Schalast | Experience Reports
A (fictitious) discussion between two executives is currently doing the rounds on social media:
“What if we invest in our employees and then they leave us?” asks one executive. “What if we don’t invest in them and they stay?” replies the other.
At Schalast we also know that continuous training and education and investment in our young colleagues pay off for both sides. We are therefore always willing to support tailor-made training measures. Here you can find some of the first-hand reports of our young colleagues.
Master of Financial Law, 2020
After my second state law examination, I chose to start my career as a lawyer directly in order to finally be able to start my professional life after my long studies. Nevertheless, it was important to me not only to deepen my legal expertise "on the job", but also my theoretical knowledge. Being able to complete the master's program while working was of great significance to me. At that time, a sabbatical or a reduction in working hours was definitely not an option for me, as I wanted to gather as much practical work experience as possible.
The Master of Financial Law at the Frankfurt School, which is both specifically designed for part-time study and also fits in perfectly with my main area of work, was the ideal way to combine the two. The lectures took place once a month from Thursday to Saturday.
Personally, I found it enriching that my fellow students were not only lawyers, but many had a business background and were active in all areas of the banking and finance industry, for example in the fields of auditing, management consulting or banking supervision. This was particularly noticeable in the discussions during and after the lectures which demonstrated how differently the same topic is viewed from different angles. Through the attendance time at the Frankfurt School and the extracurricular events, there were many opportunities to network and create new interesting contacts. Fortunately, my studies at the Frankfurt School coincided with the time before the pandemic. My personal highlights were the "Negotiating the Harvard Concept" seminar and the Overnight Case Study. Of course, there were occasional phases in which important client work had to be done and an exam or term paper was due at the same time - but with the right planning, it's all manageable. My conclusion is that I can only recommend anyone to dare to return to the lecture hall while working.
Multilaw Academy 2019, Chiang Mai (Thailand)
Also in 2019, Multilaw hosted a week-long Multilaw Academy, during which associates and young lawyers from partner law firms would get to know each other and learn about the similarities and differences of the legal systems but also cultures through various case studies, presentation and events. After Philippe Woesch in the previous year, this year I had the honor and pleasure to represent the law firm Schalast at the Multilaw Academy 2019 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And as already described from previous years by other delegates, it was an unforgettable week with many new experiences, impressions and new friends, which already led to a first joint project with the colleague from Prague.
With a total of 29 delegates from over 20 law firms and 19 nations, Multilaw Academy 2019 was the largest Multilaw Academy to date. The program consisted of discussion sessions on the differences between the jurisdictions represented, negotiations of hypothetical contracts, as well as many non-legal activities where one could get to know the other participants and the Academy leaders better. Among other things, the program included a 12-course meal with local specialties in a nearby restaurant, rice planting in a local rice field, an evening in Chiang Mai, and community service at the local Ban Pong School. One of the highlights was the karaoke night on the last evening, which will probably remain unforgettable for all delegates. Briefly summarized it was a strenuous (because almost sleepless) but fantastic week, which will probably remain for all participants forever in great memory.
A big thank you therefore goes to the law firm that made it possible for me to participate in the Academy. No less thanks go to Multilaw itself, the organizers and the Academy leaders, who all did a phenomenal job of making us feel part of the Multilaw network, with worldwide contacts and friends, and making this week what it was. Legendary.
I hope we can continue this spirit and I am already looking forward to Schalast hosting an event here in Frankfurt in 2020 as a pioneer for the newly established Multilaw Young Lawyers Group. In any case, several friends of the 2019 Academy participants have already announced their attendance.
Multilaw Academy 2018, Chiang Mai (Thailand)
In August 2018, Schalast enabled me to participate in the annual Multilaw Academy taking place in Chiang Mai (Thailand). In a nutshell, this week was one of the most interesting weeks of my life. 28 lawyers from different countries with different jurisdictions became friends during this unique week at the Veranda High Resort, an amazing venue.
Multilaw is a leading global network of independent law firms with over 9000 lawyers and 90 law firms from 100 countries. The purpose of the Multilaw Academy was for each of the delegates to learn more about the practice of law on a global basis. Lectures were conducted using methods of interactive discussion in which the delegates were expected to participate actively each day. Against this background we looked at a hypothetical cross-border venture and its analysis under three different legal systems: Civil Law, Common Law and the US system. All work sessions and conference documents were in English. It was very well organized with the very friendly and helpful faculty members and their presentations were very educational.
