Challenges of the legal market

Law firms today are under pressure as the economy changes and client needs and demands evolve. Clients now expect seamless service across as many jurisdictions as possible, with in-depth knowledge of local law, regulatory issues, and of the business, political and cultural considerations in each.

Although sanctions against Russia and economic instability have resulted in a slowdown in business activity in the investment market, a number of sectors of the legal market remain active, including retail, life sciences, and manufacturing. While the number of M&A projects on the market has declined, the demand for general corporate, tax and customs, intellectual property, employment, competition and compliance, international trade and WTO, and dispute resolution work is still very strong. Investment and financing projects from Asia mean that many of our lawyers are working cross-regional projects involving China, Japan, South Korea, India, and other countries.

To be competitive in the today's business environment, lawyers need to focus on delivering consistent high quality and value to their clients, be efficient in working on their clients' projects, and know their client's business as well as their clients do.

Legal internship issues

Many international law firms in Russia have internship programs for students, most of which take place in the summer. Unlike other firms, we do not hire interns for the summer period because we consider it ineffective to do so. Many lawyers and clients are on vacation, business activity slows down and the young specialists do not get a lot of opportunity to learn something during their internship.

For this reason, a few years ago we designed a new type of internship. We hire young specialists for a four-month period on an internship running from September 1 until December 31. This means that they find themselves thrown into a busy season environment from the very beginning. Young specialists get the opportunity to work with different practice and sector groups within the firm, and quite often participate in cross-border projects. Their internship is a diversified, very interesting and extremely useful experience. Those interns who complete this internship successfully are awarded a contact for a permanent paralegal' position with the firm by the New Year.

Our principal requirements for internship applicants are – fourth or fifth year students, or fresh graduates from a law faculty, a logical mind and excellent command of English.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.