Careers/Associates/Trainees

Legal clerkship/research assistantship

Benefit from our comprehensive training programmes for legal clerks in the final stages of their second state exam.

Careers/Associates/Trainees

”Freshfields College” for legal clerks

Our “Freshfields College” programme offers you practical experience within the dynamic environment of an international law firm, an extensive range of courses for your professional and personal development, and the opportunity for intense networking.

Working @ Freshfields
You will be given a comprehensive and authentic insight into our daily work routine. As a fully-fledged team member, you will work at the top level on exciting cases. You will be supervised by a personal mentor who will actively support your development through regular feedback meetings.

Learning @ Freshfields
To support your preparation for your second state exam, we regularly organise one-day in-house seminars at all our German offices in co-operation with the coaches from Kaiser and Hemmer. Kaiser mock exams, intensive training courses on file presentation, presentations and legal writing complete the programme.

Networking @ Freshfields
A personal network boosts career. Varied social events and regular trainee lunches give you ample opportunity for networking, both with our own lawyers and with other trainee lawyers.

Please apply!

You can apply at any time for a position as a legal clerk or for work as a research assistant. Our HR contacts at your chosen location are waiting for you to send in your completed application documents. We will be happy to discuss the time and date of your employment with you individually. In your application, please indicate your preferred duration and your practice group preference(s).

You can find more information about your application and employment with us in the FAQs below.

Testimonials

Sandra Auer

Counsel

Sandra Auer

Counsel

Tax

Frankfurt

As a lawyer in the field of tax law, I advise on questions of general corporate tax law, or transformation tax law and, of course, on M&A transactions. One of the main focuses of my advice is real estate tax law.
I first came into contact with tax law during my studies. I chose this area of specialisation initially because I saw it as a suitable addition to my focus on corporate law. However, I soon found that I enjoyed tax law more than anything else and this was confirmed during my placement and practical training as a lawyer.

When I tell others what I do for a living, many respond by asking, “isn’t that awfully boring?” which is probably because most people think of their own income tax returns first! However, it is really not like that. Tax law is changing constantly and questions about new approaches come up all the time. This constant challenge is what makes tax law so different and also extremely varied. Often, it is a matter of representing the tax positions of our clients in negotiations with other companies, the tax authorities or even in court proceedings.

I especially appreciate the opportunity that Freshfields offers me, to work with experienced partners on a wide range of exciting and international cases. In almost every case, questions relating to tax law come up. This means that we regularly work with colleagues from other practice groups and gain insight into many industries and areas of law. Often, tax law determines whether and how a transaction can be carried out.
One highlight is also our annual International Tax Group Conference. Tax lawyers from all Freshfields offices worldwide meet there. In addition to sharing information on new tax developments, the International Tax Group Conference offers an opportunity to personally get to know colleagues from other offices.

Christoph Werkmeister

Partner

Christoph Werkmeister

Partner

DR-IPDR

Dusseldorf

My practice group deals with everything involved with data and technology. This includes data protection law, but also telecommunications, IT and issues affecting the law on competition or the drafting of contracts. As a rule, everything revolves around the topic of digitalisation, for example, connected mobility, Big Data, targeted advertising or online services. We are also working on new technologies like artificial intelligence to develop concepts for automating repetitive activities such as the screening of large data pools. This means that our team has to cover a very wide range of issues.

During my studies, I was not in the least bit interested in data protection. This totally changed when I joined Freshfields as a lawyer and came into contact with this field. I really like the variety of the subject matter, the continuous “learning on the job” and the technical challenges. We are not limited to just one area of law or to just one sector. The client’s particular product or service determines which aspects are relevant. Digitalisation affects all sectors of the economy.

We are working in a field where there is always something going on. That’s why it is so helpful to have experienced partners at our side who can give us feedback on how best to approach issues when crucial questions arise. At a firm like Freshfields, which covers the whole spectrum of the law, you are able to get experienced colleagues from other practice groups on board and find solutions together, not only for Germany, but for the whole world.

Nina Heym

Counsel

Nina Heym

Counsel

GT-Finance

Frankfurt

Prior to joining Freshfields in 2005, I completed two-years’ training at a major law firm in London. It was there that I discovered my passion for financial law. Our practice group advises national and international companies as well as private equity investors and financial institutions on banking and financial law. This means that we support companies in financing acquisitions, in taking up syndicated credit, promissory notes, initial public offerings and project financing.

The various finance teams in the international offices work closely together. Our contact is not just via telephone calls and emails. During the various conferences and international training programmes, we regularly have the opportunity to meet new colleagues personally and to have in-depth discussions with each other.

