Why Noerr

Made by Noerr

You have achieved outstanding grades in your studies, and now the world is your oyster. In the end, however, there are not many "right" jobs for you to choose from. Certainly, there are many well-paid posts, which are both career-enhancing and demanding. However, finding the right employer is about more than that.

LIVE UP TO YOUR STRENGTHS
Being able to actively live out and develop your strengths makes your working day especially rewarding. This is the experience of our employees at all career levels and in all functions. And we believe that this is one of the most important factors for our success. A wide range of tasks in a variety of different areas, but above all the experience of working self-reliantly, are valuable foundations for building on your strengths. In a firm characterised by strong individuals, your strengths are more than welcome!

ONE THING YOU CAN BE SURE OF: NOT JUST ANY OLD CAREER
We have received frequent awards for the standard of our work and our broad-based training aims to develop skills on the fast track. But at Noerr career development goes beyond first-class training: we are able to offer excellent advisors a realistic prospect of becoming partners, since as an independent law firm we make all these decisions ourselves. These prospects are extremely good, as Noerr is growing continuously and has an increasing need for top-quality advisors in partner positions.

HIGHLY VALUED
Our joiners often tell us that after reviewing all the jobs on offer they opted for Noerr based on a “gut feeling”. This is because Noerr has created a culture in which many social factors are nurtured and cultivated. These include a collegial working atmosphere in which doors are open, personal contact is encouraged and successes are celebrated together. These include “cooperative individualism”, meaning that professional specialisations are valued even at an early stage and continue to play a key role as part of cross-team collaboration. Finally, these include reconciliation of professional commitment on the one hand and family and leisure time on the other. Values that are actually lived out are the crucial pillars supporting all the above aspects.

JUST TRY IT YOURSELF
This summary is inevitably just two-dimensional. The picture will be completed only when you get to know the actual team in which you may work one day. We encourage you to gain an insight at an early stage into both our company culture and specific teams. For this reason, we invite you warmly, and completely without obligation, to attend one of our in-house events and/or to apply straight away for a student apprenticeship, a research assistantship or even a traineeship placement.

Insights

A part-time lawyer

Dr. Susanne Wende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich: A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out. With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amou...

Dr. Susanne WeSusanne Wendende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich:

A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out.

With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amount of time limited). In the first few weeks, there were also a lot of organisational matters to sort out: the IT department arranged a laptop, so that I could also get onto the Noerr network from home. It was important to find the fastest way from the law firm to the nursery and to work out with the secretary a system that would, when necessary, enable communication with the client to take place in the afternoon (without it being absolutely essential for me to be reachable).

I can now say that it feels really good to concentrate fully on being a lawyer in the office and on visits to clients in the first part of the day, and then to be able to give my undivided attention to my child in the afternoon. But does it always go that smoothly? No, it doesn't. However, with a good framework and support from all sides, it does always work somehow: at Noerr it is perfectly clear that I can basically be there only at specific times. If, on occasions, I really do need or want to be flexible about time outside our son’s nursery hours, we can extend his time at the nursery at short notice. We are also developing a mutual-support network among parents. For this reason, it is good to get a two-seat bicycle trailer or a second child’s car seat as soon as your first child is born. We have also coped with the biggest fear of all working parents – a 39-degree temperature at 6.30 on a Monday morning – thanks to the combination of home office and an emergency babysitter through the pme-Familienservice, with which Noerr collaborates.


A part-time lawyer

Dr. Susanne Wende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich: A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out. With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amou...

Dr. Susanne WeSusanne Wendende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich:

A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out.

With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amount of time limited). In the first few weeks, there were also a lot of organisational matters to sort out: the IT department arranged a laptop, so that I could also get onto the Noerr network from home. It was important to find the fastest way from the law firm to the nursery and to work out with the secretary a system that would, when necessary, enable communication with the client to take place in the afternoon (without it being absolutely essential for me to be reachable).