We worked all day and in the evening we enjoyed sitting together at dinner with drinks and music – socializing at its best. On Wednesday afternoon we participated in a cooking session with typical Thai food, umbrella painting and rice planting. In the evening we went to the Chiang Mai night market where we tried to use our "negotiating skills" and went shopping. Furthermore the Asians delegates convinced me to try the king of fruits from Asia, the Durian. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. Frankly it is not my favourite fruit. At Thursday we participated in a meaningful pro-bono activity for Ban Pong School and painted over some old parts of the school building. One of my highlights was the karaoke party on Thursday evening, where I was forced to sing a German song. I decided to perform Matthias Reim and after that I was part of the Backstreet Boys.
In sum it was a fantastic week. I got to know wonderful people and I can´t wait to see all the delegates again as soon as possible. We have already started planning a reunion for next year.
Multilaw Academy, Irland 2017
In August 2017, the time had finally come. I was given the honor of participating in the Multilaw Academy 2017 in Ireland
The Academy is an annual event hosted by our international law firm network Multilaw. The event spans one week and is held entirely in English. It is primarily aimed at the associates of the numerous member law firms with the goal of making new contacts and thus strengthening and expanding the network below the partner level.
In the run-up to the event, many a thought ran through my head: Would I be in for an exciting and educational time? Or would I be longing for the imminent end while time stood still?
Fortunately, shortly after the start of the event, it turned out that my first thought was correct: the field of participants quickly developed into a sworn community and a kind of family atmosphere developed. By means of a cross-border practice case and repeated group work, the course of an international transaction was conveyed step by step. At the same time, the constant informative exchange between the participants provided a picture of the peculiarities of the respective jurisdiction and culture. In addition, the individual presentations of the participants, depending on the topic of the presentation, gave a deeper insight into the peculiarities or events of the respective home country and/or into the interests or personality of the respective participants themselves.
The event was rounded up by the occasional time off from work, which we were free to organize. We spent most of our free time together and had a lot of fun together, e.g. hiking, golfing, cycling, playing cards or partying. In summary, the one-week event can be described as an exciting and educational experience, which at the same time made it possible to establish contacts with lawyers from different countries and continents. An experience I would not want to miss!
Bar Exam, New York 2016
„No associate at the firm has ever failed the bar exam ... ever.“
This line from the film The Firm starring Tom Cruise as a young lawyer at a US law firm has been haunting me for the past three months, in which I – like the main character in the film – have been preparing for the New York State Bar Exam.
While completing by Master of Laws at the University of Georgia in spring 2013 I was already asked whether I was interested after getting my LL.M. in taking the Bar Exam as well, the American equivalent to the German State Law Examination. In terms of significance, the Bar Exam can be compared with the Second German State Law Examination and, if passed, entitles you to practise as a lawyer (at least in the State in which the Bar Exam was passed). The States of New York and California in particular offer graduates of an LL.M. programme the possibility to take the Bar Exam, assuming they have completed their legal training in a foreign country. In New York State alone, around 4,500 exam candidates take advantage of this possibility. A total of 15,000 candidates take the New York State Bar Exam every year, which is held twice.
What failed back then due to a lack of time and financial resources, once again became a real possibility after two years at Schalast. As a law firm active in the international legal network Multilaw it made sense, besides using the possibilities for participating in supported national Master of Laws (LL.M) programmes, in particular at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management here in Frankfurt, or qualifying as a certified specialist lawyer or notary, to take advantage of international development possibilities as well. I was then offered broad support for my plan to take the Bar Exam after all. I therefore had the opportunity to gain an (even) deeper knowledge of the American legal system.
Essentially the Bar Exam in New York consists of three parts and is taken on two consecutive days with a three-hour exam each morning and afternoon.
- The first part – consisting of two essays – takes the form of a practical assignment in a law firm in a fictitious country. This does not require any knowledge of substantive American law because all necessary documents which are to be used (records of questioning, legal texts, court judgments) are provided. The main task is therefore to understand the assignment, obtain the necessary information and present your results in written form. The essays mark the start of the examination days and are written in the first three hours of the first morning.
- Another six essays on various areas of law then have to be written in the afternoon of the first day. Since on average only 30 minutes are available for each essay, the time component is one of the main difficulties of this part of the examination. This is made even more difficult by the fact that the assignment itself does not provide any information about the area of law being tested. The first thing you therefore have to do is find out which area of law is the subject of the question. This is not always easy in view of the fact that there are total of 15 examination areas.
