Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC had the pleasure in welcoming six undergraduate law students, namely Mrs Yomna Zentani, Mr. Nicos Kefalas,  Mrs Xanthia Iacovides, Mrs Pantelitsa Shikki, Mrs Anastasia Constantinou and Mrs Chryso Papachristodoulou, to the law firm’s Summer Internship Programme during June, July and August 2018.

 

This in itself was a significant increase in the number of undergraduate students undertaking our summer internship programme in comparison to the summer 2017 intake.

 

 

During their internship, the six law students experienced the everyday life of a law firm in Cyprus. They were given the opportunity to attend court, to study a variety of cases in different areas of law, to draft documents, and to interact with clients.

 

This is what the summer interns had to say about their experience:

 

  1. Yomna A.N Zentani:

 

“My decision to undertake an internship at Andreas Coucounis & Co. LLC came soon after meeting Mr. Tasos Coucounis at the University of Central Lancashire (Cyprus) during a Pre-Moot in preparation for the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, where he sat as a member of the Arbitral Tribunal and I was a student member of the team representing the University. I strongly felt that I could gain invaluable knowledge by interning at his firm and I can confidently say that this was one of the best academic decisions I have ever made. 

 

A lot of responsibility was given at quite an early stage and indeed, the learning curve has been steep but one that has been incredibly rewarding. What I enjoyed the most at this firm was the fact that I was not treated as a student but rather a fellow legal mind who was expected to contribute as much as possible. My areas of interest are primarily Commercial Law and Arbitration however I was encouraged to explore other areas and I learnt a great deal along the way. My tasks included studying case files which dealt with various issues and writing a report on my findings, locating the relevant law, replying to a client email and/or drafting a document. For example, with Mr. Tasos’ guidance, I drafted my first Power of Attorney and Donation Agreement documents. It was interesting to see the drafting process unfold in addition to grasping the formality of the language used. I was also able to visit the Larnaca District Court for a few days where I got to see the law in action in addition to carrying out administrative tasks at the office such as photocopying, scanning, filing and organizing the filing cabinet.  My lack of knowledge on the Greek Language was a barrier at times but due to the supportive attitudes of the firm, it did not preclude the internship from being a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

 

I was also given the opportunity to assist Mrs. Dimitria Coucouni, Senior Partner, in similar tasks primarily in relation to Company Law which I particularly enjoyed. She taught me a lot about how to be concise in my writing, sharp and professional. Furthermore, I benefited greatly from all the advice I received regarding the legal profession, careers and general commercial awareness from Mr. Alexandros Coucounis, Partner. At the time of the internship, I was in the process of applying for Training Contracts and I am deeply humbled by the unwavering guidance I received from all the Partners and being able to have a second, third and fourth opinion on my applications! The open-door culture in the office allowed me to comfortably ask any questions that came to mind and the answers I received were always packed with useful knowledge. This culture extended to the rest of the staff who were readily available in times of need. I would like to especially thank Spyroulla, Lawyer and Kyriaki, Trainee Lawyer for their friendliness, support and for creating an enjoyable working atmosphere in addition to Charoulla, Koulla and Chariklia. I would also like to thank my fellow interns Nicolas, Pantelitsa and Xanthia whom I can confidently call my friends for creating wonderful moments together.

 

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Mr. Tasos, Mrs. Dimitria and Mr. Alexandros for welcoming me into their wonderful office. It has been an invaluable experience and I am grateful for being given the opportunity to witness the daily lives of those who uphold the legal profession.”

 

 

  1. Nikolas Kefalas:

 

“Dear Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC family,

 

As I am writing this testimonial, it means that the end of an amazing month of interning at your firm has come to an end. And it was an amazing month indeed. I'd be lying if I told you that I am not happy that I will return back to the summer holidays, but it will be an equal lie not to tell you about the feeling of sadness that is surrounding me as I leave the firm.

 

I was a 3rd year Law student that was confused about how the law works in practice or how firms operate, endless questions about the different areas of law and so on and so forth. But now, that confused law student belongs to the past. Those endless questions can now be controlled and on the right track. Knowing what to ask was and will always be an important thing for me. As Eugene Lonesco states it; “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”

 

You all contributed in changing the view of that confused student, making him ready to hunt and achieve his dreams and to one day be a successful lawyer and a great character.

