Each year, the Brussels Office hosts four to six secondees for one of their seats. We think it would be a great professional challenge and opportunity for secondees to come and work with us. To encourage you to apply and your firm to support you, we prepared a short overview of the top seven reasons why such a secondment is a good idea.
1. You will get great exposure to the EU and international institutions and will bring that knowledge back to your firm / organisation.
Being in Brussels, living and breathing EU policy and legislation, will give you the knowledge of the institutions, people and policies that you could never obtain purely from books. Dependent on COVID-19 restrictions you will have the opportunity to attend either virtual or physical parliamentary committee meetings and hearings, meetings with MEPs and Commission officials, expert meetings and various events. This experience will give you a unique insight into the mechanisms of law and policy making and deepen your knowledge on selected subjects. Your firm will gain a member of the team who will share this knowledge and experience with colleagues.
2. You will expand your legal research skills, learn about new areas of law and bring that knowledge back to your firm / organisation.
Secondees are usually already highly skilled in legal research but they learn to widen and hone those skills during their time with us. They concentrate on research on EU law and learn to use original sources, such as academic articles, blogs or general press. However, these can be more eclectic and unconventional sources depending on the topic.
3. You will have the opportunity to speak in public and you will be a more confident speaker afterwards.
Secondees attend, with the policy advisors and on their own, various external meetings, seminars and conferences where they are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the debates. They are required to present selected papers to the various policy committees of the Law Societies and to answer questions from the members. They also attend meetings of the committees of the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) where they actively participate in the discussions.
4. You will have the opportunity to pursue your own project as well (the firm / organisation may also have an idea what the secondee can do in Brussels).
We also encourage secondees to our office to pursue subjects that are of interest to them and their firm / organisation, even if they are not a priority in our own agenda.
5. Your social and networking skills will get a boost.
Secondees attend many events, currently all online, and get the opportnity to network digitally. Law firms, EU institutions, Brussels-based think tanks and NGOs all regularly hold interesting conferences and seminars. Depending on the COVID-19 restrictions/public health requirements at the time of the secondment, each semester, the secondees visit the Court of Justice of the EU and meet the UK judges, advocates general and members of their offices. They also attend a hearing and are given the tour of the Court.
If you still need more information, see also what the former Brussels secondees said about their time in our office!