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Q & A with: Christian Fuehner (LLM ’10)

Christian Fuehner

Christian (second from left) discusses work with another intern.

Just days after graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law’s LL.M. Program on May 17, 2010, Christian Fuehner from Germany left Winston-Salem to start working as a summer intern in Washington D.C.  We wanted to catch up with Christian about his internship and plans after the summer.

1. What are you doing over the summer?

I’m interning in the Press and Public Diplomacy of the European Union Delegation to the US in DC.

2. How did you find this internship?

I had applied for this internship half a year ago at the EU website.  While I was searching for other internships the EU called me about this opportunity.

2. What are your work hours?

I usually work from 9 to 5. Weekends are off and the work hours are flexible in general.

3. What kind of work do you do in a given day?

I’m responsible for summarizing and evaluating the press coverage of the EU in the American newspapers. I usually identify the main stories any given day and give my take on how the American media landscape is covering us. In addition, I attend events on legal topics of interest to the EU and write reports about them. Most events are organized by think-tanks and we are trying to keep track of the state of the discussion on topics like death sentence, gun control, financial reform, etc.

4. What’s the most interesting part of your internship?

It is fascinating to attend events with EU Commissioners and American lawmakers as well as members of the Obama administration. I particularly enjoy covering these conferences and reporting back to our diplomats.

5. Do you work with other interns?  If so, are they Americans or internationals?

The EU Delegation employs 16 interns, mostly Europeans. I share my office with 3 other interns and we work together fairly closely. Aside from work, we have travelled together and go out in DC. In fact, the other interns are part of what makes this internship special.

6. Do you think your LL.M. degree has helped you perform better in your internship?

My LL.M has greatly enhanced my understanding of the American legal system. This has been very important for covering constitutional topics in my work here. Furthermore, the year at Wake has certainly helped my English which is essential to work at the EU where people from more than 27 nations are employed.

7. How does D.C. / NY differ from Winston-Salem?

They couldn’t be more different. DC is obviously a big city while Winston-Salem is not. I have enjoyed both cities for very different reasons.

8. What do you miss most about W-S?

Wake Forest and all the friends I’ve made last year! I also have to mention good southern food, the cheap cost of living, and my favorite coffee-shop “Cafe Roche”.

9. What’s next after your internship ends?

I will fly back to Germany at the end of September and start my “Referendariat”. In November, I will have a series of clerkships in Berlin: 5 months with a judge; 9 months with the law firm “Hengeler Mueller”; and 4 months at the German parliament.