A dream come true
Charles Leicester Dean is one of the newest lawyers to be admitted to the Bar in Samoa.
He was admitted before Chief Justice Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu last week.
The 24-year-old is the third child of Lila and Leicester Dean from the villages of Toamua and Sale’imoa.
To bring forth justice and for people to know their legal rights are Charles passion. And after six years of hard work, he has finally achieved his dream.
“I am very happy and I think I can say that I am proud of myself for coming so far,” he said.
“I had four years of studying in law school and I had undergone another exam, which was three months afterwards. Then I did a lot of practice while waiting for the result. It could have been straight after, so that is why it has been six years.”
Being one of the Samoan students who went to study law at the Victoria University in Wellington was a challenge, but he managed to overcome it with the support of his parents and family.
“The Pacific community in Wellington doing law is very small. I felt like that student who was the brown face of the class and I was pressured to pass my law exams probably more than others. It was a good challenge to be with so many New Zealanders in class,” he explained.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer Charles shared it was a humbling experience.
“There were just three of us Pacific Islanders who made it throughout law school. I was very surprised and shocked, but at the same time very excited.
“The biggest challenge for me was the subject itself. It was very foreign to me and it was different from learning about the history and it was very theoretical.
“A lot of time I had to think on my feet, whereas Samoa, you are spoon fed in school.
"While I was studying, I had to come up with my own arguments. The law degree itself was very challenging like any other degree,” he adds.
It was a personal challenge he decided to take on, but he saw it as a good way of giving back to the community.
“This is the best way I know I can give back something to my people. This achievement is for my family and also my country,” he said.
Charles is advising the public to choose the field of law. Charles and Grace Esera were the two who were admitted to the bar.
“I think women and girls are very successful in taking up academic and undergraduate degrees. I do encourage more males to take this field,” he said.