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27 September 2021

Meet Sarah Ayres, Charity Worker, Mum and Profs Instructor

Published on 27 September 2021

Sarah has always had a passion for advocacy which led her to pursue law as a career. Showcasing the diversity of where a law degree can take you, Sarah has worked in private practice, as an in house counsel and is now focusing on charity work and teaching. We spoke to Sarah about her career opportunities and advice she has for students on Profs.

What does your job involve?

I currently teach the Property, Commercial, In House and Corporate subjects for The College of Law. I started working for the College approximately three years ago as a Profs Adjunct Instructor. Prior to this I worked as both a private practice solicitor and in house counsel for ten years before taking a change of direction which led to working for a charity and becoming a mum. 

What do you enjoy most about what you do? 

I enjoy the opportunities to constantly learn new skills and to use my experience and knowledge not only to work with and help clients but also in my personal life in terms of working with not for profits.

How did you come to work in this area? 

From a young age I advocated for things that I believed in through both my voice and actions, and as a result I was encouraged to foster this passion through becoming a lawyer. I was lucky enough to work as an Office Junior for a mid-size law firm straight out of high school which meant I got an opportunity to see what it was like to work in a law firm before making the commitment to a law degree. I continued to be supported by that firm during my degree and ultimately worked for them through until the Canterbury earthquakes. 

What advice would you have for students keen to practise in your area of law?

Different size firms offer different opportunities so it is good to consider what it is that you want to focus on, such as a specialty area, working with corporate clients, working in a large team or lots of client contact. I found working within mid-size firms I was encouraged to create relationships with clients from day one of my employment which was invaluable in terms of development of my skills and confidence. 

What do you enjoy about teaching at The College of Law? 

I had some amazing teachers and mentors along the way in my career who supported and encouraged me and as a result I too have found lots of enjoyment in teaching and mentoring junior lawyers. I particularly enjoy following students’ progression and development of skills as they learn and gain knowledge during the course. I also enjoying working with such a great group of instructors, there is a real depth of knowledge and experience within The College which is invaluable in terms of providing the best possible experience for students.

From your perspective as an Instructor, how can students make the most of their Profs? 

Put the time aside to read and understand the materials, absorb everything you can, make mistakes and learn new skills. While it may seem like the final hurdle before you can practise it is an invaluable opportunity to become a better lawyer with the support of experienced lawyers who want to see you reach your full potential.