Young lawyer realises dream
Lealofioamoa Mamaia, 24, of Tauese and Vaiala, has become the newest lawyer to be admitted to the bar.
She was admitted before Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson yesterday.
Families, friends and colleagues were present to witness the special moment.
In congratulating the new lawyer, Justice Vui said being a lawyer meant setting high standards.
“You are now part of an honorable profession,” he said.
“You are now a lawyer and that is an old profession and it’s a profession that has standards and sometimes lawyers in this country tend to forget about those things."
“But it is what makes a lawyer different from other professions."
“You have to follow a code of conduct and you have to set yourself high standards not only on your performance and in your dealings with the people and in your work."
“There are 160 lawyers and now 161 in a population of 180,000 and that makes you different because there are only 160 others who are like you and I think that is another matter that is sometimes forgotten by the lawyers and by our commitment."
“I hope and I say this on behalf of the Judiciary and as a Judge who admits you that you keep those in mind as you progress through your career which hopefully it will be long."
“And that you remember that the pursuit of excellence is something you should always strive for."
“You should try to be excellent and you should try not to be an amateur lawyer but an excellent lawyer and it takes hard work, commitment and dedication."
“Today that new chapter of your life starts and I hope you succeed."
“Congratulations to you, your parents and your family.”
During an interview with Ms. Mamaia, she said it’s her passion that made her push through for her six years of studies to become a lawyer.
“It suits my personality as a person because I’m argumentative,” she said.
It didn’t come easy for the young lawyer.
“There were a lot of challenges, but mostly is the fact that I have to study overnight and not enough sleep, not forgetting the assignments that I have to do which sometimes I couldn’t handle but I made it through,” she said.
“There were moments that I almost gave up but having dreamed of dreams and seeing visions of what I have planned for my life, pushed me through and having the support of my family and seeing the struggle they have been through really helped me to get through all the challenges."
She studied law at the University of the South Pacific.
She is working at the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office.
Lealofioamoa is the youngest of Saveatama Fraser and Faamata Mamaia’s five children.