Get to Know Us | Sonia Elg, Legal Assistant, IP & Technology, Helsinki
11 March 2019
How did you end up working as a legal assistant?
With a bachelor’s degree from the degree programme for multilingual management assistants and my precise nature, combined with a passion for the legal industry, I felt this job was made for me. When I was just a little girl, my godfather, who was a lawyer, used to say that one day I am going to work for him. I never got a chance to do that, but now I get to work with amazing colleagues here at Hannes Snellman.
When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I started working at Hannes Snellman in 2015. I graduated from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in 2014, and, before that, I worked as a legal assistant trainee in a law firm in Helsinki. After graduating, I took my first maternity leave and then joined Hannes Snellman’s Dispute Resolution team as a legal assistant in October 2015. In January 2019, after my second maternity leave, I continued working in our IP&Tech team.
What kind of skills are required from a good legal assistant?
A good legal assistant is always up to speed and pulling the strings. Good organisational, IT, document management, information retrieval, and language skills are required from a proficient legal assistant. It is essential to be both a self-imposed individual and a team player. In addition, a good legal assistant has an understanding of the legal industry.
What would you say are the best and the most challenging things in a legal assistant’s job?
One of the best things in a legal assistant’s job is knowing your work is valuable for both the team and the client and that your input is needed to achieve the best results in cases.
The most challenging thing is that hours go by so fast! As they say, time flies when you are having fun.
As a legal assistant, how can you affect your own development and career?
As a legal assistant, you continuously learn new things. Every working day is different and almost every day you learn something new. Having an open mind and a motivated attitude helps your development. Hannes Snellman also constantly offers training for employees.
Is it easy to combine work and family life?
One of the key things in combining family life and work life is, in my opinion, that both the employee and the employer are flexible to a certain extent. Even though the legal industry and its strict deadlines can, at times, be challenging from a family-life point of view, my experience is that here at Hannes Snellman everything has worked out just fine. My husband is also supportive and we share responsibility for the children. Having a job that I really enjoy gives me energy in my family life and vice versa — spending time with my family gives me strength in my work life. It is all about finding the right balance between the two elements.
How would you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
Here at Hannes Snellman, we have an inclusive atmosphere. In addition to working with your own team, you get to work with other teams and support functions and even with people from the Stockholm office. Hannes Snellman is one great team!
What would you say to those considering working as a legal assistant in a law firm?
I can totally recommend my job for anyone who wants a challenging, interesting, and rewarding career.
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