Interview with trainee: Finnish law student Aleksi Kajander
At the begining of 2016 student from Finland (Tampere) took part in internship in Gencs Valters Law firm. Intern took practical internship in Tallinn office, Estonia. Aleksi Kajander was glad to tell about his experience in this internship.
1. Please tell little bit about yourself. What do you study currently?
I am a second year student in the Tallinn University of Technology studying Law. It is my intention that upon completing my studies, including a Master’s, and that I would work in the field of international business law.
2. How was it like to do internship in our Law firm?
The internship at Valters Gencs was a very valuable experience, especially as it vastly improved my practical knowledge of legal affairs and that of the Estonian legal system. Furthermore, the possibility of being able to work with real clients and real cases really made the internship an interesting learning experience which complements the mostly theoretical learning that one acquires during University lectures.
3. What did you expect from this internship? Was your expectations met?
I expected to learn more about the local legal system and hopefully acquire some practical experience. The actual internship both met and exceeded my expectations as there was an appropriate amount of responsibility in relation to working with actual cases and clients given to me, which in turn allowed me to accumulate more practical experience than I had hoped for prior to the internship. Overall, I am very satisfied with my internship and would definitely recommend it.
4. Please tell about legislation in Finland? What was different in Estonian law system?
One of the more striking differences between the Finnish and Estonian legal systems, which have both caught my interest and attention is their approach towards corporate income taxation. Under the Finnish system, income received by a business entity is taxable by a 20% corporate income tax, in contrast, under the Estonian system there is no is no corporate income tax as such but rather the distribution of profits, such as in the form of dividends is taxed at 20%.
5. Please describe the proceeding process in your country?
In general, district courts handle civil and criminal matters as well as petitions; consequently, the district judges are generally responsible for presiding over the cases.
Peculiarly, Finland does not have a Constitutional Court at all, which is somewhat unusual in Europe. Instead, the Parliament and the Constitutional Law Committee, prior to their introduction, examine legal norms prior to their introduction. Moreover, all courts in Finland are required to interpret laws in such a fashion that they do not infringe the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
6. How did the internship affect your study plans?
The internship expanded my understanding of legal practice and what certain legal fields entail on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, I was provided with what I feel is very valuable advise regarding a future in the field of law. Consequently, the internship did affect my study plans in the sense that I have now new areas of interest of which I would like to increase my knowledge, and consequently, study those areas more in-depth at my University.
7. On what area would you like to focus later?
I would like to focus on international business law in the future, however, in regards to more specific sub-fields, I will keep an open mind.