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Cornelius Zimmermann, Germany / January-March 2006

Cornelius Zimmermann

Freiburg, Germany

Education: University of Freiburg, Germany (1st State Exam 2004), 2nd State Exam 2006, focus on European and International Private Law.

Languages: German, English, French, Latin, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic


My name is Cornelius Zimmermann, after having studied law in Freiburg, Germany, I passed my Second State Exam in April 2006, also in Freiburg. My aim is to be a lawyer, and I would be happy if I could in the future keep a professional link to Israel, i.e. work in the field of German-Israeli business relations.

I worked at Heskia-Hacmun Law Firm from January to March 2006 as an intern, my internship being part of the second phase of the German legal education, whereas I was employed and paid by my home state (so-called „Referendar“). I chose Israel for the last part of this 2-year-phase to learn more about Israeli law, to observe and to know Israeli legal life, but also to take the chance before entering a job in a law firm, to in fact live in this exciting country for a while and not only being there as a tourist. In retrospect I can say that my time at Heskia – Hacmun has been a full success professionally and personally:

Speacial Atmosphere at Heskia – Hacmun

At Heskia – Hacmun Law Firm, the Referendar meets an amicable, cooperative and ambitious atmosphere. The aim of this young team of lawyers is to actually work together as a team and as such to be successful on the grounds of a common philosophy. Thus, every week a meeting takes place, where – along with tasty Israeli snacks – the team is being informed about current legal cases, developments, dates and problems to ensure that every team member is in touch with the work of the others attorney colleagues. This meeting always begins with a short lecture on one of the law firm’s philosophy principles.

For me as an intern this team atmosphere meant that from the first day on I could have the feeling of taking part and being able to contribute. The people at HH always emphasized the importance of not hiding behind closed doors with one’s work, but to seek contact with the attorney colleagues, to attend court sessions and to be in touch with what’s going on. But this also meant that good relations don’t end behind the law firm’s door but continue maybe with a beer after work with the other lawyer. Finally, this atmosphere brings forward the high ambitions of the law firm, that is to be a creative, efficient player in the field of legal business management.

Because my Hebrew wasn’t sufficient to actually work on Israeli cases, my task was to work on cases with an international reference. Besides legal translations (German-English, English-German), internet-research and correspondence with German law partners, among my main tasks were working on an Israeli-Swiss penalty law case and helping with establishing a real estate investment enterprise.

Getting to know Israel (not Just from work)

Besides the actual legal work, however, Heskia – Hacmun also sets a high value on the foreign interns learning about Israel and its people. Therefore I had the opportunity to go on trips through the country and also twice a week take part in an Ulpan, i.e. the legendary intensive Hebrew course for new immigrants. But learning about Israel and its people at Heskia – Hacmun also can mean spending Thursday night at Ha’Oman 17“, Tel Aviv’s No. 1 club, which is a client of Heskia – Hacmun. Be an intern at HH and just send an SMS to claim your place on the guest list…

Being in Israel naturally always raises the question of security. But Heskia – Hacmun don’t leave you alone with this: One of my first duties at the law firm was leaving my cell phone number to ensure that somebody could always catch up with me in case anything happens.

Heskia – Hacmun Law Firm does active networking with it’s former staff members and emphasizes not to lose contact with them once they leave the firm, so that they won’t vanish beyond the country’s borders. Thus, I hope that working with in the law office didn’t end then and that I will be able to work together with Heskia – Hacmun Law Firm in the future.