- The last and largest part of the exam contains 200 multiple choice questions (100 in the morning, 100 in the afternoon) on eight areas of law. Time management is a key challenge again here because you only have a little over 1 ½ minutes for each question, which in particular for questions on real property with several (valid and invalid) transfers is needed just to read and understand the question.
To prepare for the Bar Exam I took part in an online preparatory course, for which Schalast thankfully essentially released me from work. With an average of 50 hours of lessons per week, plus learning outside class, regular work in line with clients’ needs would hardly have been possible.
After effectively 100 hours of online lectures, countless essays and over 2,000 practice multiple choice questions, the time had come at the end of July to finally sit the exam. Together with an estimated 3,000 other candidates I made my way to the Javits Convention Center in New York City to hopefully put my “concentrated” knowledge of the American legal system to profitable use.
I now have to wait and hope that all the effort was worth it. Unlike the majority of exams in Germany, the Bar Exam is a purely “pass/fail exam”. The score/grade actually achieved is therefore to all intents and purposes irrelevant. The grading is also done in relation to the standard of all other candidates. The objective is therefore “simply” to be better than the average of all candidates. Due to the number of candidates and therefore the immense task of grading all the papers, the results are not to be expected before November of this year.
A big thank you goes at this point to Schalast, who made all this possible for me and within the firm in particular Dr. Andreas Walter, who was key in encouraging to take the exam, and Kristof Schnitzler, who with line quoted above constantly reminded me of the “seriousness of the situation”, but also did an excellent job of covering my back.
Let’s hope that after the results have been published in November, we can then also say that:
„No associate at the firm as ever failed the bar exam ... EVER!“
Executive Programm, IESE Business School, Barcelona, 2015
With great professional and personal profit, I completed an Executive Programme at the IESE Business School in Barcelona and Munich in 2015. Obtaining a general overview of management issues appealed to me; in particular for providing legal compliance advice. My attention was drawn to the IESE Business School by a recommendation from friends, who had participated in the programme and were very enthusiastic about it. That the Business School is always amongst the top ten in executive education in the Financial Times ranking, currently even number one, was naturally appealing as well.
Subjects such as decision-making techniques, strategic marketing, corporate strategy, ethical management, accounting, controlling, managing in the digital age, logistics and production, as well as macroeconomic trends were worked on in four “in-class” modules using specialist materials and case studies. I found sharing experience and ideas with other participants from many different industries and the way the knowledge was conveyed very valuable for providing prudent and sustainable legal advice. The module Entrepreneurship was also very interesting for me as a practising lawyer: both for advising start-ups and for preparing to become a possible partner at my law firm.
The experience gained and the values which were conveyed such as professionalism, integrity, respect and a “spirit of service” were also valuable take-aways. I can therefore highly recommend executive education for lawyers as well.
My detailed first-hand report “Als Rechtsanwältin begeistert von Executive Education” has been published in the JURAcon Yearbook 2016/17 of IQB Career Services GmbH and can be accessed here.
Multilaw Academy, Malta 2015
A week on Malta, at the expense of the law firm, in a 4-star hotel. There had to be a catch, but there wasn’t; at most the fact that it can get very hot on Malta in August.
In August 2015, Schalast & Partner made it possible for me to participate in the Multilaw Academy on Malta. The Multilaw Academy is an event held annually by our international network MULTILAW for associates and young partners of its member firms. The location where the event is held changes every year.
The objective of the Multilaw Academy is, besides conveying legal know-how, in particular conveying intercultural values and strengthening contacts within the network. What initially sounds rather high-brow, is in fact much more down-to-earth and very pleasant. On the basis of two cases with a cross-border character, not only were the individual phases of a corporate transaction run through, but in particular the various approaches and cultural differences of the individual delegates and jurisdictions were demonstrated. These aspects came very much into their own during simulated contractual negotiations.
The organisers of the event were very much aware that networking not only takes place during professional exchange, but also during cultural exchange. There was also a varied programme of evening events during the week, for example, and plenty of opportunity to get to know the other delegates. Charitable work was also on the agenda, which led us to the Inspire Foundation Malta (http://inspire.org.mt/).
All in all, this week was not just a special experience at professional level. The new acquaintances and friends made from a total of 21 countries were a huge gain and brought the world a little bit closer together.
Master of Laws - Mergers & Acquisitions, 2014
The question came out of the blue and I was completely unprepared for it: “We would like to make it possible for you to do an M&A Master’s Programme at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management; what do you say?” Naturally, I said “yes!”
