”Being pragmatic without losing sight of the law.”
Dr. Frank Walk co-founded the specialized law firm EMPLAWYERS after many years of working in large, international law firms. He has numerous years of experience in giving employment law advice to companies of the computer industry, the healthcare sector, as well as banks and insurances. You can read more about Dr. Frank Walk in the following interview:
Why did you decide to study law?
Because someone once told me: “With a legal foundation, in the end, you can do anything.” Of course this is not really true, however, what I actually wanted to do was to be a lawyer, so I ended up choosing the right field of study.
Why did you choose to be a lawyer?
I enjoy solving problems. As a lawyer, you are always trying to solve problems. Fortunately, they are always other people’s problems, which makes it a bit more pleasant. Besides, there are probably only few professions that are as varied as being a lawyer. Other legal professions, especially in the civil service, like a judge, a prosecutor, or an administrative lawyer would not be entrepreneurial enough for me.
What are a lawyer’s biggest challenges in employment law?
To be pragmatic, without losing sight of the law. This probably applies to every type of lawyer, however, I think it is especially true for a lawyer who is specialised in employment law because this field is all about long-term relationships. Those who only focus on the legal aspect can easily cause damage. On the other hand, somebody who looks for solutions without considering the legalities can easily get into difficulties. Finding a balance is the challenge.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
Communication. Between the client and the lawyer, between the parties, between the lawyers, and between the lawyer and the judge. Communication is everything!
Employment law is …
… biased. In favour of the employee. This is simply the nature of the matter. The legislature assumes a superiority of the employer and tries to create a balance. By the way, the practice of employment law is characterised by negotiations. I think that’s more exciting than merely solving the legal issues because it has to do with creativity and, again, communication.
What employment law topics are the most important for you in the future?
I think that digitalization will considerably change working life and, as a result, employment law too. We will have to get away from the idea of a“standard employment relationship” (i.e. being 9-to-5 on the job and having a career for life). This change will create new challenges for all parties involved in working life, as well as employment law.
Who are your heroes?
When is it okay to lie?
When writing job evaluations, sometimes, you’re allowed and sometimes you have to lie.
With whom would you like to drink a beer with?
Denny Crane from the TV-series “Boston Legal” (alias William Shatner). However, it would probably rather be whiskey than a beer.
What are your favorite subjects to talk about?
Women, of course. And maybe about American employment law.
Pizza or pasta?
Pasta. Preferably spaghetti carbonara – but without cream or anything like that.