I can now say that it feels really good to concentrate fully on being a lawyer in the office and on visits to clients in the first part of the day, and then to be able to give my undivided attention to my child in the afternoon. But does it always go that smoothly? No, it doesn't. However, with a good framework and support from all sides, it does always work somehow: at Noerr it is perfectly clear that I can basically be there only at specific times. If, on occasions, I really do need or want to be flexible about time outside our son’s nursery hours, we can extend his time at the nursery at short notice. We are also developing a mutual-support network among parents. For this reason, it is good to get a two-seat bicycle trailer or a second child’s car seat as soon as your first child is born. We have also coped with the biggest fear of all working parents – a 39-degree temperature at 6.30 on a Monday morning – thanks to the combination of home office and an emergency babysitter through the pme-Familienservice, with which Noerr collaborates.


My elective stage in London

Daniel Müller | Associate | Corporate | Frankfurt: For many people, London means fish and chips, milky tea, bad food and even worse weather. For me, however, London was always the place where I wanted to spend the elective part of my traineeship. At the same time, it was also important to me to gain experience of as many areas of German civil law as possible during this period. It was Noerr that enabled me to achieve this rare combination. The firm's London office advises its German and ...

Daniel Müller

Daniel Müller | Associate | Corporate | Frankfurt:

For many people, London means fish and chips, milky tea, bad food and even worse weather. For me, however, London was always the place where I wanted to spend the elective part of my traineeship. At the same time, it was also important to me to gain experience of as many areas of German civil law as possible during this period. It was Noerr that enabled me to achieve this rare combination. The firm's London office advises its German and foreign clients exclusively on German law. I had already spent a year working part-time in the Tax & Private Clients section of Noerr’s Frankfurt office at the start of my traineeship. This had given me an opportunity to get to know the firm and many of its lawyers well.

When the chance to spend the elective part of my traineeship in London came up, it did not take me long to decide. Noerr opened its office there in 2010. It is located very centrally in the famous City of London, probably the most important banking and financial centre in Europe, and offers a stunning view of the metropolis on the Thames from the 40th floor of a skyscraper. I received a very warm welcome in the office. It has a very strong family atmosphere. A barbecue, which one of the partners organised for the firm’s whole team at his own home, and traditional London after-work drinks also gave me a chance to get to know my colleagues better outside the office. There was also a weekly trainees' get-together, which offered an opportunity to exchange views with trainees from all parts of Germany.

At the start of my posting, I worked on general civil law problems. Then I moved into the Company Law section. However, I spent the most time dealing with Corporate Finance issues. At a kick-off meeting, I got to experience at close quarters how the firm works with a bank on project finance in the field of renewable energies. Towards the middle of my posting, I got the chance to take part in the Humboldt European Law School’s summer academy, which was held in London at that time for German, British and French law students and was organised by Noerr, among others. The subject of the academy was "Corporate Citizenship", meaning companies' civic involvement, which was examined from the specific perspective of law firms. Finally, towards the end of my posting, I also attended a seminar on non-performing loans.

The trainer assigned to me always did an excellent job of looking after me and made sure that I got a chance to work on as many diverse topics as possible. Among other things, I worked across locations with colleagues from New York, Berlin and Frankfurt. The lawyers always gave research assistants, student apprentices and trainees demanding jobs to do. However, they constantly made sure that we also had enough time to explore the literally endless leisure opportunities that London offers. Our cooperation with colleagues took place with an extremely good team spirit and in a highly professional atmosphere.

In conclusion, my stay in London was a definite success. I gained valuable experience, met many pleasant and interesting people, and got to know the city as an incredibly lively, diverse place. Fish and chips is very good, milky tea tastes better than I thought, London's food is very varied, thanks to the Asian and Indian influences, and the weather – despite all prophecies to the contrary – was excellent.


My elective stage in London

Daniel Müller | Associate | Corporate | Frankfurt: For many people, London means fish and chips, milky tea, bad food and even worse weather. For me, however, London was always the place where I wanted to spend the elective part of my traineeship. At the same time, it was also important to me to gain experience of as many areas of German civil law as possible during this period. It was Noerr that enabled me to achieve this rare combination. The firm's London office advises its German and ...

