawyers often have passions they pursued prior to full-time jobs, but the demands of being a lawyer leave little time for a life beyond law.
“I think most people will agree that finding time to pursue things outside of your regular day job will be challenging – so time management and mind set is key,” said Glen.
“I’ve always been into music and the arts – both as consumer and creator. I’ve played drums in various bands throughout the years (covers and originals) and do try to make it a part of my life as it’s so different to being a lawyer and provides variety.”
Glen credits his musical pursuits for helping give him balance and perspective.
“I think it’s healthy for lawyers to take time and pursue other interests,” said Glen. “You can lose sight of things and opportunities if you’re doing too much of the same thing.”
Give relevant, tailored advice
Glen’s job is an enviable one for any film and entertainment buff.
“I get to see and be a part of how entertainment is created which is always exciting,” said Glen. “It’s an area which requires you get stuck in as part of your learning – it’s not something you can grasp by reading a textbook.
“As in-house counsel, I feel you’re better equipped to give advice that’s relevant and tailored to your company. You get to see how things are done (and gauge the company’s appetite for risk) by providing advice from an insider’s perspective.
“It’s ultimately fulfilling when you’ve played a part in helping your colleagues overcome problems.”
Be open-minded and adaptable
For young lawyers wondering how best to get ahead in law, Glen advises an open mind.
“In today’s market it’s hard to be picky about which area of law to pursue. Being open minded and adaptable is important,” said Glen. “You should consider any opportunity that’s in front of you with a sense of humility – you’ll be surprised by how something which initially appears as “not your thing” could turn out to be an area of interest later on – and if it’s not – you’ll no doubt learn something which will leverage you for your next gig.
“Every job (or even project) you take on will teach you something you probably didn’t know or expose you to a different way of thinking. And always appreciate the time taken by someone to mentor you – that’s a whole other skill in itself which should be recognised.”