Associate juggles law, motherhood

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 10:03 05/06/2014
Karen O’Donnell
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
NEW HEIGHTS: Blenheim woman Laurie Murdoch has just been appointed an associate lawyer at Gascoigne Wicks in Blenheim.

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Juggling motherhood with a career as a lawyer has not been enough to stop Blenheim woman Laurie Murdoch becoming an associate of a Blenheim law firm.

Murdoch joined Gascoigne Wicks in 2009, took five months off in 2012 to have her daughter, and has worked part-time with the firm ever since.

On Friday she saw her name on the list of associates outside the building for the first time.

"I feel proud . . . it's just nice to be recognised when you work hard and to show that actually you can do both [home and career] when you are a working mum.

"Before you have children you worry whether you'll have to give up your passions when you become a mum and you think that you have to make a choice between career and motherhood, but it's nice to know that you can do both."

Gascoigne Wicks, the Blenheim District Court, and Murdoch's husband and family had all been extremely supportive of her, allowing her to balance her work and home lives, she said.

She works four days a week, practising criminal, family and employment law, and manages to fit in some work at home too, while Annie Bella is sleeping.

"[Being a lawyer is] really interesting, and a real challenge, but the biggest challenge is fitting everything into your working week when you work part-time, but you just have to become a bit of a juggler," she said.

Murdoch, who graduated with her law degree in 2005 and was admitted to the bar in 2006, said the best part of being a lawyer has been her ability to help people.

"When [people] come to see me in litigation, they generally have a problem and after a few years of practice it is good to know that you have obtained the knowledge and experience to help them solve their problem."

Her new title signified the hard work had been paying off. "It's a real honour to be an associate . . . it's nice to know you can be recognised in what is quite a male dominated profession, it's really great," she said.

Murdoch said she would continue working as she was, but hoped to start expanding her skill set into other areas of law under her new title.

kat.duggan@mex.co.nz

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- The Marlborough Express

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