ROSEMARY ABBOTT | National
It has been a bewildering year for Hannah Cooper, 22, of Wellington.
The Victoria University law-graduate was today celebrating her first year in the job at Randall-McClay and also celebrating the fact she went the full year without being sexually harrassed by a much older male solicitor at the firm.
“Yeah, I mean it was a pleasant surprise I guess, wasn’t it ?” said Cooper in her tailored navy skirt suit.
Cooper had been preparing for the worst after hearing widespread media coverage of sexual misconduct at one of New Zealand’s prominent law firms.
“I wasn’t even asked by a person with power and influence to drink to excess after a 12 hour day on a Friday. I had all my excuses ready to fire off, but I wasn’t asked or pressured to do anything! It’s been a pretty uneventful year to be honest”
When pressed by reporters about if she ever felt uncomfortable in her corporate work environment, Cooper recalled one uninteresting incident in her short time as a legal professional.
“Well one of the partners who was more than double my age smiled and wished me a good evening, left at a reasonable hour after one beer, and didn’t pressure me to have any alcohol at all. Just so strange!”
“I’d already drafted my complaints which were ready to be lodged with the HR department. Waste of time in the end because I didn’t need to send them, but I mean, they basically wrote themselves! But even if there was an incident I don’t feel like disclosing it would result in me losing my job. I suppose some lawyers are just normal people who know right from wrong. Who knew?!”
Cooper said that at the work Christmas party she didn’t feel like she got trapped or preyed on, let alone harassed by someone abusing their position of power as a senior partner of the firm. She then explained how she had a few too many drinks, but was kindly helped into a taxi without incident.
The Whakataki Times has been informed that Randall-McClay will start three new women as part of their summer intern programme next week. More to come as we watch how this programme unfolds.