Career Stories | Maria Antrea, Legal Tech Specialist, Helsinki
17 May 2023
How did you end up working at Hannes Snellman and what has your career at Hannes Snellman been like?
I had been working in a very small law firm for a few years when Hannes's advertisement caught my attention, and I jumped at the opportunity to work in a more international environment and to have colleagues. I started as a legal assistant in the Finance Team and later moved to (then) IP & TMT Team. When our librarian retired, I started in the Knowledge Management Team as her successor, and then, gradually, my duties began to involve more and more legal tech, and a couple of years ago I started doing that full time. Hannes has been a very supportive employer and, for instance, supported my information research studies in open university after I started in KM and later has sent me to various seminars and courses relating to legal tech.
You work as a legal tech specialist at Hannes Snellman. Can you describe your day-to-day work?
No two days are the same, but typically I would try and get some deep work done in the morning, for example automating documents using a mark-up language requires quite a lot of concentration. A part of my job is that I regularly get emails from legal tech vendors and providers introducing their products and I have to figure out with our lawyers and other professionals which ones might be a good fit for our needs and IT environment. In the afternoons we often have meetings relating to various ongoing projects and events our team organises and trainings we do.
What role does technology play in a law firm?
Technology is everywhere, and at its best it integrates seamlessly in the workstreams. For example, there is so much information out there that we need technology only to help us filter the most relevant news into our inbox. When producing a text or a presentation there are various tools that help in the drafting in relation to both the substance and the language. When collaboration is needed (which often is the case) that can take place in a platform designed for the purpose. The list is long!
What is the best part and what is the most challenging part about your work?
My answer to both is the constant change. I generally love learning new things and consider myself to be very lucky to be living during this era when technology is developing in such amazing leaps and bounds. On the other hand, the competition is fierce and the goalposts keep shifting.
You work closely with our tech trainee. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for the position of a tech trainee at Hannes?
Give it a shot if you find the job description appealing. It is a training position, and you do not have to have any previous experience of all the tasks that will land on your table.
How would you describe the culture at Hannes Snellman?
Professional and fun. I especially love how willing people are to share their knowledge and expertise.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I regularly go to our office basement gym to get tortured by our company-hired personal trainer and during the summer you can often find me aqua jogging at the swimming stadium. I consume a lot of detective stories and documentaries, both as books and on TV. One of my favourite relaxation methods is cooking, I am eager to try out new recipes and invite friends over to try out the results. (We actually have a cooking club.) I also love live music.
One theme that currently stands out in working life discussions is that of purpose. To conclude this interview we would like to ask what are the things that keep you going and motivated in work — what is your purpose?
I have a deep-rooted need to optimise things, and it is very satisfying to be able to also help out colleagues to find ways to work smarter.
FAVOURITE | Way of Commuting: Tram; Book: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; Lunch: Sushi; Podcast: The Political Scene by The New Yorker; Work Equipment: OneNote; Afternoon Routine: Muttering "Oh my gosh, is it that late already?"; Mobile Application: Bookbeat; Relaxation Method: Stroking a purring cat; Work Outfit: Jeans and a tunic; Power Song: Get in the Ring by Guns and Roses; Social Media Channel: Facebook (yes, I'm that old); Drink: fat-free milk; Weekday: Fri-yay!; Leisure Activity: A good book