This is Dilara Sancar, I am a third year European Law School student and this is my last year in Maastricht University. I have always fond of the idea of having internships during the summer to enhance my professional legal experience. In the summer of 2018, I have worked as a summer intern in the “Cakmak Attorney at Law’, being a former partner of White & Case in Turkey. Cakmak Law Firm is a corporate law firm with a variety of practice areas such as: antitrust/competition, banking& finance, corporate, M&A, dispute resolution, project finance. It was an uttermost beneficial and informative period for me that helped me regarding my future career goals as well. Throughout that month I was working with 4 other interns side by side, drafting legal memorandums together and discussing the current legal issues. In our first days, we were assigned with several legal translation tasks which assessed our speed and accuracy in translating complex legal documents. Those legal documents were then send to the clients if they were considered to be satisfactory enough. In those first days, we as the interns got along really well, helping each other, getting to know each other and improving each other with regards to the career paths. Moreover, Cakmak Law Firm had a really nice, cosy library inside which I tend to spend some time during the breaks that I had. The variety of the law books was just impressive, one can find a find a book about any legal area possible.
With the start of the second week, we were assigned with more tasks each day. One of the partners of the firm assigned me to interpret and provide possible solutions for a case about arbitration. I have analysed the case and wrote a legal memorandum about it with the help of the arbitration books in the law library. After that, I have discussed my findings with the partner, who then gave me some quite useful advices and constructive comments. During that first week, every one of us (the interns) were chosen to make some visits to the administrative and financial institutions of Ankara. Through these visits, we were able to have a taste of the real corporate life in law firms not just being inside the firm but as well observing the interactions with the institutions outside. I went to the Finance Department to deliver a document to the related client.
In my second week, another partner of the firm asked me to do some research about a topic that she has been working on. The topic was the China’s Belt and Road Initiative and researching about the interests of the relevant stakeholders and States. This was extremely interesting for me since I have learned a great deal out of these researches which then I provided my findings and researches to that partner. Alongside these specific tasks, each day we were assigned with legal translation documents as well as legal memorandums. One of the most interesting tasks that I did was to prepare a fully-fletched constructional contract for one of the clients of the firm. Before that I had no real-life experience of actually preparing a contract for a client. I had all the knowledge and the necessary basics that I needed from the courses that I took in Maastricht University, nevertheless the actual preparation of a contract was completely different
. I have searched so much to create the most appropriate contract template, and wrote all the clauses for the contract. It was truly an incredible and beneficial experience for me. I have worked almost 3 full days on it until it was in the form considered to be ‘satisfactory’ by the lawyers. Even after returning to my home from the law firm I was working on the contract, I wanted to make it absolutely perfect. I was in literal sense ‘carrying work to my home’, which I found to be truly exhilarating. Moreover, we were supposed to write about all the tasks that we have concluded every day and summarize them to the assigned journal like platforms present in our office computers. Through this, we have learned how to be more organized and improve our time management skills.
In the last week of the internship, we were assigned with the task of preparing a presentation of the topic of choice. I made a presentation about Turbo Liquidation to company’s partners and associates. Turbo liquidation is a unique possibility of liquidation of companies in financial distress that exists in Netherlands. This liquidation procedure is done without following the normal liquidation procedures and it is quite speedy. During the presentation, I have encountered with mesmerized expressions from the audience due to the fact that how distant and unique the Dutch approach towards this particular liquidation process was. In Turkey, the idea of persuasion of liquidation proceedings would be fairly far-fetched due to the threat of creditor protection. Afterwards I conducted some discussion about the differences between the Dutch company’s liquidation proceedings and creditor protection as well as the one that is held in Turkey, with the partners and the associates of the firm. We were analysed regarding our presentation and public speaking skills as well. I have then concluded my internship and thanked all the partners who have helped me and gave me this unique opportunity to work with and for them.
This summer internship was truly a beneficial experience for me. I have learned a great deal out of it which then I embedded to my legal knowledge. My career paths were clearer after I’ve concluded this internship as I knew for a fact that I wanted to pursue a career in corporate law. I am again planning to pursue a summer internship this summer and I recommend every one of you to pursue one as well. These small summer internships are not only flashy stuff to add on your CV but they really improve you with so many aspects that you can’t just obtain from the academic education only. The satisfaction and pride that you will feel after the completion of these internships are just indescribable.
Written by Dilara Sancar