Definitely worth a return visit
Leon Tran, student at the University of Bonn, talking about the Sommeruni@Oppenhoff 2016
Nowadays, work experience placements are frequently advertised with words such as “diverse, challenging and practice-oriented”. However, the expectations associated with this are seldom met. Hence, my initial expectations of work experience at a law firm were: making the coffee, slaving away in a back-room, dog-eat-dog mentality. I hoped that the Sommeruni at Oppenhoff & Partner would be different. I was not disappointed.
To begin with, two lawyers were assigned to each of us 18 students. These served not only as our professional mentors, but at a personal level were also open-minded colleagues. We worked for a three-week period in each of two legal areas of our choice. Motivated by the fact that our contributions often brought real clients actual added value, we immersed ourselves in interesting cases and in doing so gained a vivid insight into the workings of a law firm in an international environment.
There was also always plenty of variety, however: for example, experienced lawyers presented their areas of law to us in interesting lectures, in the Legal English course we dared to expand our horizons, and most memorable were the fierce debates held in the simulated negotiations over a corporate acquisition and the passionate pleadings before a “Mini Moot Court”.
Not to be forgotten are the numerous social events that were held – ranging from a brewery tour through to a tour of the Cologne Cathedral and a joint office outing to Koblenz - which increasingly strengthened the community spirit amongst the students and within the law firm.
How can I summarise the 6 weeks? Diverse, challenging, practice-oriented…. and more. It is an experience that I would not want to have missed. And what about my initial thoughts about work experience at a law firm? Making the coffee, slaving away in a back-room, the dog-eat-dog mentality, you remember? Well, what are my thoughts about the Sommeruni at Oppenhoff & Partner? Teamwork and personal cooperation are particularly memorable features. Sometimes flustered, occasionally hectic, but on the whole fascinating and definitely worth a return visit. Personally, this work experience has confirmed my plan for my future career. I want to work at a commercial law firm – no – I want to work at Oppenhoff & Partner.”