12 O T A G O L AW M A G A Z I N E My law and commerce degrees provided an excellent foundation for my later career. On leaving university I had little idea of a preferred career path except that I was keen to use my hard-won legal knowledge. I started out on the traditional path of working as a junior lawyer in a corporate law firm. Little did I know that it would lead me into the world of being an ‘environmental defender’. In 1988 I joined Kensington Swan, a year after the stock market crash, and I was in commercial litigation. I found myself with the rather depressing task of winding up companies and bankrupting people who couldn’t pay their credit card debts. But there was a ray of bright light; every month a group of lawyers and scientists would meet at the Kensington Swan offices to talk about litigating to protect the I have very fond memories of my time studying at the University of Otago during the late 1980s. Dunedin was a wonderful place to be a student, with cheap living and the beautiful outdoors close at hand. It was also a supportive environment to try out new things. I had fun being a student politician as well as writing for Critic , the student magazine. Raewyn Peart: Environmental defender