Get to Know Us | Sanna Böris, Senior Associate, Public M&A, Stockholm
6 November 2020
Sanna Böris works as a senior associate in our Public M&A, Equity Capital Markets and Corporate Advisory team in Stockholm. She recently finished her studies in the LL.M. Program at Columbia Law School in New York and has also been on secondment in the US. We wanted to ask Sanna what studying and working in the US was like and what her best memories of her time there are.
You have an LL.M. degree from the US. Why did you decide to do an LL.M. and was the US an obvious choice for you?
Ever since I started working, it was a goal for me to do an LL.M. in the US. I also knew that I wanted to do it in New York, the city that literally never sleeps. As you can imagine, I was therefore beyond thrilled when I was admitted to Columbia Law School. I wanted the adventure of moving abroad, being challenged intellectually at a top US law school, and getting the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Since my field of expertise is M&A transactions and capital markets law, I took the chance to specialize in these subjects while at Columbia. For example, I took courses in international securities regulation and advanced M&A, which was hugely interesting. The LL.M. degree also enabled me to sit for the New York Bar Exam and ultimately become a member of the New York Bar Association.
You also went on secondment in the US. What do you see as the biggest differences in the work culture between Sweden and the US?
I think one of the biggest differences in the work culture between Sweden and the US is that it is more hierarchical in the US. For example, here at the Stockholm office, everyone sits together in an open office space, which makes the work culture less formal and partners more accessible. In Sweden, employers also tend to focus more on work-life balance issues whereas the US approach to such issues is more traditional.
Why did you choose to take a study leave and go on secondment?
I decided to take a study leave and go on secondment because I thought it would be very rewarding to do something different after having worked for a few years. My years abroad gave me new perspectives and insights and a deeper understanding of different cultures. Pursuing an LL.M. in the US followed by a secondment at a US law firm was an amazing experience.
What is your best memory of your time abroad?
I have so many great memories from my years abroad, but there are two memories that really stand out. The first memory is a discussion between the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Dean of Columbia Law School that I got the opportunity to attend. The discussion centred around impact litigation and how Justice Ginsburg had succeeded in bringing six landmark anti-discrimination cases before the Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was a seriously impressive person and someone I truly look up to. The second memory is the graduation ceremony during which thousands of graduate students gathered on the steps of Columbia University and sang along to the iconic song Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys and Jay Z. It was a very powerful thing to be part of.
What would you like to say to those who would also like to work or study abroad?
I would just say, go for it. Do not hesitate and wait for the perfect point in time because there will probably never be a moment when all the stars are aligned. Also remember that moving abroad requires a lot of preparation, so make sure that you start this process well in advance. Living abroad will undoubtedly be an experience you will never regret or forget. You will have the time of your life and make friends with people from all over the world.
How does it feel to be back at Hannes?
I am very excited to be back at Hannes. A lot has happened at Hannes during the two years I have been away, and I am excited to be part of this fantastic firm again.
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