Phil Johnson, Guest Blogger, UST Class of 2011
I had the opportunity to serve at a law firm in Cologne, Germany from January – April, 2012. It was an amazing experience for me to meet with international clients, attend German court proceedings and work with other attorneys.
The firm for whom I worked has approximately 120 attorneys at their office in Cologne. As a full service German firm, they had a full complement of practices, although given their location in the “media capital” of Germany, they specialized in IP, the area where I spent most of my time, and the senior partner to whom I reported. At the same time, I provided support in the areas of corporate law/M&A, employment law, and even a bit of German criminal law! I also had the “privilege,” along with the 20 first year associates, to slice potatoes and onions in preparation for the firm’s annual Potato Pancake Feast, a celebration that attracted the whole firm, and included dancing and feasting.
This was an ideal opportunity to develop a greater understanding and appreciation for cross-cultural litigation, working with clients from Thailand, UK, Canada, US, and across Europe. I believe it beneficial for every American law student to have such an experience and develop greater cross-cultural awareness of the international legal community.