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Get to Know Us | Melisa Göllü & Leila Heikkinen, Legal Assistant Trainees, Helsinki

24 August 2022

Melisa Göllü and Leila Heikkinen are working as legal assistant trainees at Hannes Snellman’s Helsinki office. They both started their traineeships in January 2022 and have continued working at Hannes Snellman over the summer. They are both currently studying in undergraduate programmes in business administration at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

We asked them a few questions about what it has been like to work at Hannes Snellman as a legal assistant trainee.

How did you end up working at Hannes Snellman?

Melisa: I always knew I wanted to do my internship at a law firm, and after doing my research I knew Hannes was the best place for me, so I applied to the position of a legal assistant trainee.

Leila: A legal assistant from Hannes Snellman visited Haaga-Helia and talked about her work as a legal assistant at Hannes. Since then, I had wanted to see what it is like working in a big law firm. And when my traineeship semester arrived, I applied and got hired, as you can tell.

What is included in a “normal working day” of a legal assistant trainee?

Melisa: Working in the M&A teams, my days are usually quite different from each other. I help assistants and lawyers in their tasks and project-related matters, record lawyers’ billable hours in our system, and manage e-mails and calendars.

Leila: At least two cups of coffee, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Everything else depends on the day really. Usual tasks include, for instance, checking e-mail and calendar, different administrative tasks, updating or fixing documents, proofreading, etc. The tasks vary a lot — and that keeps the work interesting!

What is the best part of your job at Hannes Snellman?

Melisa: Interesting assignments and all my colleagues for sure. I also like the fact that all days are different, so there is always something new to learn.

Leila: The best part of my job is my team of course and all the people I work with. The second best part is being able to help others and learn something new every day along the way.

Looking back at your traineeship, what has been the most memorable experience or learning from Hannes Snellman?

Melisa: The most memorable experiences are probably all team activities I have had the chance to take part in. The most important thing I have learned is time management and how crucial it is in an assistant’s job every day.

Leila: First thing to pop into my head is Hannes Day in Stockholm! After the long years of pandemic and restrictions, it was great to get to travel again and see everyone get together to have fun. I have also learned to be even more accurate and always double check everything!

Do you have any advice for students applying to the legal assistant trainee programme at Hannes Snellman?

Melisa: I think it is important to be active. Try to get out of your “comfort zone” and participate in projects and events that are not mandatory or something you usually would do: that way, you will learn many new skills. Other than that, I do think the most important thing is to be yourself.

Leila: You do not necessarily need to have much legal knowledge to apply and be successful at work as a legal assistant trainee. I think the most important thing is to have a good attitude and positive mindset. Almost everything else can be taught!

One theme popping up in working life discussions is purpose at work. To conclude this interview, we would like to ask you what the things are that keep you going and motivated in your work — what is the purpose of your work?

Melisa: My biggest motivator is the urge to learn new skills and gain knowledge about our field of work. My amazing colleagues keep me going, as they are always willing to help and support me.

Leila: I have noticed that I am the most motivated when I feel I can help others — and I would say that is the purpose of my work.

FAVOURITE | Way of Commuting: Melisa: Tram; Leila: Train. Book: Melisa: Normal People by Sally Rooney; Leila: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Lunch: Melisa: Salad; Leila: Pho soup. Work Equipment: Melisa: Extra monitor; Leila: Speakers. Afternoon Routine: Melisa: Afternoon coffee; Leila: Coffee, chocolate, and crosswords. Mobile Application: Melisa: Spotify; Leila: YouTube Music. Relaxation: Melisa: Watching sports on tv; Leila: Walking in the forest. Work Outfit: Melisa: Jeans and a button-up; Leila: Dress or t-shirt. Power Song: Melisa: End Game by Taylor Swift; Leila: Ghost – Jigolo har Megiddo. Website: Melisa: Don’t have one; Leila: Helsingin Sanomat. Social Media Channel: Melisa: Instagram; Leila: Instagram. Drink: Melisa: Coke zero; Leila: Sparkling water. Weekday: Melisa: Saturday; Leila: Friday. Leisure Activity: Melisa: Cross-country skiing or walking in nature; Leila: Riding (a horse or a motorbike).


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