Monique celebrates third Call to the Bar
Law graduate Monique Lister is celebrating her third Call to the Bar, completing the trio of academic accomplishments in her homeland.
The 31-year-old joined the Regulatory Authority in March of this year where she intends to remain and make “an even greater contribution”.
She decided to attend law school in the US, and then take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test, now Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, to qualify as a solicitor in England.
Ms Lister told The Royal Gazette: “It feels really good — this is the third Call to the Bar and third time's the charm. This one was special because it is home. I was born and raised here. Almost all of my family is here so being able to come back and use all the different skills I have gained outside of Bermuda to make a contribution here I think it is something that is really special. It is very meaningful to me.
“The world nowadays is very international. Bermudians can work in England and a lot of us either temporarily or permanently end up in the US. Companies are very international and being able to have knowledge of different jurisdictions and training and being able to be comfortable with the law of different jurisdictions is a huge benefit in my opinion so that was one of the reasons I decided to do law across three jurisdictions.
“Bermuda, US and UK all have a common law basis so there are a lot of commonalities so it isn't that daunting but there are also huge differences in some ways.”
Ms Lister displayed academic aptitude from a young age. She mastered her primary one and two material during her first year at West End Primary School and so was able to skip primary two. After four years at the top of her class at Berkeley Institute, she left Bermuda to attend Trinity College School in Canada. TCS awarded her a partial scholarship after she became the first person to receive a perfect score on the entrance exam.
On graduation she attended Emory University in Georgia where she earned a Bachelor's degree in business administration from the Goizueta Business School.
She returned to Bermuda to work as a management trainee with Butterfield Bank where she worked her way up to become trust officer. However, her interest in law spurred her to continue studying.
Ms Lister chose to attend the University of Michigan Law School which had awarded her a full scholarship. Graduating from Michigan she then passed the New York bar in July 2010 and began working for IBM's legal resource centre.
After three years at IBM she moved to Atlanta to work as a global legal counsel for Ernst & Young, providing legal support for major multimillion dollar technology projects.
After practising law in the United States for five years, Ms Lister prepared to transition back home to Bermuda. She completed the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme in 2015 and was admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales in 2016.
Asked where she got her academic drive from, Ms Lister said: “I get it from my parents [Terry and Cheryl-Ann]. They definitely laid a strong foundation in terms of academic success and drive and using your God-given talents. I have been very blessed to have a lot of role models and support and it has made a huge difference. Both of my parents have been extremely successful in their respective fields and their successes have been an inspiration to me but one of the great things is that they always encouraged me to choose my own path.
“I'd also like to thank the Chief Justice, who presided over my call and gave some very complimentary and encouraging remarks welcoming me into the profession; Angela Berry, who was the supporting attorney for my Call to the Bar, in her role as chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Regulatory Authority, who also gave remarks introducing me to the Chief Justice; and my colleagues at the Regulatory Authority.”