Greg Bruce talks to our top new judge, Helen Winkelmann.

She entered law school in 1981, was admitted to the bar in 1985 and was made partner at leading Auckland law firm Nicholson Gribbin in 1988. She was 25 - one of the youngest partners in the firm's then-117 year history, and the first woman.

When I mentioned this fact to Dr David Williams, who was one of her first law lecturers at the University of Auckland, he had to check he hadn't heard wrong: "25, did you say?"

"Yes," I said.

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"God," he said.

To be made a partner