New talent under our roof: introducing Heidi, Nora, and Emil
We have welcomed three fresh faces to our firm: Heidi Kaakinen, Nora Hietanen, and Emil Vartiainen. Before the warm summer breeze whisks the talented trio away on their summer holidays, we asked them to share their first impressions of working at Procopé & Hornborg and thoughts on life after law school.
Meaningful work and team spirit contribute to a winning culture
Heidi joined the ranks of Procopé Private in April. “My first two months with the firm have been action-packed. I have assisted our private clients with their family law and inheritance matters, drafted documents such as wills and estate inventory deeds, and attended many client meetings. Basically, I have been doing what I enjoy the most – helping people,” says Heidi.
Heidi finds that the most exciting part of her work is that it touches us all. “I am able to put my education and work experience into practice in situations that truly matter in people’s lives. I believe my work has meaning.”
Despite her calendar filling up with meetings, projects, and internal training sessions, Heidi’s first weeks have not been all work and no play. “The firm’s annual black-tie dinner was certainly a night to remember, and I came close to beating everyone in bingo at our summer party. Also, the Finnish summer has treated me and my colleagues to several sunny lunches on our roof terrace overlooking the Esplanade park,” Heidi says and continues, “you can’t beat that view!”
Although the interview process gave her a solid idea of what it is like to work at P&H, she has been pleasantly surprised by the firm’s atmosphere. “I was not expecting a 100-year-old law firm to be so lean and modern. The atmosphere at P&H is one of the best I’ve experienced and there is a strong culture of teamwork,” Heidi comments.
Supportive and driven colleagues at the ready
“Each day is a chance to keep my learning curve steep,” says Nora who specializes in EU & competition law, employment law, and dispute resolution. Since joining the firm in May, Nora has been involved in many projects, drafted agreements and litigation documents, and prepared training material. She has also taken up the role of a national employment law correspondent within Lawyers Associated Worldwide, an international network of law firms where P&H has been an active member since 2015.
“I’m excited about my new responsibilities and appreciate the fact that even newly graduated lawyers enjoy a great deal of trust at P&H, although naturally under the supervision of more seasoned colleagues,” Nora states.
A supportive working culture and challenging assignments were central to Nora when she was looking for her first job after graduating from law school. She places a lot of importance on being surrounded by supportive and driven people. “I have enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues and the P&H culture. The professionalism, flexibility, kindness, and authenticity of everyone at our firm have stood out since my first day. I really appreciate that I can always turn to other associates and our partners to tap into their experience. I’ve also shared quite a few laughs with these folks!”
Prior to graduating from law school and joining P&H, Nora worked as a trainee in a number of top law firms. During her traineeships, Nora focused on competition and employment law as well as dispute resolution and wanted to maintain that steady course. “They are exceptionally vast and complex fields of law and open for interpretation, which I find fascinating. They are also linked to numerous other fields of law which makes their application particularly challenging and keeps me constantly on my toes.”
Transitioning from a trainee into a lawyer has been a smooth process for Nora. “My prior experience as a trainee has definitely been an advantage – I believe it has prepared me for my new role and allowed me to get off to a running start,” she says.
Nora has a few tips in mind for law students looking to start their careers at a law firm. “Take time to find out your passion. There are many fields of law to choose from and law firms and their cultures vary greatly. Focus on what excites you, be brave, and do not be afraid to stand out and dance to your own tune. Remember that you do not have to have it all figured out straight out of university – you have your whole life to keep evolving and experimenting,” Nora concludes.
A good work-life balance promotes commitment and a positive attitude
Emil is the latest addition to our Dispute Resolution team, and he also advises clients in international trade and transport. “Dispute resolution seamlessly weaves multiple fields of law together. In practice this means that I get to familiarize and challenge myself with a myriad of legal issues,” Emil says when asked about his favorite aspects of being a dispute resolution lawyer. “Forming solid arguments for each case and building a strategy from the ground up is fascinating and fulfilling. Helping our clients to overcome conflicts is genuinely rewarding,” he continues.
Since starting at P&H in May, Emil’s days have been filled with conducting legal research, drafting documents, assisting in due diligence projects, and participating in meetings. “I have felt warmly welcomed to P&H’s roster ever since my first day. I’ve felt part of the gang from the get-go and gotten to know my colleagues pretty well. Just the other night we went out together to celebrate one of our associate’s birthday, and it was nice to spend a relaxing evening together wining and dining.”
When you meet Emil, it is clear that he is passionate about his career and takes pride in delivering 100% at work. However, he also stresses the importance of finding a healthy work-life balance. “In order to keep enjoying work in the long run, I make sure to put non-work related activities on my calendar as well. I’ve learned that the best way for me to wind down is to do different kinds of sports. During the summer I go sailing every chance I get, and, come wintertime, nothing beats a day out in the snow.”
Sailing has been much more than a hobby to Emil throughout his life. It has given him a chance to see the world, put himself on the line, and learn valuable lessons in teamwork. Finding solutions together out at sea in a fast-paced environment is something Emil sees as a good test of character. "As the saying goes, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. I believe that having those experiences of overcoming adversities as a team are manifesting in my work as well. Isn't that also what being a dispute resolution lawyer is all about – skillfully skippering our clients through disputes and conflicts looming on the horizon."
Interested in a career at Procopé & Hornborg? Keep an eye out on our job openings here.
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