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Frankfurt intern reflects on a positive experience

One of our youngest-ever interns, 17-year old Cornelius Ippach made a positive impression during his two-week internship in our Frankfurt office. He tells us about his experience and how it has opened his eyes to potential career paths.

"At the beginning of August 2020, I completed a voluntary 14-day student internship within the Capital Markets group in the White & Case Frankfurt office, working with partner Dennis Heuer's team," explains Cornelius. Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at the time, Cornelius was initially surprised that the application process was so smooth. "I was very impressed that my application received such a positive response and that I was accepted as an intern."

What were his day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? Cornelius explains: "My daily tasks included the creation of PowerPoint presentations and structure charts. I also fulfilled various research for the team members and participated in the preparation of draft legislation." He adds that there was also time to learn more about working in a large commercial law firm and the role of a lawyer: "I was regularly allowed to take part in calls and team meetings, and I was in a lively exchange with other lawyers about working in a law firm and studying law." 

Practical experience of working as a commercial lawyer

The real-work insights into the working life of a lawyer were Cornelius's highlights of his time at the Firm: "Participating in calls and team meetings were the highlights of my internship, because through these I gained insight into the everyday work of a lawyer in a big law firm and how exciting it is."

He explains that the "real" tasks and responsibility that he was expected to take on came as a pleasant surprise: "What really surprised me was how much I was involved in the work; there wasn't a day during the internship where I even had the chance to get bored. Instead, all team members approached me on their own, showed me their work and involved me. I was also surprised at the trust that was placed in me, as I was assigned with very demanding tasks."

First impressions: Collaborative team spirit

How would Cornelius sum up his experience of White & Case? "My first impression of life in a big law firm was the collaborative environment, the team spirit and the desire to be the best." He explains what this meant in practice: "Everyone in the team—and also across the entire Firm—was always very helpful and open. I was able to get answers to all my questions about the work of a lawyer and the processes in a big law firm."

Cornelius emphasizes the stand-out team spirit that he experienced during his internship. "I could go to any team member at any time during the processing of a task and discuss with them possible ways of fulfilling a certain task. The never-ending exchange within the team and the strong cohesion really impressed me."

Confirming an interest in the law

After his internship, does Cornelius feel that he wants to pursue his interest in the law? The answer is an emphatic yes. "The experiences I had during my internship confirmed my interest in studying law and my desire to practice as a lawyer later on. Although I learned that my studies might be fundamentally different from my eventual job, the role is so exciting and interesting that it's worth studying law."

Finally, would he recommend the internship experience to other students interested in a career in law? According to Cornelius: "I would recommend an internship at White & Case to anyone interested in a legal career. Not only do you gain important insights into possible job prospects after having completed law studies. You also gain personal experience as to whether you are suitable for this job, as it requires a great deal of discipline and the willingness to work in a collaborative environment."

Learn more about career opportunities in our Germany offices