News & Views

Get to Know Us | Elina Aulis, Legal Assistant, M&A, Helsinki

11 December 2019

How did you end up working as a legal assistant?

I first joined another law firm as an assistant in 1993, and I have to admit that it was by a lucky chance that I ended up applying there. However, the legal sector and assistants’ job description appealed to me strongly, and as can be seen, they still do.

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?

I first started working at Hannes Snellman in 1997. In between, I worked in media & market intelligence services and technologies sector for a short period in 2011-2013, and I rejoined Hannes in 2013.

How has the legal assistant’s work developed over the years?

It has changed a lot, but the same applies to so many other professions, too. Today’s legal assistants are still the facilitators they have always been, but the focus has shifted from the role of a personal assistant more towards the role of a project assistant with various different specialised fields of knowledge. The ways of working have also changed drastically. For example, when I started, the word processing tools were in their infancy, and absolutely none of the software, apps, and other tools were available. Today, assistants can do their work more quickly and efficiently than ever before, and I expect the future to bring more exciting collaboration possibilities with clients and internal clients within the firm.

What kinds of skills are required of a good assistant?

In addition to computer and language skills and possible other specific knowledge related to this profession, I feel that more than anything you need the following qualities: enthusiasm, passion, diligence, tactfulness, reliability, patience, quick wit, ability to find solutions, service-mindedness, and perhaps most of all, ability to read situations.  

As a legal assistant, how can you affect your own development and career?

I think it is fair to say that irrespective of your profession or role, you can always further your development and career by being interested, wanting to learn, engaging yourself in the work community, showing initiative, and taking responsibility.

What would you say to those considering working as a legal assistant in a law firm?

I would encourage them to enjoy the opportunity of being able to work in a place where they have the vantage point to domestic and international business life. A law firm, and especially Hannes Snellman, is a perfect place to get to know a vast array of companies from different industries and service sectors. You also have the perfect opportunity to learn to understand how the economic infrastructure is built and the role of different authorities and stakeholders in it.


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