 

I will never forget the first day at the firm where I sat in my office, clueless about everything but ready to explore and learn as much as possible. It was an extraordinary experience with a priceless reward, knowledge.

 

I am sure that Mr Andreas, a successful lawyer as he was, and from what I have heard from people that met and got to know him a great person, would have been proud of all of you.

 

I truly deeply thank you Mr Tasos, Mrs Dimitria, Mr Alexandros and Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC for this wonderful opportunity and for having me. In addition, I also reiterate my thanks to Mrs Charikleia, Mrs Koulla, Ms Charoula for always being by my side during the internship, but also the excellent legal team, Spyroulla and Kyriaki for helping me with answering any given question without any hesitation at all.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Xanthia Iacovides:

 

 

“I was fortunate enough to internat AndreasCoucounis & Co LLC which has been an amazing experience where I acquired new knowledge. To begin with, the direct contact with the Court helped me gain an understanding of how real cases operate! Furthermore, Mr. Tasos, Mrs. Dimitria and Mr. Alexandros gave me a rich insight of how a hardworking and successful lawyer is expected to think, act and react. It is important to note that AndreasCoucounis & Co LLC has also helped me improve myself not only on a professional level but also on a personal basis.

 

Lots of challenges along the way allowed me to develop and sharpen my communication skills by working with others, talking to customers, clients and to utilize my legal and formal vocabulary. Through these experiences I gained the confidence to think critically, efficiently and broaden my horizons. Moreover, through the support of the remarkable employees and the Coucounis Lawyers, I had the opportunity to enhance my legal knowledge in relation to business demands and client needs that will aid me in my future legal career.Lastly, the warm environment full support and guidance made this learning experience memorable.

 

Thank you for the privilege of being an intern at AndreasCoucounis & Co LLC and I deeply appreciate the valuable moments we shared throughout my time here. I am grateful for the support of Mr. Tasos, Mrs. Dimitria, Mr. Alexandros, Koulla, Charoulla and Chariklia. In addition, Kyriaki and Spyroula as perfect legal team have inspired me along the way and offered their insight and guidance when I needed it. I am also grateful for my fellow interns who I can call my friends for allowing me to feel like a part of a legal team. A special thank you to Mr. Tasos Coucounis who despite the very tight schedule, was by my side in constantly coaching and directing me. I feel blessed for being a part of the Coucounis office family! Thank you once again!

 

 

  1. Pantelitsa Shikki:

 

“I feel more than grateful to Coucounis Law firm family for giving me the opportunity to work as an intern at their firm.  I learned many valuable lessons from the simplest to the most important one. I learned that every detail matters and especially that the detail makes the difference. I also learned that when something must be done or a goal must be achieved you have to work for it either you like it or not. 

 

Through my internship at Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC I became wiser on my legal thinking and got well prepared for what I will comfort in the future as a trainee lawyer. I came across with legal matters regarding Family Law, Competition Law, Banking Law, Property Law and Rent Control matters. I was trusted to get in touch with the Land Registry Office, the Tax Office, the Post Office and a few banks. I observed how these public services work and met new people. The most exciting of all is that I drafted my first Power of Attorney and Divorce Application!

 

At this point, I would specially like to thank Mr Tasos Coucounis for being my mentor and my guide in this short but enlightening journey and for caring about me and all the other interns. Many thanks to Mrs Dimitria and Mr Alexandros Coucounis for giving me necessary advice and help with everything I needed them. I would also like to thank Mrs Koulla, Mrs Charoulla and Mrs Chariklia for answering me every single question I had and helping me whenever I was lost and did not know what to do, even though they had much work. If it was not for their help I would not have learned how a law firm works in practise. Thank you for being by my side and guiding me! Last but not least, I cannot forget Spyroula and Kiriaki for making this internship pleasant. Not only they helped me and taught me lessons but they also became my friends and I truly hope to work again with them soon!

 

I am more than satisfied with this internship and I would do it again and again!”