The M&A Master’s Programme is a degree course offered by the Frankfurt School and designed to give students comprehensive insight into every phase of an M&A transaction. It is intended to give them the tools to be able to successfully manage a deal at any time, even on unfamiliar ground.
Whilst a limited amount of new knowledge was gained during the introductory week (it is after all essentially designed to get to know the Frankfurt School and above all your fellow students better), the very diverse range of courses was offered which were not just tailored to the needs of students with a legal background. The syllabus with the subjects “Company Valuation” and “Accounting” right at the beginning of the course proved very difficult to digest for the legal practitioners (iudex non calculat!). Having successfully got to grips with mathematical equations for discounting and company valuations, the curriculum continued to come up with interesting subjects. Besides introductions to the various due diligence issues and excursions into company law, competition law and post-merger integration were also dealt with in detail.
One special highlight of the course is certainly the seminar “The Method of Harvard Principled Negotiation” (also known under the book title “Getting to yes!”). Besides numerous role plays designed to illustrate the principles of the Harvard Method, a real SPA negotiation situation was simulated as well. Here is was not only possible to measure your negotiating skills and knowledge of human nature, but also apply what had been learned in the previous course units on SPAs and company valuation in practice.
The dissertation required to complete the programme has to be presented to all programme participants. Particularly excellent participants have the possibility to obtain a panel slot at the annual M&A Conference held by the Frankfurt School and to present their theses to the national and international big names in M&A – which often kick-starts a career.
Not only the academic title Master of Laws (LL.M.) obtained at the end and the knowledge associated with it, but in particular the friends and acquaintances gained during the programme lead to the answer “Naturally!” The question is as follows: “We would like to make it possible for you to do an M&A Master’s Programme at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management again; what do you say?”
Our former trainees also have their own opinions about working for us - and we are happy to let them have their say.
What our trainees say
Field report on work as a research assistant, 2020
For the time between the written exams of my first state exam and the start of my legal clerkship, I was looking for a law firm to work there as a research assistant. I was already able to get to know Schalast as part of the Jura Intensiv law firm tour and thus already had the opportunity to exchange ideas with my future team and get a first (very positive) impression of the firm.
My first working day began directly with the Monday meeting of the "Banking & Finance" practice group, which I would also attend in the future. Afterwards, I was given a tour of the firm and introduced to the other employees; then it was off to my permanent workplace: the trainee lawyer's room on the 4th floor, which I would share with a trainee lawyer and another research assistant in the future.
From the very beginning, every door was open to me, whether for technical questions or for a little chat in between. I was immediately part of the team without a long settling-in period and was able to take part in all of the firm's events.
My tasks were very different: research for essays, preparation and own drafting of pleadings and clarification of individual legal issues. I can particularly emphasize that I was always given the time I actually needed and that the respective lawyer always took the time to go through and explain questions with me.
I also liked the opportunity to see the different working methods of the lawyers, whether in the area of litigation or in complicated financing issues. I took away a lot of knowledge and motivation, especially with regard to my legal clerkship, and can only recommend Schalast as an alternative to a large law firm.
Field report on the legal internship within the framework of the legal traineeship, 2019
Four exciting months as part of my legal internship have now come to an end and I do not regret my choice at all - quite the opposite! Already the relaxed atmosphere during the interview made my decision for Schalast easy. This good impression ultimately remained until the end.
I was warmly welcomed on my first day and my workplace was already completely set up, so all I had to do was get started. Right from the start, I had the feeling that I was not just "running alongside" the lawyers as a trainee lawyer, but that I was really involved and that my work was in demand. My start was also made easier by the fact that I had direct contact with the other trainee lawyers. The employment law team to which I was assigned also immediately welcomed me well. I was always entrusted with interesting, always practically relevant tasks. The clients are generally well-known companies, and the issues are varied and challenging. It was nice that I was never left alone with the files and could consult them at any time if I had any questions. In general, everyone always had an open ear and took time for me. In addition to the team, there are two other attorneys who supervise the trainees and are always receptive to requests or suggestions.
Of course, the trainees are also involved in law firm events. At the weekly business lunch, for example, they get to meet other trainees, associates and partners alike in an informal atmosphere. Here, there is a lot of laughter and relaxed sitting together on topics outside of the law. The same applies to regular after-work events. However, this is not to be understood as a constraint - when private appointments or exam preparation were on the agenda, this was always responded to with understanding.
