The law, as we know, is not just for lawyers. It is also a grounding for those in just about every pursuit you might imagine.
However we have provided here a look at seven kiwi celebs who also have law degrees although most have never practised to any extent.
Check the list below.
List sponsor: Staedtler
Comedian Raybon Kan worked for Chapman Tripp before deciding the law was not for him. The Masterton-born Kan was dux at his school before studying at Victoria University for an LL.B (honours).
He took his debating team to second place in the world debating championships but it was jouralism that then took his interest.
He first came to media prominence writing television reviews for The Dominion newspaper in Wellington and performed stand-up comedy on stage and on television. His television work included regular appearances on comedy sketch shows and he was named Best Comedian by Metro and North and South magazines on repeated occasions in New Zealand. He has performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, (where The Age newspaper named him one of the festival’s highlights,) the Montreal Comedy Festival (1998 and 2001) and the Edinburgh Fringe. He has also performed in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sydney. He was nominated for the inaugural Billy T Award in 1997.
Qualifying in law from Otago Law School did not see Sheena Martin do any law office heavy lifting but rather she became a professional body builder. Born in Gore but is now a California-based champion ‘Bikini pro’ in the International Federation of Body Building Fitness. She entered her first Bikini competition in 2013 “just as a goal” and five months later she won her “pro card” and in 2016 became the first New Zealand woman to compete at Olympia, which she described as “completely surreal”.
A professional body builder since 2014 she moved to California in 2018 and also runs Sheena-Jayne Fitness to share her knowledge and experience about body building.
Long time newsreader Simon Dallow is an Auckland University law graduate who started his career working as a litigator. He has anchored TV1 news since 2006 and although there have been recent rumours of his demise in that role, the experienced presenter appears to be safe in his current role.
Although looking to be a pilot with the air force but found his femur was too long for the position, causing him to switch to law. He worked in law briefly before moving to Europe where he worked for six years as a Contiki tour guide.
His ability to speak confidently to an audience, grounded in his initial legal background and finessed with his European tour work, lead to his work as a broadcaster.
Mediaworks’ ‘Project’ host Jesse Mulligan is a qualified lawyer who commenced his career as a stand-up comedian, following a win in a stand-up comedy competition, and moved into radio hosting and working in London for a PR agency.
He later secured his current roles on the TV3 news show and as host of Radio New Zealand’s afternoon show.
Mulligan, a keen culinary expert, also writes a restaurant review for the NZ Herald and, a talented writer, has also penned articles for media outlets like ‘The Economist’. He also works as an event MC and as a writing consultant helping ads and brands ‘find the funny’ in their off- and online communications and advertising.
Shortland Street actor Blair Strang is best known for playing ambulance driver Rangi Heremaia on New Zealand’s longest-running soap opera, Shortland Street, between 1995 and 2001 and Brian King on Nothing Trivial from 2011 to 2014.
However he is an experienced family lawyer working for his own firm, Blair Strang Barrister, where he has been practising from chambers in Albany since 2008. He married fellow Shortland Street actor Katrina Devine and has also made numerous acting appearances in television dramas and shows, including the recent Maori Television show Kaitangata Twich.
Nadine Loren is a Swiss-born Kiwi singer/songwriter who is now based in LA but qualified as a lawyer from Auckland University before working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Her acting and singing career continued to develop as she played roles in Xena, Street Legal and a variety of movies as well as developing her singing which had moved between opera and pop, combining genres and fusing different styles that ultimately lead to her move to California to develop her career, rubbing shoulders with a variety of celebs and mover-and-shakers.
In 2011 she married multi-millionaire investment firm chairman Michael J. Levitt this year, ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky and David Foster were among the guests. The couple were married by Antonio Villaraigosa, the then Mayor of Los Angeles.
Former All Black Conrad Smith completed his law degree, with honours, at Victoria University before signing with the Hurricanes in 2004 and becoming an All Black at the age of 22 in the same year. He also joined Bell Gully and continued to work in the firm in the mid 2000s whenever playing commitments permitted, later moving to Gibson Sheat.
One of his self described career highlights has been representing the Players Association, including his work as part of the team that lobbied and obtained guaranteed retainers for players. He has said he looks forward to a return to law after the end of his playing career.
Well known horse trainer Peter McKenzie is both a lawyer, singer and an occasional actor, notably appearing in Lord of the Rings, playing Elendil in the battle scen with his nemesis Sauron. He is also the father of Flight of the Concords partner and Oscar winner Bret McKenzie.
McKenzie has trained a Melbourne Cup contender, (Sculptor) and commenced his life in horse training as a law student when he worked as a jockey. He also handled part-time work as a singer and dancer in musicals and other productions.
Apart from his LOTR role, where son Bret played Figwit, he also played in King Kong and a large number of television productions.
His horse training operation at Ohau, north of Wellington, has been a busy horse training ground for several years. Although we do not know whether he ever worked as a lawyer, he certainly appeared in many costume dramas involving horses, including the above, but also including William Tell and The Dark Knight.