Careers/Associates/Associate Associate As an associate, you will work independently, yet also have contact with clients. We will support you with a tailor-made development programme. Careers/Associates/Associate Starting your career as an Associate As an associate at Freshfields, you will start your career as a fully-fledged member of a highly qualified team. Every day, you will work with demanding clients and face new challenges. Or, to put it another way, Freshfields offers you the optimal conditions to quickly mature into an outstanding legal personality. On your way there, we attach great importance to actively promoting your development and offering you an environment in which you feel comfortable. This includes the formation of diverse teams that jointly pursue the goal of achieving results at the highest level. An experienced member of your team will accompany you during your orientation period and answer your questions. Of course, you can take part in a comprehensive range of further training courses too. These include specific training courses as well as assignments at our locations throughout the world. Similarly high value is given to the issue of work-life balance. Flexible working models and the possibility of part-time work, as well as time-outs along your career path go without saying. You can find more details about our personnel and career programme under Development & Engagement. Discover what your personal career at Freshfields could look like below. Associate Associate As a young graduate, you will immediately work independently and have direct contact with clients. However, you will not be thrown in at the deep end. Your lead partner and team colleagues will introduce you to your work, step by step. With training and other development opportunities tailored to your needs, we aim to help you mature in your role as an associate. Would you like to enjoy a successful career at Freshfields? If so, take a look at our current opportunities. Important information regarding your application can be found in the FAQs below. Principal Associate Principal Associate Has your outstanding professional and personal competence during your first two years with us as a fully qualified lawyer, enabled you to demonstrate you are one of the best commercial lawyers? If so, you can look forward to being made a Principal Associate. This will involve a closer relationship with the company and you will be consulting with clients independently. To optimally prepare you for your new role, you will be offered exclusive qualification opportunities. Would you like to enjoy a successful career at Freshfields? If so, take a look at our current opportunities. Important information regarding your application can be found in the FAQs below. Counsel Counsel Are you a convincing Principal Associate with both legal know-how in a specific field of knowledge, as well as leadership potential? Then your progression to the role of Counsel will open up the possibility of a long-term career with us. As a Counsel, you will occupy a prominent position that is visible within the market, and be given responsibility both for clients and for a team. Partner Partner We believe it is important to see Freshfields’ partners emerge from within our own ranks. The appointment as partner — usually after six years of service with our law firm — is based on a transparent, company-wide selection process. We will jointly shape your career path to a full partnership in a fair and comprehensible manner. You will continue to benefit from our full commitment enabling you to adequately meet your new responsibility of establishing and maintaining client contacts. Testimonials Theresa Ehlen Principale Associate Theresa Ehlen Principale Associate GT-Corporate Actually, I never intended to work for an international corporate law firm as my mind was dominated by stereotypical images. My clearly defined goal was to become a judge. Nevertheless, I did not want to miss out on the opportunity of acquiring an insight into the work of a commercial law firm during my legal clerkship. So, I started my career as a lawyer almost without expecting too much. Fortunately, things turned out quite differently. Now, I work in a fantastic international team on challenging cases and complex legal issues, and do so in an environment where I am constantly developing. Joining Freshfields was exactly the right decision for me and I am glad that I was willing to get involved in the “big law firm” experiment. What’s the best way to describe my job? That is not an easy question to answer because my tasks are so varied and versatile that I cannot list them all. Broadly speaking, I do everything that has to do with media, digitalization, technology and intellectual property. I frequently work on contracts, i.e. I draft, revise and negotiate them, and help clients with their interpretation and implementation. I handle court and regulatory proceedings and advise clients, usually within the framework of international transactions. I find it particularly important to be able to apply my legal skills in a practical way in all these activities, and also have the opportunity, on a daily basis, to think outside the box. It is great to see how, through teamwork within a project, different areas of law all feed into a single joint outcome. In my first year at university, I heard that law is not boring but lively and relevant to everyday practice. During my studies I had my doubts, but who doesn’t? Now, I am pleased to be able to say that, every day, I experience again and again how vibrant the law can be, and indeed should be. Patrick Wendler Principale Associate Patrick Wendler Principale Associate People and Reward After initially working as a research assistant and completing my legal clerkship at Freshfields, I have now been working as a lawyer in the field of labour law since 2014. During the first two years, I was able to get to know all aspects of labour law. We advise companies that operate globally on multinational restructuring, but also on the drafting of contracts for executives as well as individual or collective legal issues. For some time now, my focus has been increasingly on advising on codetermination issues that become relevant primarily within the context of cross-border mergers or the establishment of an SE. Every day, the work at Freshfields offers the most diverse new challenges and is always varied due to the many challenging cases. Thanks to the wide range of activities, I still learn something new every day. And through the wide range of seminars that are offered I have an incredible opportunity to develop personally and professionally as a lawyer. I appreciate that very much. Working with the associates and partners is great fun and is based on mutual respect and trust. I can always rely one hundred percent on my colleagues. Even at the risk of sounding trite, I consider it a huge privilege to work in a great team. Hendric Labonté Associate Hendric Labonté Associate Dispute Resolution During my studies, I took part in Vis Moot, the international moot court competition, and for the first time, that drew my attention to the topic of dispute resolution. My first contact with Freshfields, however, was initially in the area of corporate law, which I also found very interesting. However, the topic of dispute resolution continued to intrigue me and when I met my current lead partner personally during a recruiting event, it became clear that I wanted to join Freshfields in this area. The fields of activity for lawyers can roughly be described like this: one field concerns the advisory activity so that the client “locks the stable door before the horse has bolted”, and the other field concerns the issue of when “the horse has already bolted”. Our practice group deals with the latter. This is done out of court, but also in front of state courts or arbitration tribunals — and, for me, this is the classic image of a lawyer. Since it is possible to dispute almost anything, the range of disputes we cover is very wide. As a result, we often have areas that overlap with other practice groups which support us in litigation in specialized fields. A particularly exciting case that I have been working on since my first day at Freshfields concerns the defence of a client from the automotive industry. In particular, the highly complex nature of this case is due to the large number of procedures to be handled independently, and the high degree of autonomy that results from this. A big plus is also the large number of hearings. You don’t always get this amount of court experience. Despite the high degree of autonomy in handling cases, I also work together very closely with a large number of colleagues and contacts on the client side, both locally and internationally. The younger colleagues also experience this intensive collaboration right from the start. For me, this daily interaction with my partners on an equal footing is also a great strength and makes Freshfields different, and is one of the reasons why I enjoy coming to work every day. How to become a part of the team? What requirements do I need to apply for the role of associate at Freshfields? + We want to meet exciting personalities with foresight, who enjoy teamwork and are enthusiastic about working in an international commercial law firm. Excellent exam results and good English language skills are naturally a prerequisite. Practical experience in your preferred legal field and experience abroad are additional assets which can score you extra points. How can I apply and what documents should I include with my application? + We accept applications for the role of Associate throughout the year. Your complete application documents should consist of your curriculum vitae, a cover letter and all relevant certificates and full transcripts since leaving school, including your A’ level certificates. Please compile all your documents into a single PDF file and send it by email to email@example.com. We will be happy to answer your questions at any time. What are the next steps after I have submitted my application? + As soon as we get your application, we will send you confirmation that we have received it. This means you can be sure we have started reviewing your application. If we like your written application, the next step will be an invitation to a series of one-to-one interviews. 3 to 4 partners, senior associates and HR interview you one after the other. If the first round of interviews is mutually positive, you will be invited to a second round according to the same principle. Following these interviews, you will receive prompt feedback from us.