As a German trainee lawyer, I completed my elective position at the international law firm BridgehouseLaw in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the summer of 2015.

The law firm mainly advises German and American companies on civil law matters. From the establishment of an American subsidiary in the USA, support in matters relating to residence law, general civil law advice, out-of-court and judicial representation, right through to optimal estate planning, the Charlotte office offers a comprehensive service. The expertise of lawyers at the other BridgehouseLaw locations can be used at any time. There is also a good international network with partner law firms within the framework of the BridgehouseLaw Alliance.

My work at BridgehouseLaw often involved legal matters with a German-American connection and was always carried out in detailed coordination with the lawyers responsible. As a rule, after doing legal research, often in collaboration with the other interns, I wrote corresponding briefs, memos or e-mails in German or English. As a result, I was able, as I had hoped, to contribute my German legal knowledge as well as gain new experience and knowledge of American law. I took part in meetings with clients and even had the opportunity to work on a mandate completely independently. I have also processed various applications Written articles for the firm's newsletter and translated documents from German authorities and courts. Apart from my normal work in the office, I was also able to take part in several lectures and presentations by the firm, as well as external social events in Charlotte. By prior arrangement, I was also allowed to attend various negotiations as a visitor in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. As a result, I have gained impressive experience in the USA in addition to everyday office life.

During my stay, four lawyers, several external legal advisers as of counsel and two clerks worked for BridgehouseLaw in Charlotte in the firm. Furthermore, both American and German interns or trainees are regularly on site. I was allowed to work with two American interns. We shared a spacious office with permanent workstations. Over time, I have come to appreciate the intensive collaboration with the other interns. Because regardless of the interesting exchange about legal differences between Germany and the USA, I was able to significantly improve my English language skills through constant communication and also get in touch privately on site. I also found the general atmosphere in the office to be very pleasant. The interaction was always extremely friendly despite the sometimes high workload. All employees always took care of the interns and were very personable to me personally.

The office is located right in the center of Charlotte. There are numerous bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. In addition, the Charlotte Light Rail (LYNX) train station is within walking distance. The office building is necessarily air-conditioned. There is a fitness center in the building that all employees can use free of charge. The entire office is equipped with a Mac and uses OpenOffice. In addition to a good working environment, the law firm also offers numerous other amenities. Due to my consistently positive and impressive experience in the USA, I can absolutely recommend a stay abroad at BridgehouseLaw in Charlotte to students or trainees. -Peer Huneke 2015