The Asian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) is a student-run club at Victoria University of Wellington, comprising of over 140 students and graduate members with a focus on creating a support network for Asian law students at Victoria.
Growing up as a Korean-New Zealander with English as my second language, law was an area of unknown territory. I had no idea how the law worked and I lacked the connections of the lawyer family or friend that every Kiwi seemed to have. In a predominantly Pākehā dominated profession, diversity and equity is a topic that is constantly raised and challenged, so having the ability to discuss these issues with like-minded students and lawyers, is pretty awesome. More importantly, I was able to meet some inspirational people, and make some amazing friends for life, through my involvement with ALSA.
ALSA aims to provide a sense of community for students with similar backgrounds and cultures and to help bridge the gap between law school and the working environment. We host a range of social and educational events that provide students with the opportunity to network, socialise and brush up on key skills useful for surviving law school. Educational events we have held so far consist of mooting and legal writing workshops, first-year law exam workshops and various speakers’ events that give insight into the wide range of career opportunities available after graduation. One of our main programmes offered to our members is the ALSA x College of Law Mentoring Programme. Students are paired up with a respective senior or young professional, depending on their year at law school. We have mentors from Kensington Swan, Chapman Tripp, Buddle Findlay, Simpson Grierson and many more ranging from both public and private sectors. Through this, we are able to facilitate an in-demand opportunity for students to network with young lawyers and law graduates, and provide the forum to freely ask questions and gain valuable advice around job searching and their experience working with the law.
Aside from the educational programmes, ALSA also hosts a wide range of social events that are open to all law students. ALSA Dumpling Day, international movie night and our annual Korean BBQ Night were some of our more popular functions that enabled us to share some of our culture with the rest of the law school.
If you are interested in hearing more about ALSA and the things we do, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alsaatvuw/ to keep updated with our events. We’d love to hear from you!