Isabell Anstrin’s first few months as an assistant in Vinge’s dispute resolution group became a real trial by fire. When she started, the year’s most extensive arbitration was taking place.
“The main hearing took place over several weeks and I was thrown straight into the work with various different types of preparation. I became the project manager for the practical aspects so that the lawyers in the team could focus on the law. There are a lot of things associated with a main hearing. Everything from keeping contact with the persons involved, for example, interpreters, counsel and counterparties to booking premises where the main hearing will take place, proofreading material, preparing presentations and a lot more besides. It was an incredibly hectic time, but at the same time a perfect way to get used to the job”, says Isabell and smiles at the memory which is now a few years old.
Isabell ended up at Vinge in Stockholm by chance. After a few years of studies she did not really know what she wanted to do and about four years ago she started at Vinge’s photocopying department, which produces prints and other material. Isabell discovered fairly quickly that she enjoyed the work and it fitted her perfectly and she was subsequently offered a position in the firm’s assistant pool.
“Before I started I was a bit nervous that it was going to be a tough climate at a law firm. But I quickly discovered that the culture at Vinge is in fact extremely open and encouraging. Everyone who works here is incredibly driven and wants to push their own limits and expectations every day. I think that is stimulating.”
After having worked for almost six months in the assistant pool, Isabell was offered a position in the dispute resolution group and she thought it sounded like a good opportunity to increase her knowledge within one area. It was all very new, but what Isabell does not know she quickly learns.
“I currently work on various different projects and in order to get an overview and to give the best possible support to my colleagues, I often ask questions like; ”what is this about”, ”who do we represent”, etc. Today I ask different questions than during the first few weeks, but I continue to ask. It is important for me to participate in the project and to understand what the group does. I wanted to specialize and develop in close co‑operation with my excellent colleagues, but I did not think that I would get quite so much responsibility as I have been given. I feel that I make a difference every day.”
The members of the dispute resolution group often experience workflows which can be very intensive and on such occasions Isabell’s desk lamp is on until the early hours of the morning. This is exactly how she wants it.
“It is a special feeling during these really intensive periods. Despite the fact that everyone is tired, the atmosphere is always good, it is exciting and all of us are running on adrenaline. It is never a question of whether or not we are going to make the deadline or how it is going to take place – we are a strong team.
The legal profession itself is, in many respects, a male dominated industry. However, Isabell does not really recognize this description.
“At Vinge there is approximately an equal number of women as men and I have never felt that I have not been taken seriously because I am a young woman. Here you are judged for the person that you are and the work that you do, nothing else.
Isabell does not hesitate when asked where she will be in three years’ time.
“I will still be here in the dispute resolution group and be even more intimately involved in the mandates. Just think, I started by accident and it was completely right. It is fantastic.”