Graduated in 1991
Specialization: Dutch law, civil law and criminal law
Final-year supervisor: Prof. Krabbe
Do you stay in touch with former classmates? Yes
Two degree programmes
After completing my degree in Dutch Language and Literature, I started evening classes in law in 1986 because I wasn’t yet ready to leave the UG learning environment. During the first course unit, General Law Studies, I discovered how exciting the organization of our legal system is. By then, I was working as a Dutch teacher. I had a virtually full-time job and it was difficult to fit in my law studies as well. I graduated in the autumn of 1991. I had intended to train as a judicial officer but in December 1991, I had several interviews with lawyers at Trip Advocaten & Notarissen B.V., which at that time was called Trip en De Goede, and I had an opportunity to shadow several lawyers at the practice over several days. It soon became clear that the profession of a lawyer was one that suited me. Added to that, I really liked the working environment that Trip offered. I therefore began working there in March 1992 and I never left. During the placement period, I worked in general practice, but I soon started to specialize in labour law and public service law. I became a partner on 1 January 2002. I find this entrepreneurial aspect very enriching.
‘Many labour law files read like novels’
One of the nicest aspects of my job is that I can solve problems for my clients, at whatever level they operate. I enjoy introducing structure and devising strategies – and negotiating is also something that suits me. Although there’s tension in almost every court session, I enjoy being a solicitor. What’s more, many labour law files read like novels. Keeping up with your area of expertise is a big challenge. For example, coming to terms with the Work and Security Act. This Act has made employment law more complex and interesting. I’m energized by all these challenges. Whereas previously there may have been a termination procedure without the possibility of appeal, in which fairness played a particularly big role, now you have to work with a closed dismissal system and bear in mind the risk of an appeal.
A student of Law and the Arts
I can look back at degree programmes in two faculties, with clear differences between them. In my law studies, it was primarily a question of reproducing knowledge. In my studies in Dutch, the emphasis was more on thinking for yourself and doing research. I really enjoyed my time studying law. I retain fond memories of the lectures given by Professors Brunner, Van Veen, Brouwer and others. Some alumni from the Faculty of Law who I speak to have also become lawyers and I continue to have contact with them on a professional basis.
‘Look around during your studies’
My advice to current and prospective students is to take a good look around during your studies. Look back on my career, I was advised to look a little further – and I ended up in the legal profession, despite intending to train as a judicial officer. Once I started working for Trip, I soon realized that the legal profession suited me better than the judiciary. Although working for Trip was ‘meant to be’, at that point in my career I should have planned things better. Today’s students tend to be better at this. They do placements with several practices. The Master’s students in Law also look at the judiciary and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. That’s a good thing. During your studies, look around at different law firms and the judiciary to discover what suits you best.
|Last modified:||16 July 2019 3.28 p.m.|