In contrast to the standard at many other law firms, my working hours were absolutely plannable. We agreed on fixed working days before the start of the station, although they always reacted flexibly if I wanted to change them. In this respect, exam preparation is not neglected, and you are also supported by a partnership with a tutor. If you are looking for an ambitious medium-sized alternative to large law firms, you will definitely not be disappointed here - for me, it was an all-around successful choice of station!
Field report on the legal traineeship, 2019
The question of the right law firm for the legal internship is often not easy to answer for many trainees. This was also the case for me during my research, but with Schalast I found a suitable answer for me. I particularly wanted to experience the daily business of a medium-sized commercial law firm with exciting clients and gain insight into as many areas as possible - exactly these expectations were fulfilled for me at Schalast in the last few months.
On my first day, I was given a very friendly welcome, introduced to everyone present, and then shown my workplace for the coming months. The trainees and research assistants each have a fixed workplace in shared offices. This made it easier for me to get started and encouraged the exchange of ideas.
Right from the start, each trainee lawyer is assigned a mentor who coordinates the tasks so that you are always busy and not drowning in mountains of files at the same time. I completed the station in the Banking & Finance team, but - at my own request - I was also allowed to complete tasks from other areas. These included general research tasks, drafting pleadings and answering client questions. In addition, I was given the opportunity to participate in court proceedings and client meetings, in which I was able to make a contribution.
What I will remember most positively is the working atmosphere in my team. You were always appreciated and could come to your mentor or other associates and partners with any questions that arose, even in phases of intense work. The positive impressions also include the events offered outside of work, such as the weekly business lunch, after-work cocktail and also the joint barbecue after the JPM run.
In conclusion, my time at Schalast was very worthwhile for me and I can recommend it to every trainee lawyer to complete their legal or elective internship at Schalast.
Field report on the legal traineeship, 2018
When I was looking for a law firm for my legal internship, it was clear to me that I wanted to join a medium-sized law firm that offered advice on banking law and banking supervision. Thus, my path led me to Schalast in the practice group "Banking & Finance".
To anticipate one thing, the training and support at Schalast is exemplary and can be recommended to every trainee lawyer, but more on that later.
On my first day, I received a very nice welcome and was immediately shown around the entire office and introduced. After the small round of introductions was over, I was taken to the office specially provided for trainee lawyers. There, each trainee lawyer has his or her own fully equipped workstation for the entire time. Fortunately, another trainee lawyer, who had her workstation next to mine, had already been with the firm a little longer and knew her way around.
From the first day, each trainee is assigned a mentor who is responsible for coordinating the tasks and is happy to help with any questions. This made it easy for me to get started and no question remained unanswered.
The tasks I was given to work on were selected with the upcoming second state exam in mind and were very varied. After completing the assignments, they were discussed with me in detail and I was also happy to receive explanations that went beyond the specific assignment. This shows that Schalast cares a lot about the training of trainees and the development of its employees.
The working atmosphere in the firm, which is characterized by collegiality and cooperation, should also be emphasized. Other highlights include the weekly business lunch and the regular after-work cocktail.
Overall, my time at Schalast was very worthwhile, both professionally and personally, and I can unreservedly recommend a station at Schalast to any trainee lawyer.
Field report on the legal traineeship, 2018
Every trainee lawyer knows the search for the one law firm among many in the Frankfurt area that is suitable for the traineeship. I was also on the lookout. It was important for me to test the practical suitability of the knowledge I had gained during my labor law studies at university and, at the same time, to take advantage of the opportunity to look into other, previously unfamiliar areas of law.
That's exactly what Schalast was able to offer me.
My work at Schalast focused on working in the employment law team, where I was able to handle a wide variety of assignments. The direct practical relevance, through participation in court proceedings as well as in out-of-court counseling of large companies, made it possible to experience the daily work of a lawyer in a growing medium-sized law firm. In cooperation with the mentor from the respective core area, who was responsible for each trainee lawyer, legal questions were discussed and the best possible course of action within the scope of the respective mandate was jointly discussed.
In addition to employment law, Schalast has given me insights into a variety of other areas of law. In particular, I was able to gain a broad insight into legal work in a wide variety of fields by working with partners from Corporate and IP/IT/Media Law as well as associates from Banking & Finance. The working atmosphere at Schalast is very pleasant. The flat hierarchy enables direct contact and good cooperation with the partners. In particular, the weekly business lunch and the regular after-work events enable non-specialist discussions with associates and partners.
Anyone seeking an insight into various areas of law in a commercially oriented, medium-sized law firm is recommended to take a look at Schalast.
Field report on the lawyer's station during the legal clerkship, 2017.
