Insights/22 Dec 2014

Trainee programme is a two-way street

While opening doors for law students, Borenius’ trainee programmes are also a recruiting channel and a method of reviewing the firms practices.

Text Petteri Pohjonen
Photos Kari Hautala/Otavamedia

BORENIUS FINLAND – Borenius runs extensive trainee programmes aiming to provide law students with a smooth transition to work life.

The first level of the trainee system serves students in the beginning stages of the studies, giving them an opportunity to observe and get a feel for how a law firm operates by running common errands in the office as Couriers. The next step – after completing a minimum of 160 credits in relevant courses – is becoming a Junior Trainee. Junior Trainees perform, for instance, research tasks for the lawyers. The complete the trainee path, one can become a Group Trainee whose responsibilities are compatible with those of a lawyer.

– Annually, dozens of students receive a trainee position at Borenius and we also hire lawyers through the programme. This fall we have hired two Group Trainees. The programme is an excellent recruiting channel. Our incentive is to give people a job.  As a company, Borenius takes responsibility for employing the youth, provides versatile education, and opens doors for students to enter work life, says Human Resources Director Monica Reikko from Borenius.

A two-way street

Feedback from students has been affirmative. They seem to especially appreciate the fact that it is possible to combine work and school in the early stages of studies and that once graduation gets closer they get to see what working in a law firm is really like.

– We can give the students hands-on experience about how we operate. At the same time the students help us develop our practices. We collect regular feedback about what works well here and what things we could improve on. We also hear about what students expect from future working life, Reikko lists.

One future lawyer is student Kaisa Susi who begun as a Courier six months ago.

– I run errands in the office. That means delivering documents, picking up the mail and trying to keep things rolling. At the same time I become familiar with legal work and see what it is in practice.

– We have a good team spirit at Borenius. I know many employees of Borenius who speak highly of the firm and they have recommended the trainee programme to me. That was one reason why I applied for it. I have enjoyed my time at Borenius, Susi comments.

Gradually growing responsibility

Associate Joel Kättö walked the trainee path from start to finish. He applied for an entry-level trainee position before he even begun his studies in 2009.

– I got the position and started my traineeship on the first day of school. I had heard about the programme from my brother who has also been a trainee and currently works as a lawyer at Borenius.

Kättö spent over two years as a Courier, followed by nine months as a Junior Trainee. After that he did a year of foreign exchange and returned to Borenius to attend the full-time Group Trainee programme. He finished his studies in the spring of 2014 and in September he was hired as a lawyer at Borenius.

– I have very positive experiences from the Borenius trainee programme. It prepares you thoroughly for work life. The programme consists of steps, gradually adding responsibility and teaching work as a lawyer at the same time.

– The difference between now and being a group trainee is that now I am directly and independently responsible for clients. This is a pleasant new challenge, Kättö says.

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