Get to Know Us | David Bornudd, Law Student Trainee, Stockholm
11 December 2019
What was your first impression of Hannes Snellman?
My first impression of Hannes Snellman happened at the weekly Dispute Resolution breakfast meeting. I and some of the other newly recruited staff walked in in the middle of the meeting. As I presented myself and my southern provenance, someone instantly made a joke about my hometown’s football team, Helsingborgs IF. We laughed and I told him that since I am not that patriotic, he could not get to me. Humour is definitely a prominent characteristic of the Dispute Resolution team at Hannes Snellman.
Tell us a little bit about your time here as a law student trainee.
I have felt like an integrated part of the Dispute Resolution team from the get-go. I have been assigned numerous tasks of varying complexity, such as translations, legal investigations, participating in meetings, drafting statements and appeals, and so much more, mirroring a gradual increase in responsibility over time. When it comes to most student positions, you usually get to spend a few days per month at the firm. In contrast, the law student trainee position provides an entirely different longevity with regard to the day-to-day practices of a commercial lawyer. I get to follow cases from the engagement letter to the negotiations, making the learning curve that much steeper. Furthermore, I have represented Hannes Snellman at the student employment fairs in Stockholm, Lund, and Uppsala, informing students of the Dispute Resolution team and the unique nature of this position.
Apart from the work itself, there is a great deal of activities available for the employees to take part in, such as padel tennis, floor ball, running, and a book club. I have spent a few Monday mornings playing padel tennis and just recently qualified for one of the firm’s teams participating in the Swedish Lawyer Championships in Padel Tennis – go Hannes! In addition, on most Friday afternoons we socialise, play table tennis, and enjoy a brew or two, providing an excellent social platform for the employees to get to know one another beyond work-related matters.
In summary, the decision to become a law student trainee is surely one of my best ever. I have not only gained practical knowledge at Hannes Snellman – knowledge that is completely absent in my legal studies – but also meaningful and hearty relationships with my co-workers, making my sabbatical more than fulfilling. The experience has in turn led to the ability to make well-informed choices regarding my future academic and professional endeavors – an ability I will put to good use in the near future as my legal studies are coming to an end.
What are your top three tips for future trainees?
1. Make the best of your time at Hannes Snellman. Seize every work-related opportunity that presents itself. In order to make well-informed choices in the future, you need to be just that – well informed! The law student trainee position is as good as it gets when getting to know a commercial law firm as a law student. Obviously, the same goes for social activities, if you want to make friends.
2. Practice commercial awareness. As law school is highly theoretical, trainees (myself included) tend to initially perform their tasks in a very theoretical manner. Ordinarily, clients want a pragmatic and commercial answer and not an academic one. Knowledge regarding business acumen is vital, and this is not something that we are taught in law school. It is not an easily obtainable skill either. Therefore, you need to practice. Read statements, investigations, and legal letters drafted by associates and partners and try to apply the same method in your own tasks.
3. Ask for feedback. To best accommodate your learning process at a law firm, you should ask for feedback. Most people simply do not think to offer suggestions. Make it a standard practice to ask those you interact and work with how you are doing.
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