Get to Know Us | Sarita Schröder, Managing Associate, IP & Technology, Helsinki
11 March 2020
When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I started working at Hannes Snellman in November 2018. I specialise in intellectual property, marketing, and consumer law, with a particular focus on litigation and other contentious matters in these fields.
What is your professional background?
I graduated as a Master of Laws from the University of Helsinki in 2010. Prior to joining Hannes Snellman, I spent the majority of my career working for another large corporate law firm in Finland – most recently in the intellectual property practice, but initially for a couple of years in the competition law and dispute resolution practices. In addition, I have gained some valuable in-house experience working as a legal counsel for a major Finnish telecommunications company. There, I was primarily responsible for brand, marketing, and customer service related legal affairs.
In addition to a law degree, I also have a Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree from Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, where I completed the Master’s Degree Programme in Intellectual Property Law in 2016. Studying alongside work was tough at times, but it was definitely worth it.
What was your first impression of Hannes Snellman?
My first impression of Hannes Snellman goes all the way back to 2009, when I was in the final stages of my law studies. Back then, I participated in the practical course in IP, which our IP & Tech team still organises each year. I was so impressed with the content of the course and the lawyers involved that I decided to apply for a traineeship at Hannes Snellman. However, by coincidence, I was offered the opportunity to join another firm as a trainee before I ever had the chance to submit my application to Hannes Snellman.
Almost a decade later, Hannes Snellman presented itself again as a potential employer for me. Initially, I was a bit hesitant about how conservative or “grey” Hannes Snellman would be as a work environment. In hindsight, I can say that my worries were unnecessary. Although we may not come across as the most colourful firm on the market, the atmosphere here is actually very relaxed. In fact, I do not think I have ever laughed as much or had as much fun at work as I have here.
What do you like most about your job?
I most enjoy having the opportunity to work together with brilliant colleagues in both Finland and Sweden on diverse and challenging assignments for clients ranging from leading international brands to innovative start-ups.
What is included in a “normal” working day?
There is no such thing as a normal working day for me – and that is another thing I really like about my job! Each day is unique, and most days include unexpected elements. However, typically a working day includes a lot of correspondence with colleagues, clients, counterparties, courts, and authorities, etc., drafting different types of documents, internal and external meetings, and coaching younger lawyers in their assignments.
In addition to billable work, I often spend a relatively substantial part of my day on tasks related to client relations and knowledge management. These tasks include, for example, engaging in business planning together with teammates and colleagues firm wide, preparing marketing materials and sales pitches, and participating in and speaking at internal and external trainings and other events.
What is the best advice you have received when it comes to your career?
Make small improvements every day and you will accomplish great things. With this advice in mind, I regularly put aside at least a little time to learn new things and polish my existing skills. Our frequent Hannes Academy trainings, which cover a broad range of legal, business, and personal development topics, provide an excellent opportunity for this. I also enjoy listening to podcasts and audiobooks on similar topics, for example, while walking to and from the office.