Daniel Müller

Daniel Müller | Associate | Corporate | Frankfurt:

For many people, London means fish and chips, milky tea, bad food and even worse weather. For me, however, London was always the place where I wanted to spend the elective part of my traineeship. At the same time, it was also important to me to gain experience of as many areas of German civil law as possible during this period. It was Noerr that enabled me to achieve this rare combination. The firm's London office advises its German and foreign clients exclusively on German law. I had already spent a year working part-time in the Tax & Private Clients section of Noerr’s Frankfurt office at the start of my traineeship. This had given me an opportunity to get to know the firm and many of its lawyers well.

When the chance to spend the elective part of my traineeship in London came up, it did not take me long to decide. Noerr opened its office there in 2010. It is located very centrally in the famous City of London, probably the most important banking and financial centre in Europe, and offers a stunning view of the metropolis on the Thames from the 40th floor of a skyscraper. I received a very warm welcome in the office. It has a very strong family atmosphere. A barbecue, which one of the partners organised for the firm’s whole team at his own home, and traditional London after-work drinks also gave me a chance to get to know my colleagues better outside the office. There was also a weekly trainees' get-together, which offered an opportunity to exchange views with trainees from all parts of Germany.

At the start of my posting, I worked on general civil law problems. Then I moved into the Company Law section. However, I spent the most time dealing with Corporate Finance issues. At a kick-off meeting, I got to experience at close quarters how the firm works with a bank on project finance in the field of renewable energies. Towards the middle of my posting, I got the chance to take part in the Humboldt European Law School’s summer academy, which was held in London at that time for German, British and French law students and was organised by Noerr, among others. The subject of the academy was "Corporate Citizenship", meaning companies' civic involvement, which was examined from the specific perspective of law firms. Finally, towards the end of my posting, I also attended a seminar on non-performing loans.

The trainer assigned to me always did an excellent job of looking after me and made sure that I got a chance to work on as many diverse topics as possible. Among other things, I worked across locations with colleagues from New York, Berlin and Frankfurt. The lawyers always gave research assistants, student apprentices and trainees demanding jobs to do. However, they constantly made sure that we also had enough time to explore the literally endless leisure opportunities that London offers. Our cooperation with colleagues took place with an extremely good team spirit and in a highly professional atmosphere.

In conclusion, my stay in London was a definite success. I gained valuable experience, met many pleasant and interesting people, and got to know the city as an incredibly lively, diverse place. Fish and chips is very good, milky tea tastes better than I thought, London's food is very varied, thanks to the Asian and Indian influences, and the weather – despite all prophecies to the contrary – was excellent.


My first month with Noerr... as a lawyer

Dr. Petra Hoffmann | Associate | Litigation | Munich: I spent the elective part of my stage with Noerr in Munich from January to late March 2012, and I have been employed here as a lawyer since July 2012. How have I found this first month, by comparison with my time as a trainee? Naturally, it was a special feeling the first time I opened the entrance with my own card and found an office with my own name on the door. However, contrary to my own optimistic expectations, I was not filled sudde...

Dr. Petra Hoffmann | Associate | Litigation | Munich:

I spent the elective part of my stage with Noerr in Munich from January to late March 2012, and I have been employed here as a lawyer since July 2012. How have I found this first month, by comparison with my time as a trainee?

Naturally, it was a special feeling the first time I opened the entrance with my own card and found an office with my own name on the door. However, contrary to my own optimistic expectations, I was not filled suddenly with a whole life's legal experience as soon as the viva voce and my swearing-in as a lawyer were over. Fortunately, that had not been the expectation of anybody at Noerr. When you are starting your career, you naturally want to improve quickly and deliver good results. Noerr actively helps you in this. My impression is that training is recognised here as investment in the future and taken very seriously.

In your first days, training courses tend to be of the organisational variety: data processing, style sheets, DMS, library skills, knowledge management, CIP, digital dictation etc. You find it hard to absorb all the new information, but after a few days of "trying it out" you get used to the technical challenges. In your first few weeks, you alternate between waiting for things to do and rushing around in a panic. Gradually, things settle down. You get yourself organised – something that would be almost impossible without the secretary's "life-saving" assistance.

The personnel department is very creative at coming up with events where you can engage in internal networking and get to know your superiors better. Regular departmental events (especially jour-fixe sessions) are informative and boost your sense of belonging.

