Get to Know Us | Gustav Lewin, Law Student Trainee, Dispute Resolution, Stockholm
23 December 2020
How did you end up as a law student trainee at Hannes Snellman?
I first heard about the Law Student Trainee Programme when I was studying business during my exchange year in Sydney. I met a fellow Uppsala University student who had just finished his semester as a law student trainee at Hannes Snellman. He described his time as a trainee in very positive terms — the notion of working full time in a top-tier Nordic law firm for an entire semester certainly caught my interest. After some research, I realised that the Law Student Trainee Programme offered a unique opportunity for law students in Sweden to gain a comprehensive insight into the work at a law firm. I concluded that this was something I really wanted to do!
In my application, I stated that I would prefer working in the Dispute Resolution Team because of its wide range of legal matters. To my delight, I was called to interview for the Dispute Resolution Team a few weeks later. In the interview, I immediately got a great feeling about the firm and the team. After some time, I was offered the job, which I readily accepted.
What was your first impression of Hannes Snellman?
My first impression of Hannes Snellman was that it was a firm with a very inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. That was the feeling I got during the interview, and this was also proven to be true during my very first day. My colleagues in the Dispute Resolution Team, as well as everyone else at the office, were very approachable and friendly from the start. Apart from the inclusive atmosphere, I also got the impression that the people working at Hannes Snellman were highly professional, which I thought would be beneficial for my development as a lawyer.
Could you please tell us a little bit about your time here as a law student trainee?
Fortunately, I started in September when the COVID-19 situation had considerably improved compared to the spring. This allowed me to work at the office, which gave me the opportunity to get to know my colleagues properly from the start. As I worked in the Dispute Resolution Team, my work involved handling a lot of different legal matters. The DR team at Hannes is highly cohesive and has an easy-going vibe, which I enjoyed. I got to do a lot of different tasks, each more challenging than the previous, which was great for my development. For example, I did numerous translations, wrote many drafts of court submissions, and did an abundance of legal investigations varying from company law to procedural law. My mentor Hanna, an experienced associate, guided me throughout the programme and provided me with constructive feedback and support in different ways.
In terms of social activities, I used to play ping pong during lunch breaks with another trainee and some associates, and we would often stay for after work drinks on Fridays. On occasion, I also played padel with colleagues in Frihamnen on Monday mornings (when I had the energy to get up at 5 am, that is).
What was the best and what was the most challenging part of working as a trainee?
The best part of working as a trainee was definitely working alongside the smart and friendly people in the Dispute Resolution Team! To be able to take part in interesting disputes in varying legal matters together with my team was greatly rewarding. I am grateful for the fact that my colleagues gave me the chance to write the first drafts of submissions and opinions and also made me involved in the disputes in other ways to such a large extent that they did.
The fact that I got to practice law from a client perspective was quite different from how we do things at law school, so that was a bit of a challenge. Sometimes we would accept a tough case, which we then attempted to win or settle by way of making clever arguments. The client perspective was not something I was very used to, since we often analyse law from the judge’s perspective in law school. Furthermore, it could sometimes be somewhat challenging to understand and break down all the complex facts in a case, since they often contain quite technical and industry-specific terms that I was unfamiliar with. However, I think these new experiences will contribute to me being more prepared for my future career as a lawyer. All the experiences I gained at Hannes Snellman were truly valuable, so I can highly recommend that any law student apply to the Law Student Trainee Programme!