From Journalist to Lawyer – Same Skills an Asset in both Professions
There is a great deal of similarity in the work that lawyers and journalists do, and lawyers can also benefit from the skills of a journalist.
This has been the experience of Castrén & Snellman Counsel Teresa Kauppila, who studied journalism and mass communication and worked as a journalist in a newspaper prior to becoming a lawyer.
‘My experience as a journalist has been very useful. I’ve gotten the most mileage out of the research and communications skills I developed. A major part of the work that both lawyers and journalists do is finding out about things and passing that knowledge on to other people.’
‘The second benefit is that as a journalist, I learned to react to unexpected situations, which are common in legal work, as well.’
Teresa finds that the biggest difference between these professions is the work cycle: while reporters working for a daily newspaper usually work on a single piece for a day or two, lawyers often work on an assignment for week, months or even years.
A Leap into the Unknown During the Night Shift
In high school, Teresa had two dream jobs: a lawyer or a journalist. At the time, journalism won.
The idea of a career switch was something she had thought about for a while, though. She made the decision one evening while putting the finishing touches on an article during the night shift.
‘A university friend of mine who I studied journalism with called and said they were applying to law school. They knew I had been considering doing the same. In the moment, I decided to take the leap, as well.’
Things turned out well for both friends, as they both got into law school at the University of Helsinki. Teresa has had no cause to regret her decision.
‘Leaving a steady and interesting job was definitely a leap into the unknown, but I've been very happy that I had the courage to make that decision.’
Not Pointing Out Problems but Finding Solutions
Teresa works in Castrén & Snellman’s Corporate Governance service and advises the firm’s clients in corporate law matters.
An important step in her new career was a secondment in the legal department of a major listed company. This secondment made it clear to her what makes a good lawyer: not pointing out problems but looking for solutions and moving forward.
Spring is general meeting season, which keeps Teresa and the other lawyers in the team busy. General meetings require a great deal of meticulous preparation.
‘The whole team put in a superb effort this spring. The fact that the meetings have been held remotely added an extra twist. Though you might think organising a remote meeting would be easier, experience has proven otherwise.’
Teresa has a great deal of praise for her colleagues. Skilled, caring and helpful colleagues are the main reason Teresa has enjoyed working at C&S so much.
‘Whenever I have a question, I can just pick up the phone and people are ready to help and give some of their own time. I always try to do the same myself, though it can be challenging at times when Teams and my inbox are flashing red’, she laughs.
‘We also have great support services, such as translators, assistants and communications and ICT specialists. Not to mention the ladies in our outstanding conference services team, who are the heart of the whole office. It is a great help to be able to focus on my own work and not have to worry about translating a text or whether my devices work or organising catering for a meeting.’