Our clients are very demanding, but, at the same time, very amenable. My team is extremely motivated and very open. Rather than working in isolation, we always operate as a team. My day is filled with a combination of fascinating legal issues, efficient project management and meeting tight deadlines.

No two types of financing are the same. Every case presents a new challenge. This is exactly what makes my work so exciting and is the reason why I am such a passionate finance lawyer. My enthusiasm for this area of work certainly contributed to the fact that I returned to my desk again and again even after giving birth to three daughters. My daily life is incredibly varied. One minute, I am taking part in a telephone conference to discuss contracts. The next, I am sitting in the audience admiring one of my daughters at one of her ballet performances. On the way to work in the morning, I take my oldest daughter to school and check that she has learned her vocabulary. Twenty minutes later, I am sitting in my office, totally focused, working on the completion of the next project. The challenge for me is to continuously switch from my role as mother to that of a lawyer, and to produce the very best in my job but also to be there for my family and to manage them all.

Dominic Divivier

Principal Associate

Dominic Divivier

Principal Associate

ACT (Antitrust, Competition, Trade)

Dusseldorf

I got to know Freshfields during my legal clerkship in Berlin. Since I had completed my doctorate in antitrust law, I was interested in finding out whether the issues that I had dealt with in theory were also exciting in legal practice. In my interview for a position as a research assistant, I was told, “If you are interested in how products, markets and commercial enterprises function and really want to be an international lawyer, antitrust law is exactly the right area for you.” Today, I can only confirm this!

Even as a research assistant, I was able to be part of a great team and work on exciting mandates in addition to my legal clerkship. Naturally, this was even better during my training as a lawyer which I completed at the Dusseldorf office. After that, I knew that not only was the legal field the right one for me, but also that Freshfields, due to the open atmosphere, the top international clients and some amazing colleagues, was exactly the right law firm for me too.

As a lawyer, I was quickly able to see from my “own desk” that we really do cover the whole spectrum of antitrust law, and do so around the globe. During my first three years at Freshfields, I worked with colleagues in antitrust law from Brussels, London, Madrid, Vienna, Paris, Tokyo and Washington, amongst others, in advising clients on antitrust proceedings in Germany, Europe, the USA, Brazil and South Africa. We guided them through merger control and market abuse proceedings and “got them into shape” to tackle cartel-related contractual and compliance issues, or defended them in antitrust damages litigation.

In short: I can only recommend anyone who is or might be interested in antitrust law to “come and see us”. It’s certainly worth it (even if you don’t have any previous knowledge)!

How to become a part of the team
What do I need to apply for a position as legal clerk or research assistant at Freshfields?
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Our offer is aimed at prospective lawyers who have completed their first state exam and are interested in working at a law firm with an commercial focus. You should enjoy working in a team, have legal expertise and creativity and enjoy the challenge of taking on new tasks.

How can I apply and what documents should I include with my application?
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Your complete application documents should consist of a cover letter, your curriculum vitae and all relevant certificates starting with your final school exams. Remember also to indicate when and in which area of law you would like to work  when you take up your position.

Please compile all your documents into a single PDF file and email it to the HR contact at the office of your choice. They will be happy to answer your questions at any time.

What are the next steps after my application?
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As soon as we get your application, we will send you confirmation that we have received it. This means you can be sure that we have started reviewing your application. Should your written application meet our selection criteria, the next will be to invite you to an application day in the desired team so that we can get to know you personally in discussions with partners and associates.

What entry opportunities does Freshfields offer me as part of my legal clerkship?
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You can complete both your practical years at one of our five locations in Germany or Brussels. You decide on one of the following nine areas of law, depending on the availability of practice groups at your chosen location:
• Corporate and M&A
• Banking and financial services
• People and reward
• Intellectual property, data and commercial
• Real estate
• Antitrust, competition and trade
• Regulatory
• Disputes, litigation and arbitration
• Tax
If you are interested in a job between completing your first state exam and your upcoming legal clerkship, for example, in addition to a doctorate, we would be pleased to offer you a position as a research assistant.

Do I automatically participate in Freshfields College as a legal clerk?
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Freshfields College is an integral part of the comprehensive training programme for our legal clerks. During your entire legal traineeship at Freshfields you will automatically benefit from our training programme.

Is Freshfields College also open to research assistants?
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The Freshfields College programme is our way of fulfilling our training mandate. Our research assistants can also benefit from this programme within the scope of their work. If places are still available, you will be able to participate in our seminars.