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Profile of Julia Holden, Litigator

May 2022

Julia joined Holmden Horrocks in June 2019, first as a law clerk, and then as a solicitor after being admitted to the bar in October 2019. Julia is originally from Wellington but moved up to study at the University of Auckland in 2013, graduating in April 2019 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.

During her degree, Julia focused on a wide range of legal areas, including healthcare law, human rights law, and advocacy law, during which she developed a strong sense of justice (which has translated into a fervent desire to obtain the best possible outcomes for her clients!). We asked one of our staff to quiz Julia on her life and her views on the law.

Three serious questions for Julia:

Why did you pick law initially at University?

"I first thought about studying law when prompted by my mother, who midway in an argument with my teenage self yelled in exasperation "you should study law at university and put your mouthiness to good use!". I maintain that she was losing the argument and was only trying to side-track me, but the thought stuck. It also helped that in my family, you either study law, medicine, or engineering, and I hated high school science."

What is your favourite thing so far about working as a lawyer?

"I love coming across a diverse range of legal problems and having to figure out how to approach them based on the needs of clients. It is very satisfying to have hours of research and analysis pay off in advocating for clients and achieving good outcomes for them, especially when clients are often stressed and anxious about their legal issues."

What is something you have realised about the practice of law that you were not prepared for at University?

"I think Law school focuses too much on testing your ability to memorise as much broad theory as possible for a three hour end of year exam, which does not (so far) appear to be a particularly relevant skill in legal practice. While theory is still important, the practice of law is much more varied and procedural. However, it's possible I'm just bitter about flunking my second year land law exam."

Three extremely serious questions for Julia:

If you were trapped in the Warehouse overnight, would you rather be trapped with a Silverback Gorilla or a Komodo Dragon (we ask this of all our junior staff).

"A Silverback Gorilla.[1] I feel that I could possibly find a way to relate to a gorilla, as we're both primates. You look into the eyes of a Komodo Dragon[2] and it's totally alien – if there is any emotion it's pure hatred. A Komodo dragon also has an incredible sense of smell, can climb and is super-fast. There's no hiding from it."

What dystopian universe (eg, Brave New World, Handmaid's Tale, 1984, current America) do you think you'd most be able to survive?

"I reckon 1984. I've been told I have an impeccable poker face, and I've never even come close to being cancelled on Twitter. I think I probably wouldn't last a minute in Handmaid's Tale without being burned at the stake or something".

What is a bizarre and/or interesting fact about you?

"According to the Ancestry Database 23andMe, I have more neanderthal genes than 81% of the general population. The kids in primary school who made fun of my bushy eyebrows can also confirm this."

[1] Editor's note: As with Mina's interview, this is in fact the correct answer. Only brainiacs here at Holmden Horrocks.

[2] Holmden Horrocks does not recommend looking into the eyes of a Komodo Dragon.