Teea Kemppinen

Partner, Bird & Bird

My greetings to the young women studying law today is that you can have it all.

I’m the first lawyer in my family. My mom was a secretary and my dad an electrician and they’ve never pushed me into any particular field. However, I’ve been into practicing law since I was 15 when I did my first ‘internship’ at the District Court of Lahti for two weeks. Since then I knew I want to get into practicing law and pushed myself through high school with the aim at getting into studying law in the University.

I’m a partner here at Bird & Bird since 2019, but I’ve been working here altogether for eight years. Employment law is my area of expertise with which I’ve been working on for more than a decade at different law firms.

What differentiates us from other law firms is that we are genuinely international. That also means that our employees have the possibility of working abroad in one of our 29 offices in Europe and overseas for a period of time. I think internationality is an amazing asset for our people, not to mention all the learning programs and voluntary self-development courses we have on the Nordic level.

One of the things I’ve been wondering lately is the fact that we need and want more women working in this field, the private legal service sector. Even though some two thirds of Finnish law students today are women, for some reason young women are not actively seeking to work in this field. Moreover, the number of female attorneys drops drastically when we look at attorneys over 35 years old.

To my experience, combining an ambitious career with family life is not an illusion. On the contrary, it’s very much possible for us women, too. Of course, you need to be ambitious by nature when working in this field, but it’s not a characteristic reserved solely for men. My greetings to the young women studying law today is that you can have it all, believe it or not.