If you want to embark on a legal career, be sure to look closely at the business you want to join - whether that's a law firm, the in-house legal department of a corporate, or the public sector. And don’t be afraid to change direction.
I grew up in Luxembourg before leaving to study law - first in Paris, then in Montreal and finally in London. My focus was on business law within an international context. I wanted to become an ambassador because I loved being abroad and interacting with people. But I gradually began to realise that I also love working in the background, solving subtle legal problems.
Upon returning to Luxembourg in October 2009, I joined Linklaters as a lawyer in the Tax department. Almost eight years down the line, I couldn’t think of a better place to work.
What differentiates Linklaters from other law firms is the people. In general, they're relatively young and international - and they're the best thing about working here. We all work hard, and we often work long hours. But throughout, we build friendships and continue to develop them outside of office hours.
Regular after work drinks, an annual family event in summer, as well as a Christmas party, and our annual ski trip - all of these activities go a long way in creating a supportive and friendly environment, inside and outside of work.
And there's a growing understanding within the firm that different people have different professional expectations and personal needs. Partners try to accommodate this - from granting people who live further away the flexibility to work from home, to adjusting working hours for those who need to collect children from school.
What we do is challenging, and it's so comforting to know that our teams are strong and highly qualified. There's always someone available to help you, be it from a legal, commercial or just a client relationship perspective. Being able to work with people you trust - not only because of their incredible legal knowledge and considerable experience, but also because you can rely upon them - that makes all the difference.
From the very beginning, we approach our work with the aim of completing it in the best and most efficient way we can. We get to know our clients' preferences, and we adapt to meet their style. Thereafter, it's a matter of keeping in touch, asking for news, providing updates on changes in the legal environment. That's how we build and maintain the best client relationships.
Being available to clients, and continuing to deliver high-quality advice within deadlines is important - and these things go a long way in developing the relationship. Much of the work we do is generated by the Linklaters network, therefore your colleagues in effect become your clients and you make the relationship strong in the same way.