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New lawyers admitted to the bar

Monday 1 November 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National

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New lawyers admitted to the bar
Kathleen Bergin after being admitted to the bar supported by friends and family. 21102944

Lawyers Kathleen Bergin and Mariata Pittman were admitted to the bar in the Cook Islands High Court on Friday morning.

It means they can appear in court on behalf of clients.

The two were supported by family and friends when they were admitted by Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams.

Both women were covered in neck eis and emotions were high as Bergin read her oath.

Justice Williams said welcoming barristers and solicitors was one of the most pleasant duties a judge could have.

“The only downside is there can’t be many more flowers left on the island,” Justice Williams said referring to the eis the women were wearing.  

The judge said having more women practitioners in the Cook Islands was great.

“Nearly all the recent admissions that I can recall over the past couple of years or so have been women,” the Judge said. 

“The role of practitioners in the Cook Islands must be just about 50/50 on gender balance. That’s a great trend in the way things are going.”

Outside of court Bergin, who had already been admitted to the bar in New Zealand, said being admitted in the Cook Islands was very meaningful because it was home.

Mariata Pittman covered in eis after being admitted to the bar by Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams - 21102946

Bergin said the study of law was hard and not for the faint-hearted.

“I studied as an adult student so it’s very different to the younger ones that came out of school,” she said.

“I’m not a young person so I’m not starting a career, I’ve already got a career but for people who are like me, a mature adult, I think everything is possible. I don’t think we ever stop learning.”

Pittman, an Auckland University graduate in 2020, said she was looking forward to being involved in trials in court.

“I’m definitely excited to be able to appear in court, I feel like I’ve been waiting all year to get in court and that’s the thing I’m most excited about. I’m just eager,” Pittman said.