As a trainee lawyer, the choice of a legal internship is often not an easy one, since it is the first time that you can get to know the "daily business" of a potential employer over a longer period of time, apart from individual internships or activities as a research assistant. I would like to briefly explain why a traineeship at Schalast is a good idea for anyone who is interested.
After having focused on banking and commercial law in my previous training, I completed my traineeship at Schalast in the banking practice group. The practice group is one of the largest in the firm and is therefore one of the focal points of the legal advice offered locally. The insight into the practical work has brought me a lot further personally and professionally and was the best experience during my legal clerkship so far.
The external framework conditions of the legal clerkship at Schalast are almost ideal. From the very first day, you are assigned a mentor who is always ready to help you with any questions you may have and ensures a balanced workload for the trainees. On the one hand, the working hours allow a profound insight into the sometimes complicated subject matter. On the other hand, there was never any overtime. The processing time for the respective tasks was always adapted to the actual attendance times of the trainees in addition to the usual external appointments. Essentially, it depends on the trainee how much he or she wants to take with him or her from the station.
The tasks to be worked on were varied throughout. You get to know a lot of activities that you can expect in your later professional life and thus gain a good insight into the legal work in a medium-sized commercial law firm. With the classic preparation of pleadings, answering client inquiries, general research tasks or a legal examination of a specific matter, only the basic features of the activities can be described here. In any case, none of the tasks repeated themselves for me during the course of the station. In particular, the different ways in which the results are presented, whether as a draft legal brief, a memorandum, or a short presentation in the context of a meeting, always challenge you anew and thus keep the tasks consistently exciting.
The working atmosphere and the collegial interaction at Schalast will certainly remain in my lasting positive memory. The contact across all hierarchy levels is characterized by surprisingly pleasant openness right from the start. Even in somewhat more work-intensive phases, almost all associates and partners always had an open ear for the trainees' questions or took the time to discuss the results of their work.
In conclusion, I can only advise any trainee lawyer who is considering doing his or her elective internship in a law firm with a business law orientation far away from the classic large law firms to do a station at Schalast. You learn a lot here, both personally and professionally, and afterwards you have a very good starting point for judging whether working in a law firm suits you or not.
Traineeship in the legal profession, 2017
When planning my legal clerkship, I decided early on that I wanted to spend my clerkship at a well-known full-service law firm. Especially with regard to my later career entry, it seemed important to me to get to know the daily work in a larger commercial law firm from the inside, beyond all myths, and to replace positive and negative prejudices with my own experience. Schalast surprised me positively from the beginning, because I did not find the often described disadvantages here.
The working atmosphere is open and friendly, with little hierarchical thinking. Business lunch, after work cocktail and company outing may also exist in other law firms. It is noticeable that at Schalast the team concept does not have to be created somewhat stiffly by incentives of this kind, but is lived out credibly. The contact between partners, lawyers and trainees is characterized by mutual respect and a refreshingly pleasant friendliness. Anyone who finds their work-life balance in going to work in the morning with a good feeling in order to release productive forces for a demanding job is in good hands here.
Trainee lawyers have a great deal of influence of their own on what and how much they take away from their traineeship at Schalast. This also includes consideration of the preparation for the Second State Examination. A direct application for the practice groups Banking, Dispute Resolution, Labor Law, Corporate Law or M&A is just as welcome as the desire to first develop one's personal preference by gaining the broadest possible insight into the various areas. However, anyone who decides early on is also welcome to take a look at other areas of law at any time. The working hours can regularly be adapted to the rather rigid requirements of the working group and the exam course.
I myself made a conscious decision to focus on employment law at an early stage. This practice group is a focal point in the firm's portfolio. I was assigned tasks in the context of both individual law and collective law matters. This included drafting a wide variety of pleadings as well as memos on specific recurring legal issues. I got to know the in-depth study of detailed questions in a calm and thorough manner as well as the work under the time pressure of expiring deadlines. In discussions with partners and lawyers, I experienced the approach to developing new business ideas and, in client meetings, the comprehension of complex issues with subsequent assessment of the prospects of success.
The trainees share a common office in the office, which makes it pleasantly easy to get used to the work in the station. There is actually always another trainee lawyer on site who knows the colleagues and is familiar with the procedures. This reduces inhibitions from the outset and makes it comparatively easy to get off to a good start in the legal internship.
Overall, I was given a deep insight into legal work in a large commercial law firm, for which I am very grateful. I experienced the time at the firm as pleasant and valuable. When looking for a law clerkship or elective clerkship, I can highly recommend Schalast.