Ensuring people are protected for their future – whether that’s buying an earthquake damaged home, preparing their will and powers of attorney, or moving into a retirement home – is what drives Christchurch lawyer Shona Senior.
My advice for young women coming into law now would be to choose a firm which is the right fit for you and the area of law you want to practice in.
After retraining as a lawyer 10 years ago, Shona wanted to specialise in “elder law”, the legal issues impacting the aging population.
Growing up she watched her parents care for her grandparents, who lived into their late 90s, and this piqued her interest in legal issues that affect people as they age.
“I wanted to help families navigate the myriad of issues which come with old age, like asset planning, residential care costs, preparing robust wills, family trusts and advising on occupation licences.”
She also enjoys helping home buyers of all ages, ensuring they’re protected from the risks of buying and selling homes – especially earthquake damaged and poorly repaired houses.
Working as a woman in a traditionally male field, Shona says it was initially challenging juggling motherhood and long hours with little in the way of flexible work practices.
“Studying law when my daughter was quite young, that was quite hard as a lot of firms worked the traditional way, which was long hours and without any allowance for attending to childcare.”
There are now many women in the legal profession in New Zealand, and she says the profession is slowly changing and becoming more flexible.
She values Godfreys Law for its flexibility, and she works part-time so she can help her own parents as they get older.
“My advice for young women coming into law now would be to choose a firm which is the right fit for you and the area of law you want to practice in.”
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Shona worked as a librarian in Christchurch and government researcher in Wellington.
Contact Shona on 0800 131 001 or Shona@godfreys-law.co.nz