Tupuola Pauli Tuiā was admitted to the bar before His Honour, Chief Justice Patu Tiavasu’e Falefatu Sapolu.
The Principal Investigating Officer of the Office of the Ombudsman holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master in Business Administration.
“What you make of yourself as a lawyer no longer depends on your law degree,” said Chief Justice Patu. “It depends on you, yourself and it is what you do with the talent that God has given you that will define you as a lawyer.”
He told Tupuola that to be a truly accomplished lawyer requires hard work, perseverance and good character.
Tupuola is passionate about woodcarving and he was one of the judges for a wood carving competition earlier this year.
He told the Samoa Observer that he had very little interest in becoming a lawyer, but he took advantage of the opportunity to become a lawyer.
“I was a teacher at Leififi earlier, and then I took up a part time lecturer job at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji,” he said.
“So it was there that I saw an opportunity and then I went for it and studied law, which was very challenging. So it took me five years to complete my law studies.
“But honestly wood carving is my profession and I am very passionate about that, but I ended up as a lawyer.”
Tupuola added learning is a never ending journey.
“This is also a good message to our young people out there that there is always room for learning,” he said.
“We should never stop learning no matter how old we get and I want to encourage our young people out there to keep learning if you fail there is always another chance to get up and keep on going.” Asked for his plans, Tupuola said he will still be working for the Office of the Ombudsman and is looking forward to practice in the bar.
He hails from the villages of Moataa and Vailoa, Faleata. He’s married and has two sons.