"We have an open and no bullshit -culture, which helps focus on the key issues."
I do not remember having met any lawyers at the time when I was contemplating my study options back in high school. My idea of a lawyer's work was summarised in some episodes of Ally McBeal and honestly that didn't make me eager to jump onto this career path - and that wasn't only because of the creepy baby. Furthermore, our student counsellor didn't exactly encourage us to pursue a career in law by stressing how much work lawyers have to do and stating that maybe we should find more realistic goals. However, the intellectual challenge intrigued me, so I disregarded the warnings and got into law school.
It turns out I like law. I like investigating challenging topics and trying to find solutions to tricky situations. And I like helping. When practising law in a law firm, you get to use your language skills, logical thinking, social skills and argumentation skills. What's best, you learn so much about the society, understand the world better and get to take a look behind the scenes of interesting businesses. That's perfect for a curious mind like mine.
I started my career at Krogerus with an internship in the dispute resolution team. After that, my curiosity - and the fact that my second home language is German- drove me to Switzerland and Germany for two short but very educational internships, where I got to deepen my knowledge in competition law and M&A. In addition to the legal skills I gained, the experience of getting out of my comfort zone and working in a new culture inspired me. I also got to experience the culture of another leading Finnish law firm when I was offered the opportunity to write my master's thesis there.
Now I have been a member of Krogerus' Dispute Resolution team for four years and I was recently promoted to Senior Associate. I was also recently admitted to the Finnish Bar Association. My focus has primarily been on commercial dispute resolution assignments and advising clients on general court litigation and arbitration. Diverse assignments ranging from damages claims to construction disputes and post-acquisition disputes and covering many different industries have equipped me with a broad understanding of the risks businesses should prepare for and the steps to take to navigate out of a crisis. It is great to be able to solve problems for our clients while working together with my brilliant colleagues at Krogerus. We have an open and no bullshit -culture, which helps focus on the key issues.
Last year I was seconded to Stora Enso, a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper. There I acted as a Legal Counsel and Ethics and Compliance Counsel. In these roles I supported the management and other business partners in strategic decision making and achieving goals while balancing legal risks. I got to learn more about the drivers behind heavy industry and see first-hand how change is driven in such a major company. Furthermore, I got to work with and be inspired by talented global leaders.
Having versatile work experience is extremely helpful, especially if you are interested in dispute resolution. Clients also appreciate it if you have practical knowledge, "speak their language" and are familiar with their industry and business. In this work, it's also important to be able to find a connection with people on a human level and be able to put yourself in their position. The issues we deal with in our work are often very stressful and loaded with emotion for the parties involved, even if we are talking about a highly experienced business leader.
I get so easily bored by the lawyer stereotypes and inauthenticity that I would like to encourage all striving lawyers to follow your instinct, do what you are most interested in without wasting any thoughts on whether you will fit in and trust that you will find your place. Even though in the beginning it may not feel like it, there is a high demand for people with different backgrounds and a real attitude in this industry, at least at Krogerus. We do not all like to wear suits, enjoy high culture, hunting or golf, but we are constantly looking for new refreshing perspectives. I very much look forward to meeting you and hopefully one day working together.