 

 

  1. Anastasia Constantinou:

 

“First, I would like to thank you Mr Tasos Coucounis, the senior lawyer of the law office, for giving me the opportunity to do an internship within your company. This report details a summer internship at Andreas Coucounis & Sia Depe. I worked in the law office for a month as an intern. Mr Coucounis provides his services as a lawyer in Family Law, Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Banking and Finance Law, Immigration and Citizenship, Litigation and Arbitration, EU and Competition Law etc.

In my recent internship during summer term, I listed out the number of things I needed to learn and struck down one by one as I learnt it through my internship period.

 

First of all, from 1st of August until 31st of August I worked in Mr. Taso’s office as an intern along 7 other workers. My responsibilities at Mr. Taso’s office were to solve some problem questions and problem tasks that Mr Alexandros, Mrs Dimitria and Mr Tasos gave us. However, not only I did internal work of the office but also I learned the external work. The one thing that I like most it is when we went to court. Moreover, I learned a lot of theoretical things such as what is ‘power of attorney’ or ‘pleadings’ of a document. I also studied different cases such as criminal law cases, traffic law, banking law, company law. I also learned how to do properly filing and legal research. Mrs Charikleia and Mrs Charoula taught us how to answer correctly legal emails that a law firm has to send to the clients.

 

I learned a lot about how to communicate with people in the community who are very different from me. At first, I was too quiet but I learned to be bolder and more confident so that I would be able to manage and to solve any task that lawyers gave me to do. However, I did some mistakes but I learned from them and to never make those mistakes in the nearest future again.

 

I am very thankful that I had the opportunity for this month to work in the specific office for my summer 2018. I met new people with very smart and intelligent character such as Charikleia, Charoula, Koula that helped me on how to be in the office and how to behave. I am also very happy that I had the chance to meet Spyroula because she taught us how to be in the court and all the work that concerned the court.  Finally, I am glad to meet Kyriaki the trainee lawyer which she taught us persistence and patience to succeed in our studies and our goals.

 

Thank you Mr. Tasos Coucounis for the unforgettable and extraordinary experience and when I will finish my Law degree I surely make an application in your office for Trainee Lawyer.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Chryso Papachristodoulou

 

 

«Το ενδιαφέρον μου να αποκτήσω μια σαφή εικόνα αφενός για τις δυσκολίες του επαγγέλματός του νομικού και αφετέρου για τις ομορφιές και τη γοητεία της νομικής επιστήμης, με οδήγησε στο γραφείο Ανδρέας Κουκούνης και Σία Δ.Ε.Π.Ε. Νιώθω λοιπόν ευγνώμων για τη δυνατότητα που μου προσφέρατε να συμμετάσχω στο πρόγραμμα απόκτησης επαγγελματικής εμπειρίας κοντά σας.


    Το πτυχίο της νομικής είναι απλά ένα πολύ χρήσιμο σκαλοπάτι για να δει κάνεις τι θα κάνει έπειτα στη ζωή του αφού η αχανής νομική επιστήμη είναι ίσως η μοναδική από τις κλασικές επιστήμες που παρέχει ένα ευρύ πεδίο επαγγελματικών ευκαιριών. Μου δόθηκε λοιπόν η ευκαιρία στο γραφείο αυτό να έρθω σε επαφή με όλους τους κλάδους δικαίου. Άλλωστε εξαιρετικό κίνητρο υποβολής αίτησης στο συγκεκριμένο γραφείο είναι το γεγονός ότι εστιάζει σε ένα πλήρες φάσμα νομικών υπηρεσιών. Έτσι μέσα από την εμπειρία μου ως inter απόκτησα τη νομική ωριμότητα, να πειραματιστώ και να  αποφασίσω για αυτό που με αντιπροσωπεύει.


