Law Keeps Tyler on Top of His Game
Hollywood might have initially played a part in inspiring Tyler Buckley to pursue a legal career but these days he’s a star performer at Cooney Lees Morgan instead.
“In hindsight, I always enjoyed A Few Good Men – the Tom Cruise courtroom drama. And as a youngster, I used to read John Grisham novels as well. So that probably planted a seed somewhere along the way. But other than that, law just seemed like a career where you could make an honourable contribution to the community.”
That valued contribution has now seen Tyler promoted to Associate after four years with the firm. While outwardly relaxed and easy-going, the spotlight has naturally fallen on him since he graduated top of his class at Waikato University and then completed a Master’s Degree at Auckland University.
“A visiting lecturer put it on my radar that becoming a High Court judge’s clerk is the most fun you can have straight out of law school. It was a sought-after position and I was lucky enough to secure a role as a judges’ clerk in the Auckland High Court.”
Every High Court judge gets a personal assistant and shared access to a research clerk. When difficult legal questions arise through court proceedings, clerks are put to work. Tyler also regularly reviewed and summarised court files and appeals. Those summaries would often become the foundation for the judgement.
“It was really cool. You learned that judges are very smart people at the top of their game, but they’re just people. The only downside was that the role set unrealistic expectations for others about how exciting my work stories would continue to be as a junior lawyer,” Tyler laughs.
“Straight out of law school, I was researching murders and large-scale drug deals – all quite racy stuff. But you can only be a judge’s clerk for two years. And then I went into private practice, where others seem to find my work stories a little less racy.”
These days Tyler specialises in complex conveyancing and commercial property work as part of Cooney’s Private Client & Trust team. He also advises various local authorities on property and building matters. “I also love to help with estate planning and trust work. I like to think that my initial litigation experience helped me to become quite a well-rounded lawyer.”
Tyler says he enjoys helping make a difference in people’s lives by resolving legal issues for them. While he doesn’t expect too much to change in his day-to-day role as a result of his recent promotion, he values the lifestyle he’s able to enjoy in the Bay of Plenty alongside a fulfilling career.
As a keen long distance ocean swimmer, he is a member of the Mt Maunganui Seamen Ocean Swimming Squad, but has had to stick to weekend swims since the arrival of his second son a couple of weeks ago.
“Before my kids arrived, I used to ocean swim throughout the week (as well as weekends) and also do quite a lot of hiking. But now it’s shorter bushwalks with my two year-old or bike rides with him riding shotgun. We’re instilling a love of the ocean – he enjoys swimming at the beach and climbing on the rocks around Mauao and Moturiki at The Mount. I’m trying to get him on the paddle board and kayak with me as well – with less success for the time being. But I certainly love the ocean and get out into the water whenever I can.”
Cooney’s CEO Cecilia Burgess says Tyler’s promotion is well-deserved and he is a key member of the firm’s Private Client & Trust team.
“Tyler stands out for his passion for living in the Bay combined with his energy for the law and his job.”