Start your professional career at one of the largest law firms in Poland

8 March 2024

We imagine having you on our side.

Paralegals currently working with the firm on a permanent basis, Natalia Andrzejczak from the Litigation/Arbitration practice, a fifth-year student at the University of Warsaw, and Bartosz Pestka from the FinTech & ICT Regulations practice, a fifth-year student at the Jagiellonian University, share their experiences of working at Rymarz Zdort Maruta.

What made you decide to start working with Rymarz Zdort Maruta?

Bartosz Pestka: It was definitely a combination of my passions for law and new technology, and my interest in the financial sector. Practising within the Financial Regulatory practice has allowed me to combine these strands in a way that allows me to develop skills and knowledge in each of them.

There is no doubt that the reputation and established position of the law firm on the market played a large part in me choosing Rymarz Zdort Maruta – at this point, it is worth mentioning, for example, the recent Chambers FinTech Guide 2024 ranking, in which our team was placed in Band 3 in the FinTech category. The opportunity to work at one of the top law firms in Poland seemed like a great chance to achieve my ambitions and the goals I had set for myself.

An important part of any workplace is the people who comprise it. I had the opportunity to meet some members of my team at a legal triathlon competition co-organised by the law firm and a research circle from my university at the Jagiellonian University even before I started working with Rymarz Zdort Maruta. Their level of expertise, but also their openness and understanding, seemed to insinuate that RZM would be an ideal environment for my further development – in fact, after working with them for a few months, I can confirm that my assumptions were correct.

What your first days at the law firm were like?

Natalia Andrzejczak: The first few days at a new job are usually a whirlwind of orientation meetings and training sessions. However, working at Rymarz Zdort Maruta went beyond this from the very beginning – from the very first day, I was involved in substantive work and in performing my first real tasks, which, incidentally, were very interesting.

A key point at the start of the job was getting to know the team I still work with today. Talking to my colleagues made me feel much more at ease and confident in my new environment. It also made it easier to work with the team later on.

In addition, during the first weeks of my work a lunch was organised for all the students who joined the law firm. In addition to the students, the lunch was attended by senior lawyers working in our respective departments, which provided us with an opportunity to speak with lawyers experienced in our chosen fields in a slightly less formal setting.

The first few days at the law firm were definitely a mix of getting to know the new workplace, learning quickly and intensively, and making friends with colleagues.

Was there anything that surprised you during your first few months on the job?

Bartosz Pestka: Yes, there were definitely a few things that surprised me in my first months on the job. Despite the solid preparation and theoretical knowledge acquired during my studies, my internship at the law firm brought many new challenges. One of the things that surprised me was the intense working rhythm and the need to quickly absorb new information and solve problems not directly reflected in legal literature or case law.

In addition, I discovered that communication with clients and negotiations with other parties are key elements of a lawyer’s work that require a degree of flexibility and specific time management skills. Studies do not usually include in their programmes what are referred to as soft skills, which, as it turns out, are crucial in the everyday legal world.

My first months at the law firm were an intense learning period for me, but they were also a valuable lesson and a great experience.

How do you manage to combine your professional work at the law firm with your studies at university?

Natalia Andrzejczak: Combining work and study at university can seem challenging at first. However, with the right time management it is definitely doable, and I personally value the combination of the two worlds very much. 

I have been combining my studies and work since my first years at university, and from my experience, I can say that the most important thing is to prioritise, both in terms of work and university. It makes sense to focus on the most urgent tasks first. This makes it easier to organise your day and ensures that all of your most important duties get done.

It is important to note that starting work at a law firm does not at all mean that university studies are pushed into the background. All lawyers realise the importance of education in this profession, so they do not require students to dedicate themselves to work at the expense of, for example, university classes. It is a good idea to inform colleagues in advance of your academic commitments and any potential conflicts or absences. The team can then take a flexible approach to your work schedule and provide support during particularly intense periods.

Colleagues who also combine work and study are a valuable source of inspiration. Advice and guidance from people with similar experiences facilitates a practical approach to any problems encountered.

What does working in a law firm help and hinder on a daily basis?

Bartosz Pestka: Working in a law firm is extremely helpful for a number of reasons. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for continuous professional development by allowing one to explore a variety of legal issues and gain experience in practice. It is also a place that allows for a free exchange of knowledge with people that possess more experience and deep wells of knowledge, which allows for dynamic learning and an expansion of one’s knowledge from both the practical and theoretical sides. In addition, working in a law firm enables and facilitates the development of the soft skills I mentioned earlier in actual real-life situations with clients.

However, working in a law firm can also present some challenges. For example, the intense work rhythm and frequently changing priorities can create difficulties when it comes to time management, which can sometimes be associated with higher stress levels, especially when combined with studies. In addition, working in a law firm often requires long working hours and flexibility when it comes to adapting to clients’ needs, which can make it difficult to maintain a work-life balance.

Despite these challenges, however, the work is extremely rewarding and offers many opportunities for professional development.

What should you focus on during your studies in order to be best positioned to work in a large law firm?

Natalia Andrzejczak: A good opportunity to learn about the realities of such work are events in the form of lectures or workshops organised by law firms. More often than not, such events are organised in cooperation with academic circles within the university.

Participation in events organised by well-known, large law firms is not only an option to develop in a particular field, but also an opportunity to become familiar with the world of ‘big law’. Attending such events allows students to learn about different areas of legal practice that are not necessarily considered during their studies, and this knowledge is imparted by fully-fledged lawyers with many years of experience. Learning about different legal specialisations can be a major determinant when it comes to one’s choice of a future career path.

In addition, such events allow you to interact with the recruiters of the law firms involved. These events allow you to become familiar with the culture, values and environment of specific law firms, which at the same time makes it easier for students to decide later on which law firm they would like to work with.

From a pragmatic point of view, it is worth noting that knowing an organisation can provide a competitive advantage during the recruitment process. Demonstrating a genuine interest and familiarity with a firm’s practice areas can set students apart and increase their chances of getting a job.

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