If you do find yourself thrown in at the proverbial "deep end", you can be sure that you will have been sent on a certain Noerr swimming course first! I hope you will enjoy your start as much as I have done!


Noerr in Spain- different countries, different customs?

Elke Burkhardt | Intern | Media, IT & IP | Alicante: After spending one year studying abroad in León, a small town in the north of the Iberian peninsula, I also intended to complete a student internship in Spain before returning to Germany. I had already worked for Noerr in Munich as a student assistant in the Media, IP & IT field. At a Noerr Practice event in patent law, I got to know my two present supervisors, the lawyers Tobias Dolde and Michael Hawkins from the Noerr offic...

BurkhardtElke Burkhardt | Intern | Media, IT & IP | Alicante:

After spending one year studying abroad in León, a small town in the north of the Iberian peninsula, I also intended to complete a student internship in Spain before returning to Germany. I had already worked for Noerr in Munich as a student assistant in the Media, IP & IT field. At a Noerr Practice event in patent law, I got to know my two present supervisors, the lawyers Tobias Dolde and Michael Hawkins from the Noerr office in Alicante. This resulted in the opportunity to do a student internship at Noerr Alicante IP, S.L.

Before starting the internship, I was very excited to find out what would await me in a German law firm in Spain. Noerr Alicante IP, S.L. advises clients on all matters relating to the OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market), meaning Community trademarks, Community designs and international trademark protection. Since the office is very specialised, I was able to gain a detailed insight into trademark law and learn about this specialist field. This gave me a comprehensive picture of the subject matter.

The Noerr office in Alicante has existed since mid-2011. This meant that there was still quite a lot of administrative work to be done. However, the activities that I performed were very varied. My first task was to handle the "handover" of all Community trademarks and Community designs from Noerr in Munich to Alicante. Subsequently, I formulated and dispatched legal documents (letters, objections, complaints etc.) in Spanish, German and English to lawyers and clients all over the world. I also submitted registrations of new Community trademarks, objections and applications for cancellation or nullity of a Community trademark online to the OHIM via MyPage, created and closed files in line with internal procedures, got to know the Patricia software program and completed file data, oversaw deadlines (objections, cooling-off periods, extensions etc.), and produced translations (mainly Spanish-German and vice-versa). I performed online trademark searches on Polymark, created a new client list and prepared pitch presentations for attracting new clients. In my opinion, the responsible tasks that I was given in the office enabled me to learn a lot as a student and simultaneously to make a contribution to the Noerr firm.

Whenever I had questions, I was able to turn to Tobias and Michael (it is customary to use first names in Spain) and the whole team. They always made sure of a cooperative team spirit and a correspondingly pleasant working atmosphere in the practice. The team gave me a very warm welcome on my first day and entrusted me with responsible tasks from then on, because I already had experience from Munich. I was quickly up to speed and part of the team.

The office languages are English, Spanish and German. Team members sometimes speak French among themselves, but this was not a problem for me, as I had learned that language at school. Since I had already spent a year in an English-speaking country after my final school exams and had been living in Spain for nearly a year when I started the student internship, I also found communicating in English and Spanish very pleasant. The working atmosphere was very international – this too was something that I enjoyed very much.

The firm also enabled me to go on a "training day" to the OHIM. Since the firm is in constant contact with the OHIM, it was very interesting for me to see where my applications to the OHIM are processed and how they are then handled.

On 31 August we also had the office's "Noerr Alicante Day Out", when I was able to get to know the team better and our team spirit was strengthened further. We spent a whole day on a yacht and sailed from Dénia along the Costa Blanca, passing sights such as the beautiful Calas in Marina Alta.

I enjoyed the internship very much, and it has confirmed my decision to specialise in core area 3 – competition law, intellectual property and media law – at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich in October. The internship has given me practical experience of the importance of Community trademarks and designs, which will also grow further in the future, and a deeper insight into intellectual property rights. The internship with Noerr Alicante IP, S.L. was one of the best in my education to date. Despite a full working routine, every day was full of new tasks and small "adventures". The period of my internship enabled me not only to improve my language skills but also to gain very personal access to the country’s cultural aspects. This time spent abroad is, for me, a unique, individual experience, through which I have grown not only in my knowledge but also as a person.


