Elina Inkinen

Legal PA, Bird & Bird

No matter what your career plans are, this work experience is valuable for all paths.

I’ve graduated from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in the programme of Modern Languages and Business Studies for Management Assistants. I joined Bird & Bird as an Assistant Trainee in February 2021. Today I work as a Legal PA in our Corporate team.

What got me here was my curiosity to experience legal assistant work in a law firm. When I read about the tasks of legal assistants from recruitment ads, document management was something that many employers mentioned as one of the key tasks. At that point, it was not that clear to me what document management actually contains. When my internship started, it became more concrete: you search for and file different documents, edit Word and PowerPoint documents, collect information together and make proofreads. My MS Office 365 skills learned in school have been in great use here as editing documents and presentations is something I do a lot.

During my first week at Bird & Bird, I immediately got the warm feeling that support was always available when I needed it. Our assistant team also encouraged me to follow a simple rule: if you don’t know something, always ask rather than guess. You simply can’t learn everything immediately, but you need to be precise as there are tasks that need to go right from the start. That’s why it is important to always ask questions if you need to. At the same time you get the most out of your internship as you support your own growth and learning.

Another important thing to remember is that there’s nothing in this job you would not eventually learn. It’s not rocket science. As you are given a lot of responsibility, this programme gives you valuable experience that you will find useful for any future career path. Even though you would not picture yourself working in a law firm for years to come, you get to train skills that are universally valuable in numerous different jobs and organisations.