This summer, as a Global Legal Practice Fellow, I had the incredible opportunity of working at Hochleitner Rechtsanwälte GmbH — a full-service business law firm, optimally located in the central European city of Linz, Austria. At the firm, I learned about EU regulatory law, tasked with the research and synthetization of the impending ‘Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive,’ which is a new regulation that will require many of the firm’s largest clients to enhance their internal ESG data collection and reporting transparency mechanisms.
At my Fellowship’s end, I presented my research to lawyers from our firm’s immediate office and professionals from the firm’s other locations. In addition, I was also given the great opportunity of working with the firm’s transactional group on various private equity and joint venture agreements, which — because of the firm’s central European location — consistently embodied an immense multinational, and at many times multicontinental, flavor and controlling underscore.
Under the tremendous fellowship program leadership of Clara Hochleitner-Wanner LLM ’18, my experience as a Global Fellow was truly international. The firm had set up weeklong stints of work for me to do at their partner law firms in multiple European cities, including Berlin and Frankfurt, which allowed me the paramount experience of learning not only Austrian law and the legal framework of the EU through such perspective, but also an incredibly immersive view of the same through the German civil law.
Likewise, Hochleitner Rechtsanwälte made it a point to offer me the best cultural experience possible, having me travel to many other fantastic locations such as Salzburg, Vienna, the beautiful Kehlstein mountain range in the southeast German town of Berchtesgaden, as well as to the Admont Abbey — the largest monastic library in the world, as part of programming in conjunction with local law students at the Johannes Kepler Universität.
Further, the firm had most wonderful German language teacher tutor me in a 1-on-1 setting, 3 times a week; Hochleitner Rechtsanwälte made this experience more fantastic than I could have ever imagined, not only welcoming me into their great country and impressive firm but also truly making me feel like a member of their family.
Penn Carey Law was extremely helpful in preparing me prior to my departure to Europe. Program Director Caroline Ruhle made the application, preparation, and ultimate execution of a process that would have otherwise felt very daunting feel as stress-free and seamless as possible. It was also extremely comforting to know that there was an entire cohort of other Global Fellows experiencing the same things, acting as a network on standby that we could tap into at any point for perspectives and to bounce ideas off of. Without the Fellowship’s initial and continued infrastructure put together by Caroline and her staff, the logistics of this experience would have undoubtedly felt very different.
As I return to Penn Carey Law, I do so with a far deeper understanding of the law— not just from a monolithic American perspective, but much more importantly, from an international, multinational, intercontinental and ultimately global perspective that otherwise, I would be bereft of. In the modern day, I think that we would be hard-pressed to find a dimension of complex law that lacks some global dimension, and so, from my experience as a Global Legal Practice Fellow, I can confidently say that I am returning home to Penn Carey Law with the legal mindset of a global citizen, which I hope makes my contributions to the Law School community more meaningful and will play a small role in enhancing the overall learning experience at this amazing institution.