A senior associate’s field report

Isabel Schneider | Senior Associate | Corporate | London: Why Noerr? My personal answer: because I would choose Noerr again today, even though I have taken a completely different path from the one I initially expected. When I started in Noerr's Berlin office five years ago, straight after my traineeship, I could never have dreamt that one day I would be working on the 40th floor of a multi-storey block in the City of London. There are always many reasons for starting with this or that law fir...

Isabel Schneider | Isabel SchneiderSenior Associate | Corporate | London:

Why Noerr? My personal answer: because I would choose Noerr again today, even though I have taken a completely different path from the one I initially expected. When I started in Noerr's Berlin office five years ago, straight after my traineeship, I could never have dreamt that one day I would be working on the 40th floor of a multi-storey block in the City of London.

There are always many reasons for starting with this or that law firm. For me, with Noerr it was a decision that I both knew and felt to be right. Even the initial interview was completely different from other firms. There was a relaxed, personal atmosphere, and I met not only partners but also future colleagues of my own age. What is more, I had a feeling that I would not only be working in a good team but would also receive a good training as a lawyer. After three years in the Berlin office, which included a four-month secondment to Düsseldorf, I got the chance to work in Noerr's new London office. The offer of a job in London came completely unexpectedly, but I could not resist: two to three years abroad in a new environment with new colleagues, but at the same time with the backing of Noerr as a major German law firm – it was simply a great opportunity.

I now advise international companies on German company and insolvency law from London. My work also involves maintaining relationships with clients based in Britain and with other independent European law firms with which we often work together. This means that my job is very varied: every day I still find something on my desk that I have never seen before. Fortunately, even with unusual enquiries from clients and partners I can rely on the experience and helpfulness of colleagues in Germany and other locations.

Because career planning at Noerr is very flexible, the past five years could have turned out completely differently. From the very beginning, I have worked in various teams across different fields and locations. This has enabled me to form a good picture of the diverse possibilities offered by legal work, and of the various specialities and sectors. What I still like is the opportunity to get actively involved in exciting projects irrespective of location, rather than simply having tasks allocated to me. For this reason, I have had the feeling from the outset that I am being supported in developing a specialisation that matches my interests. Even more importantly, in the process I have got to know many colleagues with whom I do not only enjoy working again and again but am also happy to do things after work. My work at Noerr is certainly challenging – but thanks to the great team and the variety of activity, I still enjoy going to the office every day even after five years. In the end, that is what matters.


My experiences in the Big Apple

Konrad Zdanowiecki | Senior Associate |Media, IP & IT | Munich: To give my conclusion at the start, in the manner of a judge's verdict, Noerr's New York office is perfect for a student internship or a traineeship placement. I myself spent the elective part of my stage there from early January to late March 2012. As far as getting there was concerned, this all went very quickly and smoothly in my case. Soon after I sent off my application, I received an invitation to a telephone interview, w...

Konrad ZdanowieckiKonrad Zdanowiecki | Senior Associate |Media, IP & IT | Munich:

To give my conclusion at the start, in the manner of a judge's verdict, Noerr's New York office is perfect for a student internship or a traineeship placement. I myself spent the elective part of my stage there from early January to late March 2012.

As far as getting there was concerned, this all went very quickly and smoothly in my case. Soon after I sent off my application, I received an invitation to a telephone interview, which was conducted half in German and half in English. A few days after that, my acceptance came through. Noerr also covered the cost of the necessary visa and sent me a list of possible places to stay.

The room where I lived was in a great location – in the middle of one of the coolest New York night life districts, between Greenwich Village and East Village, which meant I could start a pub or club crawl right on my doorstep. The fact that the "Big Apple" also has lots of attractions apart from its night life does not really need to be spelt out explicitly. Nevertheless, it is remarkable what this metropolis has to offer. Personally, I can recommend, among other things, a walk over Brooklyn Bridge, the view from the Rockefeller Center, a trip to the waterfront in Jersey City or to Williamsburg, or a cable-car ride to Roosevelt Island (in the evening). For sports fans, Madison Square Garden is definitely worthwhile for the Knicks – the atmosphere at the Rangers is only so-so. And if you are looking for one of the best burgers in the city, I suggest "Joy" on 6th Ave, on the corner with Washington Place.