     Συγκεκριμένα τα καθήκοντά μου περιλάμβαναν τη μελέτη διάφορων φακέλων που αφορούσαν όλους τους κλάδους δικαίου, τη σύνταξη έκθεσης σχετικά με τα ευρήματά μου καθώς και τον εντοπισμό του σχετικού κάθε φορά νόμου. Το πιο συναρπαστικό όμως απ’ όλα ήταν ότι συνέταξα το πρώτο μου ένταλμα κατάσχεσης κινητής περιουσίας καθώς και τη πρώτη μου ένσταση σε αίτηση έφεσης για ακύρωση της διαδικασίας εκποίησης υποθήκης, δια του πλειστηριασμού. Συνάμα έκανα κατάλογο εξόδων, έκανα για πρώτη φορά πληρεξούσιο,  και επικοινώνησα με πελάτες μέσω email. Πέραν τούτων, είχα την ευκαιρία να έρθω σε επαφή με Τράπεζες, με το Κτηματολόγιο, τη Φορολογική Υπηρεσία και το Ταχυδρομείο και έμαθα έτσι πώς λειτουργούν αυτές οι δημόσιες υπηρεσίες. Σημαντικό είναι επίσης ότι μέσα απο όλα αυτά είχα την ευκαιρία να συναναστραφώ με νέους ανθρώπους και να κάνω νέες γνωριμίες.


     Όλα αυτά όμως δεν θα τα έκανα χωρίς τη καθοδήγηση του κ. Τάσου, κ. Αλέξανδρου και της κ. Δημήτριας. Ήταν οι μέντορες μου σε αυτό το ευχάριστο ταξίδι γεμάτο γνώσεις. Το πιο σημαντικό είναι ότι αντιμετωπίζουν εμάς τους inter σαν μόνιμους εργαζόμενους ώστε να πάρουμε μια γεύση για την μελλοντική απαιτητική μας καριέρα. Πρόκειται για ένα ιδανικό εργασιακό περιβάλλον, στοιχείο του οποίου είναι η συναδελφικότητα, οι ουσιαστικές σχέσεις και τα κίνητρα για βελτίωση της παραγωγικότητας. Ένα περιβάλλον όπου αισθανόμαστε ότι εκτιμούν εμάς και τις ικανότητές μας, μας υποστηρίζουν και μας προτρέπουν να επιτύχουμε παραπάνω πράγματα ενώ το λιθαράκι είναι η ευχάριστη ατμόσφαιρα αφού όλοι οι εργαζόμενοι λειτουργούν συντονισμένα και με αίσθημα σεβασμού ο ένας για τον άλλον. Στο ευχάριστο εργασιακό περιβάλλον συνέβαλαν και η Σπυρούλα και η Κυριακή, οι οποίες ήταν συνοδοιπόροι μου στο ταξίδι αυτό καθώς αφού έγιναν φίλες μου από τη πρώτη στιγμή, με δίδαξαν διορθώνοντάς με κάθε φορά που έκριναν σωστό. Δεν θα μπορούσα όμως να παραλείψω την κ. Κούλλα, Χαρούλα και κ. Χαρίκλεια για το χρόνο που αφιέρωσαν να μου λύσουν τις απορίες μου ενώ ο φόρτος εργασίας τους ήταν μεγάλος. Μέσα από όλους αυτούς αποκτούσα όλο και περισσότερη αέναη διάθεση για συνεχή έρευνα και απόκτηση νέων γνώσεων.


    Θέλω λοιπόν να σας ευχαριστήσω όλους για το χρόνο που διαθέσατε να μάθω από εσάς καθώς και για την ευκαιρία που μου προσφέρατε. Η πολυδιάστατη ‘προσωπικότητα’ που καθρεφτίζετε μέσα από την εταιρία σας σε συνδυασμό με το υπόβαθρο γνώσεων, καθώς και την επιτυχή πορεία σας μέσα σε ένα ιδιαίτερα ανταγωνιστικό νομικό οικοσύστημα, καθίστανται ελκυστικά στοιχεία για κάθε νέο δικηγόρο που ενδιαφέρετε να χτίσει θεμέλια για νομική καριέρα. Είμαι πλέον σίγουρη ότι το προφίλ της εταιρείας σας, μπορεί να εγγυηθεί την επιτυχία και να εξασφαλίσει στο νέο δικηγόρο προοπτικές εξέλιξης στο σύγχρονο, απαιτητικό δικηγορικό περιβάλλον.


    Νιώθω ευγνώμων που είχα την τιμή να συνεργαστώ με καταξιωμένους δικηγόρους σαν εσάς.»

 

 

 

 

Andreas Coucounis & Co LLC is a renowned law firm in Cyprus, and through its Summer Internship Programme, it strives to offer young law students the opportunity to understand how law works in practice, providing them with the experience needed to continue on their path towards a successful law career.

 

 

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