News & Views

Get to Know Us | Saana Leskinen, Legal Assistant, IP & Technology, Helsinki

9 February 2023

Saana works as a legal assistant in our IP & Technology Team. Saana first joined Hannes Snellman as a legal assistant trainee in spring 2021 and was then appointed as a legal assistant in 2022. Saana holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a special focus on legal expertise from Laurea University of Applied Sciences. As Saana has now been working with us for some time, we wanted to ask her a few questions about working at Hannes.

You have been working at Hannes Snellman since spring 2021. How has it been so far?

So far, my journey at Hannes Snellman has been very educational and I have developed my skills tremendously. I have got to know amazing colleagues and been able to work in a warm atmosphere where your development is supported and you are surrounded by an absolutely wonderful group of experts.

I didn’t have any previous experience within the legal field but here at Hannes Snellman I have learned how a large law firm works and how important a role each employee plays in its functioning.

You started working as a legal assistant trainee and were then appointed as a legal assistant. What has been the biggest difference between the roles, or is there any difference?

There are not so many differences between those roles. As a legal assistant trainee, I got to work on the same tasks as the legal assistants in my team. It was really rewarding from the very beginning to understand what the role of a legal assistant really entails and how versatile it is. I am always grateful for my team’s assistants for actively involving me in everything. It was important to me that I was able to feel that my role and contribution were meaningful to the team even as a trainee.

What is the best part and what is the most challenging part about your work?

One of the best things is the diversity of work tasks. There is a rhythm to the workdays, but they will never be the same! Also, with my colleagues, I feel that I don’t work alone but together with others and as part of something great. It's wonderful that I can lean on a colleague when I need help even in the little things and vice versa.

As a challenge, I have found that it is not possible to anticipate the rush at work in advance. Rush situations arise easily, but at the same time there may be very calm moments next. I've learned that the ability to prioritise is everything when you are in a hurry.

How would you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?

One important factor in Hannes Snellman's culture is that we really are one big company. In addition to your own team, you get to work with lawyers and legal assistants from other teams, and with support functions. For example, I have had the opportunity to participate in new legal assistant trainees’ recruitments and student excursions alongside HR.

I would describe the Hannes Snellman culture as inspiring. People are motivated and curious to learn, and even though my colleagues take their job seriously, they are very fun to work with.

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?

I enjoy learning new things, and as a legal assistant you're constantly evolving. I gain motivation from colleagues whom I get to discuss and exchange ideas with. While a law firm may seem like a dull place to work at first, we have quite a lot of fun at work actually!

FAVOURITE | Way of Commuting: Walking. Book: Any Clare Mackintosh’s or Paula Hawkins’s books (I love a good psychological thriller). Lunch: Lunch at my go to place Pamela. Podcast: Tuplakääk. Work Equipment: OneNote or a paper and a pen for notes. Afternoon Routine: I don't think I have one… Mobile Application: Spotify or another application that I can use to listen music, podcasts, or e-books. Relaxation method: Sweat workout at the gym or swimming always works wonders. Work Outfit: A classy knit and trousers/jeans.  Power Song: Read All About, Pt. III – Emeli Sandé. Social Media Channel: Instagram (because of all the memes). Drink: Ginger beer. Weekday: Lazy Sundays are the best. Leisure Activity: Evening with friends and good food.

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