The Noerr office has a very pleasant, personal atmosphere. You are on first-name terms straight away with all four lawyers and the two colleagues from Marketing and Controlling. The main focus of the work is on company law, with some elements of insolvency law. The cases are, of course, international and really very interesting. It is especially pleasing that the work assigned to you is entirely in English, which makes it very sensible to go to Noerr New York from the point of view of improving your language skills. You also often get involved in preparing and taking part in various external marketing events, such as talks. In addition, again and again you get to know lawyers from Noerr offices in Germany who are spending a few days in New York for business reasons.

A typical working day usually ends around 6pm (at least for student apprentices and trainees), which gives you enough time even during the week to experience the cosmopolitan city of New York and to meet other people. Incidentally, it is particularly easy to get to know them at the trainees' breakfast held by a US law firm every Friday.

My three months at Noerr New York were definitely an eventful time, so I can emphatically recommend a stay there.


In-service doctoral studies at Noerr

Dr. Christiane Berr | Counsel | Commercial & Real Estate | Munich: "What? In-service study during the working day?" Is that practical? This was all about the in-service production of a dissertation about which my boss had just spoken to me. It was something that I had never ruled out completely. Even after I started work as a lawyer, the idea of doing a doctorate had come into my mind again and again, with greater or lesser force. The upshot of our conversation was that this is something ...

Dr. Christiane Berr | Counsel | Commercial & Real Estate | Munich:

Christiane Berr

"What? In-service study during the working day?" Is that practical? This was all about the in-service production of a dissertation about which my boss had just spoken to me. It was something that I had never ruled out completely. Even after I started work as a lawyer, the idea of doing a doctorate had come into my mind again and again, with greater or lesser force. The upshot of our conversation was that this is something that Noerr encourages.

No sooner said than done: I started looking for a subject for my dissertation. I found one in transport law. Next came the reading-in stage, which was uncharted territory, and the search for literature – folder by folder. There was also a synopsis to put together.

With these preliminaries completed and my admission to doctoral study secured, the "how" was soon sorted out with Noerr. We agreed a four-month sabbatical from my work as a lawyer.

I knew I would not be able to work efficiently within my own four walls, and the timescale was tight. It would work only if I did not do it at home. These considerations led to Noerr making a room available for me. We preempted my concerns that my plan might "fall victim" to my work with clients if I were present in the office by moving me into a different building, where I could give free rein to my enthusiasm incognito and unseen by colleagues.

"Nobody cares whether or not you are there and what you have done with the day" – this is the first difference that struck me directly as I started my dissertation. In contrast to the past few years at Noerr, I had to exercise self-discipline again. No clients needing a result urgently, no colleagues with a short-notice audit assignment, no external deadlines, and no requirement to be present. Apart from the limited time window, it was now up to me to create the necessary pressure myself – an unaccustomed feeling compared with my recent years at Noerr. This worked best if I stubbornly drove to the office in the morning to write my dissertation – just as if I really did have to go to work – and then home again in the evening. In addition, I realised quite quickly that I would not need to come up with any practical solutions for the next four months. For now, it was again mainly a matter of pure theory and detail. However, I also became aware of one significant advantage, which I had underestimated: the professional experience that I had gained during the past few years at Noerr. The routine of structuring, formulating and prioritising that I had learned enabled me to make rapid progress. Four months later, the dissertation was ready. A few changes and improvements were sorted out on the side and at weekends. One week's leave went on some last fine-tuning – and soon it was all over!!! In my opinion, in-service doctoral study is an excellent alternative to doing it before you embark on your career. Especially in light of the support you get from Noerr, it is also one that you can complete in all manner of different ways.


