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"Lawyers don't have a nine-to-five job"

Matura at the Theresianum, military service with the guard, study of law. These are the stations of Jakob Molzbichler. At 27 years old, the Viennese is one of the youngest lawyers in Austria. In the career telegram, he explains his further plans and what tools you need as a lawyer. Can you briefly describe your career?

Molzbichler: After my rather brisk course of study, there was the classic court year, trainee period and 2010 the bar exam. Somehow something was still missing according to the motto "but that couldn't have happened yet". Then I fulfilled a long-cherished dream: a year in New York City. At the "Columbia University Law School" I then completed an LL.M. (Master of Laws) and to top it all off, I passed the New York Bar Exam last year. We will hopefully be enrolled as a New York attorney later this year. Have you always wanted to become a lawyer or did you have other professional goals?

Molzbichler: Apart from infantile wishes such as a fireman and a train driver, it was very soon clear to me where the journey was going. Fortunately, I have been spared any doubts so far. Did you have to put up with a lot of hardship to get into this position at the age of 27?

Molzbichler: It's a question of perspective. I don't feel that way. It is clear that achieving ambitious goals always requires a lot of work and discipline. In any case, I haven't missed anything in my life. What is so fascinating about your job?

Molzbichler: Variety, internationality, responsibility, challenge, fast pace, personalities, etc. In which area do you want to specialize?

Molzbichler: My specialization was in the areas of corporate law and restructuring. I do this primarily. I have to emphasize, however, that I have always paid great attention to a wide range of activities and will continue to do so. It also shows time and again that clients appreciate the certainty of being able to be looked after relatively comprehensively by one person. Of course, the law firm also has more specialized colleagues for very specific questions. Nobody knows everything. What is your daily routine in the law firm?

Molzbichler: There is no daily routine per se. The only sure thing is actually an espresso and a look at the daily newspapers in the morning. After that, the client is the focus. How did you get your current job?

Molzbichler: During my time in New York I was approached by "Fiebinger Polak Leon Rechtsanwälte". How many hours do you work on average per week?

Molzbichler: Inevitable question for lawyers, right? Different depending on the mandate, but not more than usual in the industry on a weekly or annual average. It is clear that lawyers do not have a nine-to-five job. How much is "customary in the industry"?

Molzbichler: More than 40 hours on average. However, the amount of work fluctuates too much to be able to give exact hours here. As long as the job is fun, I think that is of secondary importance. Are you available for work-related matters in your free time or on vacation?

Molzbichler: Not for everyone and for everything. Unfortunately, sometimes it cannot be avoided and can happen. Which client would you like to have? Karl-Heinz Grasser?

Molzbichler: Desired mandates thematically go beyond standard requirements. In many cases, this has to do with media interest, but at least it is not relevant to me and certainly not decisive. Would you reject clients? Is it out of conviction or ideological barriers?

Molzbichler: Yes, just as there are limits to decency and morality for everything. Where and for which offenses do you draw this line? And can you simply draw such boundaries as a lawyer in a law firm?

Molzbichler: This is basically independent of the offense and I decide on a case-by-case basis whether a certain limit is exceeded or not. However, drawing a line is rarely easy. Sometimes, however, it has to be. Do you have role models in the industry that you can use as a guide?

Molzbichler: Everyone has to go their own way. Everyone acts differently, has different approaches to clients, problems, etc. But there are some in the industry who have apparently got a lot right. Who for example?

Molzbichler: Economically the usual known suspects. Is abroad an issue for you?

Molzbichler: A daily. Due to the very international focus of the firm, looking after clients abroad is an essential part of our daily work. Of course, my international experience is also very beneficial here. What are the general career prospects for lawyers in Austria?

Molzbichler: Good lawyers will always succeed; regardless of whether this is in law firms, companies or other institutions. It is also clear that you have to be in the right place at the right time. What skills, what qualities do you need to be successful as a lawyer?

Molzbichler: There is no general recipe for success. The interest in the subject should of course be present. You should also be able to deal with people as much as possible. A degree of stubbornness that is barely pathological should not be missing. Have you ever come into conflict with the law?

Molzbichler: I am a lawyer. (laughs) Does that mean "no"?

Molzbichler: Yes! I did not come into conflict with the law, maybe parked incorrectly once Which lawyer series do you prefer to watch on TV?

Molzbichler: None (Oliver Mark,, July 30, 2012)


From the Bar Examination Act: The bar exam can be taken after completing a degree in Austrian law and a practical experience of three years, of which at least five months at a court or a public prosecutor and at least two years with a lawyer.