Rachel Paris

Rachel Paris has broken ground in the legal community as the first partner to be appointed in a part-time capacity at her commercial law firm Bell Gully.

Demonstrating professional leadership by negotiating this partnership arrangement, the 32-year-old hopes to inspire a fundamental shift in the traditional business model for law firms and to encourage young lawyers to lead a full life, which incorporates family and a fulfilling career.

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While managing her legal profession with motherhood, Rachel also pursues her interest in media and film – co-authoring a feature film screenplay currently in production with South Pacific Pictures.

Rachel began her legal career at Bell Gully in 2000 after graduating with a conjoint law and arts degree, coming top of law school and her honours programme. In 2003, she came first at Harvard Law School in the specialist International Finance LLM Programme, with her dissertation cited as “influential” by the Wall Street Journal editorial in December 2007.

Outside work, Paris has been involved with mentoring students at Tangaroa College in Auckland, volunteering as a reading tutor at St John’s Primary School in Tower Hamlets in London, developing business literacy and entrepreneurship through engagement with the Young Enterprise Scheme and Business Hall of Fame and speaking at school assemblies, charity events and career guidance evenings.

In this knowledge age, the more relevant leaders are the innovators who challenge the way things have always been done because they are ambitious for improvement. This is a more democratic interpretation of leadership, which supports the view we can each be leaders in our own way – we simply need to find a cause that inspires us and to take action to rally others to help achieve our goal. That is the type of leadership to which I aspire. ”