Interview with trainee: German lawyer Alexander Kopf
In the summer of 2015 student from Göttingen (Germany) took part in internship in Gencs Valters Law firm. Intern took practical internship in Vilnius, Lithuania. Alexander Kopf was glad to tell about his experience in this internship.
Please tell little bit about yourself. What do you study currently?
I have finished my law studies and doctoral degree. To become a lawyer in Germany, it is mandatory to participate in a 2-year traineeship. It consists of different stages at courts, law firms and other entities. My time at Gencs Valters was the last stage in this process. Now I am looking forward to start a job as a lawyer in Germany.
Where did you find information about Gencs Valters Law Firm internship? What do you know about us?
I was looking for a law firm specialized in Intellectual Property Law in the Baltics and found Gencs Valters using Google. I applied because I wanted to work in the field of business law with a specialized law firm. Gencs Valters stood out with very good references and the fact that it is one of the few law firms with offices in all Baltic countries.
What did you expect from this internship? Was your expectations met?
My goal was to get an inside view of the legal system of Lithuania and the Baltic states and the daily work of attorneys there. My expectations were fully met on a personal and professional level. I was fully involved in various intellectual property cases from different areas and learned a lot about Lithuanian law in the process. I enjoyed my stay at Gencs Valters and the work with my colleagues there a lot.
Please tell about legislation in your country? Maybe you can give a few examples? What was different in Lithuanian law system?
The German legislation system is very similar to the Lithuanian System. When it comes to civil proceedings, German courts are (due to the higher number of chambers) more specialized. For example most regional courts have chambers for intellectual property law, competition law or commercial law and so on.
When it comes to Intellectual Property European law harmonizes most aspects, so it is possible to work in several areas even though it is covered by another legislation.
Please describe the proceeding process in your country?
Civil Proceeding start by one party filing a lawsuit in front of local or regional court (intellectual property cases are mostly trialled in front of regional court). The Court will decide whether to have a hearing right away or to have a written procedure first. Last option is common in intellectual property cases. After the hearing the court will decide about the outcome. Parties have the possibility to appeal to the higher regional and in some cases to the federal court.
Apart from that there is the possibility to file an interim disposal to stop for example an infringer from using a trademark without having to wait for trial outcome.
How did the internship affect to your study plans?
My internship at Gencs Valters supported my wish to work in the field of intellectual property, especially with its connections to international law.
What in your plans for future career? On what legal area would you like to focus on?
After my bar exam I plan to start to work as an attorney in the area of intellectual property law.