My first year with Noerr

Dr. Sebastian Fischer, LL.B., B.Sc. | Associated Partner | Litigation | Munich: I have been with Noerr since February 2011, and before that I worked for another major commercial law firm. This has made me aware of much that is familiar, but also of a number of differences in "law firm culture". What I find motivating at Noerr, above all, is that young lawyers are expected to show initiative and entrepreneurial commitment at a very early stage. This may be demonstrated in publications or in c...
Dr. Sebastian Fischer, LL.B., B.Sc. | Associated Partner | Litigation | Munich: Sebastian Fischer

I have been with Noerr since February 2011, and before that I worked for another major commercial law firm. This has made me aware of much that is familiar, but also of a number of differences in "law firm culture".

What I find motivating at Noerr, above all, is that young lawyers are expected to show initiative and entrepreneurial commitment at a very early stage. This may be demonstrated in publications or in contributions to client-related, recruitment or other events. In this way, Noerr encourages and demands not only specialist expertise but also entrepreneurial thinking. From the very start, my new colleagues have been very open and always willing to answer questions, which has formed a foundation for trusting and motivational cooperation.

I have found my work with Noerr both very international and, at the same time, very close to the client. For example, one of the first cases that I handled involved defending some directors against claims from an insolvency administrator, which required close coordination with the clients on the factual and legal position. Other proceedings have given me the opportunity to work closely with foreign clients or colleagues in foreign law firms, which has increased my understanding of a different legal perspective. I have always found my exchanges with clients and foreign law firms very refreshing. In order to build on them, I shall soon be spending a few months on secondment to an Asian law firm.

I look forward to meeting new colleagues at Noerr and wish them all a good start!


Noerr Campus Professional

Dr. Sebastian Janka, LL.M. | Associated Partner | Regulatory & Governmental Affairs | Munich: Noerr has really taken up the cause of training "adviser personalities". The Noerr Campus Professional (NCP) continuing-training tool forms part of a set of measures designed to start this training for associates and tax advisers from their very first year. What I find particularly appealing about NCP is that the modules with soft or social skill elements are put together thematically in such a...

Dr. Sebastian Janka, LL.M. | Associated Partner | Regulatory & Governmental Affairs | Munich:

Noerr has really taken up the cause of training "adviser personalities". The Noerr Campus Professional (NCP) continuing-training tool forms part of a set of measures designed to start this training for associates and tax advisers from their very first year.

What I find particularly appealing about NCP is that the modules with soft or social skill elements are put together thematically in such a way that a (worldwide) "class" go through these training courses together with other new starters for a total of five years, beginning with their first year in the job. This means that, in your earliest years as a lawyer, you get not only all the responsibility that the job entails, but also the sense of being able to develop on your career path with Noerr as a team alongside likeminded colleagues.

The soft skill modules, in particular, are geared to the changing requirements of the various rungs on the career ladder. For instance, the relevant NCP events offer support ranging from the organisation of your own working environment for "freshers", through communication and case-management tips for advanced groups, all the way to team leadership for prospective associated partners.

The Schloss Hohenkammer location offers not only geographical distance from the office space with which you are very familiar from your everyday work, and thus a good change from daily business, but also a very special community atmosphere.

Another feature that definitely works well is the combination of methodological continuing training, workshops designed to develop adviser personalities, and the relaxed evening programme. One way of putting this is: personality-specific project management meets cocktail yodelling in a climbing garden – and all with an "open end", of course.

All in all, it is a very well-planned and truly pleasing programme and a genuine asset, which young lawyers should certainly know about when they are deciding which law firm to join at the start of their career.

International secondments: an integral part of associate training at Noerr

Dr. Thomas Thalhofer | Associated Partner | Media, IP & IT | Munich: A secondment to the legal department at Microsoft's group headquarters. This sounds like an IT lawyer's dream, and for me it came true from late March to early July 2010. In Redmond, a suburb of Seattle (US state of Washington), I – an expert in IT law from Munich – got to know the Microsoft Campus and its inhabitants at close quarters. What is the significance of a secondment? Secondments to clients are a...

Dr. Thomas Thalhofer | Associated Partner | Media, IP & IT | Munich: Thomas Thalhofer

A secondment to the legal department at Microsoft's group headquarters. This sounds like an IT lawyer's dream, and for me it came true from late March to early July 2010. In Redmond, a suburb of Seattle (US state of Washington), I – an expert in IT law from Munich – got to know the Microsoft Campus and its inhabitants at close quarters.

