How did you find out about Küttner?
I became interested in employment law during my studies at the University of Cologne - and Küttner is of course well-known at the university. After completing my first state examination, I worked as a legal research assistant at a major international law firm, I wanted to use my internship to get to know a smaller law firm. Many of my colleagues and friends recommended Küttner. After having spoken to many different law firms, Küttner was my clear favorite to complete my internship.
And what was it that you liked so much that you returned to Küttner in 2018 as an attorney?
Right. During my feedback interview at the end of my internship, I was offered a job as an attorney, presumably because Küttner noticed that I really enjoyed the work - it really is a lot of fun. And also, because it is great to start out not having to familiarize yourself with the firm, because you know your colleagues and how the firm runs, so you can concentrate fully on other new challenges.
Would you say that as a newcomer starting out in your career, that you found the right place to be at Küttner?
Absolutely! Küttner is a great address for employment law and you have landed at the right place to learn and do a deep dive. Particularly, because as a newcomer you are a full member of the team, and, unlike elsewhere, the firm quickly shows confidence in you, evidenced by being assigned your own clients. This is a clear difference to working for a major law firm, where there is typically hardly any direct contact with the client base. In addition, I regularly receive feedback from the partner assigned to me, and all other colleagues are always willing to take the time to answer questions and act as a sounding board when I need it.
If you were to describe Küttner in one word....
...team - it’s all about the team. Actually, normal everyday people work here, who go to the football stadium on the weekend to watch a match or are members of carnival associations - even if some US TV series sell a different picture of working for a law firm. The day-to-day work at Küttner is always done at eye-level, even with younger colleagues. That is very important to me, because we work closely together.
You are working on your doctorate, while you are working as an attorney at Küttner. How are you able to handle both at the same time?
My doctorate and my work as an attorney both require a large investment of time, which is why many start their doctoral studies right after completing the first state examination. I was lucky, with Küttner at my side, I have had enough leeway during my first year as a practicing attorney to be able to work on my doctorate. Working as a practicing attorney on real cases and at the same time on the theoretical has its advantages and it is fun; plus, the firm always provides me with additional support. Küttner even gets high scores on Work-Life-Balance: That applies to the general workload and also holiday replacement - because even though working is fun, there are many countries out there to explore. Küttner is definitely also a great place to be in the long-term. And who knows, maybe the opportunity will arise to make partner.
Would you like to learn more? Take a look at Thomas Köllmann’s CV here: