Serena Fernandes, June – September 2019

Serena Fernandes | Mariscal & Abogados
Serena Fernandes

Whilst my time at Mariscal Abogados may have come to an end, the invaluable practical experience that I have gained from this three-month internship (June 2019 – September 2019) will continue to shape my professional career. As part of my Law with Spanish Law degree at the University of Sheffield I was able to complete a Study Abroad Year at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). After completing this Year Abroad I became very interested in the differences between the English and Spanish legal system in terms of jurisprudence, legal rules and how the law plays out in practice. After completing my final year at Sheffield, through their internship programme, Mariscal Abogados gave me the opportunity to see for myself what said practical differences are between English Law and Spanish Law.

My experience at Mariscal Abogados has certainly exceeded my expectations. The responsibility I was given in completing various tasks always made me feel as a valued team member and this subsequently encouraged me to complete said tasks to the best of my ability. When I arrived at Mariscal tasks varied from translating articles from Spanish to English for the website and carrying out investigations into Spanish legislation. However, after a few days at Mariscal Abogados I was getting more involved in the practical side of things, thus allowing me to see how lawyers and clients interact. For example, I was able to edit, translate and fill out legal documentation relating to annual accounts and Board meeting minutes for various clients. I was also able to amend and draft various types of contracts in both the Spanish and English languages. During my time at Mariscal Abogados I was also lucky enough to work on long-term projects, for example I was able to assist the team on their submission to the Legal 500. One thing that I really enjoyed during my time at Mariscal Abogados was the fact that I was allowed to work with the Marketing Department. For example, I was allowed to investigate a particular area of law, in collaboration with the lawyers or partners, draft and finalise articles to be published on their website.

Even though, at times, the lawyers and partners were busy working on cases they were always approachable and happy to answer any questions I had, or to give me a hand if I found a particular task difficult. The open-door policy at this international office, accompanied with the small intake of interns, meant that there was always someone to ask for help and this helped to build a successful professional working relationship with all of the lawyers and partners.

Overall, undertaking an internship at Mariscal Abogados have improved my Spanish language skills beyond recognition. I am now able to communicate effectively in written and spoken Spanish, previously I lacked the confidence to do so. The small close-knit team at Mariscal Abogados results in a more personalised internship with the allocation of a tutor per intern. I would say that this is a key benefit from undertaking an internship at Mariscal Abogados in comparison to a larger firm. The experience is tailored, and you are given a choice to evaluate the types of tasks given to you every two weeks. This just goes to show how Mariscal Abogados values your opinion and your input as an intern at the office in that the constant feedback allows for development and for you to make the most of your time at Mariscal Abogados.

I would like to give a special thanks to my tutor Rosario Rodríguez for always being on hand to answer all of my questions concerning the technicalities and intricacies of Company Law, it has been an absolute honour to work with her. I would also like to give a special thanks to Karl Lincke, Partner at the firm, for allowing me to work on some of the firm’s more long-term projects. Finally, I would like to thank Laura Bernat for being so encouraging and for giving me the opportunity to have content published on Mariscals’ website.

In short, I cannot thank everyone enough at Mariscal Abogados for allowing me to work at this wonderful, diverse and welcoming office. The internationalism, professionalism and tailored experience are just a few of the reasons why I would highly recommend interning at Mariscal Abogados. The firm’s commitment to help you develop your professional career is seen from the outset and will confer upon any prospective intern a unique opportunity to work in an international environment.

Serena Fernandes
University of Sheffield (England)