What is the significance of a secondment?
Secondments to clients are an ideal and particularly exciting opportunity to find out at first hand what the client expects from "his" legal adviser. The ability to understand his perspective is a decisive factor in a successful legal career. International secondments (3 to 6 months) are considered for Noerr associates from the third year of their career. The aim is to deepen a young lawyer's understanding of foreign and international legal and tax issues. A prerequisite, therefore, is an excellent knowledge of the relevant foreign language(s). However, a secondee also goes out as an ambassador for Noerr: his task is to strengthen Noerr's international network of contacts with foreign law firms and companies; he does a lot to establish Noerr's position and image in the eyes of foreign colleagues and clients.

Where can secondments be made?
Essentially, secondments take place with Noerr's international clients and international partner law firms. Noerr maintains an active exchange of secondees with many of its partner law firms, especially in the Anglo-American legal area – but international clients, too, appreciate support from the legal department.

How does a Noerr associate obtain a secondment?
The partners responsible for international secondments centrally are available to talk about the various opportunities. For coordination and support in specific cases, the personnel department provides active assistance. The partners in the particular field in which the associate works also help in finding a placement. The choice of placement naturally takes account of the wishes of the individual associate.

What are the financial arrangements?
For an international secondment, the associate's existing salary continues to be paid, and the costs of return travel and accommodation are covered. In addition, for a period of up to three months a lump sum is paid for additional subsistence expenses.

Why do it?
Three to six months with a partner law firm or a company offer the perfect platform for developing an associate’s understanding of our international clients' thinking. By moving around inside a company and its corporate culture, you experience "live and in action" how they work and communicate. On a secondment to a partner law firm, you learn how cooperation between renowned law firms functions at the international level.

Last but not least, a secondment is usually also great fun. Working hours for secondees are usually quite moderate, and this encourages you to get to know the country and its people and to explore the tourist sights of your host country. Often, your local colleagues will also show you parts of the country that are off the tourist trail, and you can also establish new contacts privately. A lengthy stay in a foreign country also broadens your personal horizons and your own ability to communicate with different cultures. An international secondment is merely one element in Noerr's systematic approach to staff development.

What else is important for the success of a secondment?
Even before you go on a secondment, you need to find out as much as you can about local conditions. Openness and initiative, both generally and in relation to communication, are also decisive for the success of a secondment. Finally, I can only encourage you to make the most of your weekends and, if possible, do something on your own to get to know the country and its people.

A part-time lawyer

Dr. Susanne Wende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich: A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out. With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amou...

Dr. Susanne WeSusanne Wendende, LL.M. | Senior Associate | Litigation | Munich:

A part-time lawyer – is that possible? The only way to answer that question is probably to try it out.

With about half a year's professional experience before my first child was born, I returned to Noerr as a part-time lawyer after six months' parental leave. On my very first day back, I was involved in an exciting case, and this enabled me to dive straight back into the full detail of a lawyer's work (with only the amount of time limited). In the first few weeks, there were also a lot of organisational matters to sort out: the IT department arranged a laptop, so that I could also get onto the Noerr network from home. It was important to find the fastest way from the law firm to the nursery and to work out with the secretary a system that would, when necessary, enable communication with the client to take place in the afternoon (without it being absolutely essential for me to be reachable).

I can now say that it feels really good to concentrate fully on being a lawyer in the office and on visits to clients in the first part of the day, and then to be able to give my undivided attention to my child in the afternoon. But does it always go that smoothly? No, it doesn't. However, with a good framework and support from all sides, it does always work somehow: at Noerr it is perfectly clear that I can basically be there only at specific times. If, on occasions, I really do need or want to be flexible about time outside our son’s nursery hours, we can extend his time at the nursery at short notice. We are also developing a mutual-support network among parents. For this reason, it is good to get a two-seat bicycle trailer or a second child’s car seat as soon as your first child is born. We have also coped with the biggest fear of all working parents – a 39-degree temperature at 6.30 on a Monday morning – thanks to the combination of home office and an emergency babysitter through the pme-Familienservice, with which Noerr collaborates.