News & Views

Get to know us | Ella Hiltunen, Associate, Dispute Resolution, Helsinki

27 March 2020

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?

I joined the firm as an associate trainee in the M&A group in 2016, and upon my graduation in 2017, I was appointed as an associate lawyer. After a couple of years in the M&A group and one year training on the bench, I switched to the Dispute Resolution group at the beginning of 2020.

You have trained on the bench at the District Court of Helsinki. How was the experience there?

In 2019, I took a one-year leave of absence in order to train on the bench. During the year, I chaired court hearings, decided cases in criminal and civil law, and handled petitionary and bankruptcy matters. The experience taught me independent decision-making and broadened my all-round legal knowledge. Working at the court also grew my interest in litigation, and at the end of my court training, I was offered the opportunity to join Hannes Snellman’s Dispute Resolution practice.

Can you describe your working group?

When I returned to Hannes Snellman after the court training, I was warmly welcomed to my new working group and felt like a valuable member of the team. It is extremely motivating to work with colleagues who represent the best expertise in the field. My colleagues are always happy to help with solving legal problems, and they give constant feedback, which helps young lawyers develop into future experts.

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?

The Hannes Snellman culture is characterised by the high-quality service we offer to our clients. All work is always done diligently and efficiently. At the same time, the working environment is casual and the well-being of the employees is taken care of. The great team spirit is maintained even during the busiest days. The continuous development and wide-ranging expertise of Hannes Snellman’s employees are encouraged in various ways, for example by organising high-quality training for the employees. Furthermore, every employee’s own initiative is much appreciated – emerging new ideas are always considered and often put into practice.

What is included in a “normal” working day?

In a law firm, situations change and client matters vary, which makes every working day unique. Preparing different documents for litigation and arbitration is an integral part of the work of a dispute resolution lawyer, which is great because I enjoy legal argumentation and writing. I am also looking forward to representing clients in court and arbitration hearings. In addition to the client work, I also like to participate in student cooperation, and I am currently a member of the team that prepares Hannes Snellman Summer School.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

My favourite hobby is synchronised skating, and I am a member of an adult team. On the days when I do not have on-ice trainings, I also train ballet in order to improve my flexibility, core strength, and body alignment, and I also love to sweat at group classes at the gym. The highlights of synchronised skating are the competition days and spending time with my amazing team members. In addition to different sports, I also try to get as much reading done as possible – which has become easier now that I have an audiobook app in my phone.

Your best tips for law students?

Even if you know your preferred legal area of interest, I found the experience of working at different offices with various themes invaluable, instead of just pursuing what I thought was my ”thing”. The benefits of working at different offices and teams combined with my training on the bench at the District Court not only gave me deeper understanding of the law but also helped me understand where I wanted to go with my career.


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