Internship Experience @ Agama Law Associates (ALA), Mumbai: Suitable, encouraging and energetic environment

Name. Year. College

Aditi Singh. 4th year, Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Name of the organisation. City. Office Address. How was the office? Team strength.

Agama Law Associates, The address: #337, 3rd Floor, Solaris-I, F wing, Saki Vihar Road, Powai, Mumbai – 400 076, Ph: +9122 40229129

Commuting was fairly easy; the office was less than five minutes walk from Om Shanti Complex. The office was not located in a posh area.

The office was quite small confined to 2 rooms only. The space was enough to accommodate Associates, Partner, interns, kitchen and library (stock of necessary books).

Being a new law firm, it has only 3 Associates, 1 partner and a HR.

Duration of internship

2nd Nov- 28th Nov, 2015

Application procedure? Internship Contact Details

I applied by dropping an email at i[email protected]

In this email, I wrote “Internship Application: 2nd November to 28 November 2015” in the subject-area.

In the cover letter I gave details regarding no. of paper publications, PPI, previous internship experiences and objective for applying in the law firm. And concluded the Cover letter by promising to contribute to their research and practice to the best of my skills and capabilities.

Finally, I attached my CV for their reference. Always try to limit your CV to maximum two pages because a law firm does not have time to go through a detailed CV.

After applying for internship, I took a follow up after few days. I have got an acceptance mail within two weeks.

Always remember your job is not completed after applying for internship.

One should always take follow up by calling up the HR person who deals with the internship application.

I came to know about Agama Law Associates through my friend. The reason I applied to ALA was that there was surety regarding amount of work given to the interns. Being a new firm, it provides a good platform to students to learn a lot as there is no dearth of work.

Duration in weeks. Days of work per week. Timings.

The internship was four-weeks long; 5 days a week, starting from Monday to Friday. I have to report officially at 10.00, and can leave by 6:30.

But generally I left the office around 8:00 p.m though no one compelled me to stay at office late. I was at liberty to finish off my work at home also.

They also maintained an attendance register which I need to sign after coming and before leaving the office mentioning the time. I was given break on Saturday and Sunday but sometimes I had to utilize these days to finish off my pending work.

First impression, first day, formalities

I remember being nervous on my first day. I was made to sit and wait for HR to come and introduce me to others. Her name is Meghna Manjunatha. She was a sweet young lady. Within half an hour she told me everything which I was supposed to know about the office, the working pattern and people working there.

She showed me the desk where I was supposed to work and drawer which contained all the required stationery and a notebook. I was given a separate desk with a computer to work upon and an extension to make a call.

Soon I was introduced to the partner, Mrs. Archana Balasubramanian.  She had a small introductory talk with me just to make me more comfortable. After sometime she assigned me the first work of the day.

Main tasks

Don’t be under the impression that being a new law firm you can escape discipline and responsibilities. But at the same time there was flexibility regarding submission of my task. So there was balance maintained in the working environment by the partner and the associates.

The main work was research work related to Company laws, CPC, Stamps Act, Limitation Act, FDA policies, etc.

On the very first day I was assigned some research work by Archana Mam. She has her own style of assigning work. She won’t tell you everything instead she will give you some hint and rest is upon you how much you can search on the topic. Her task was mostly based on small topics which were difficult to research upon.

So once you bring material on such tiny issue it makes you feel proud and also helps you gain confidence of the partner and associates. She will not appreciate you directly but the fact that she gives the research work on the daily basis showed that she likes your work.

For every research work I need to submit a note containing my research in an organized way. Also she was very particular about the formatting and editing method used for submissions.

When I submitted my first note she asked me to change the entire formatting style and to stick to the guidelines as guided by the associates. It took me 4 hours to learn those guidelines.

The best part was that every associate has helped me out to learn to implement the guidelines and to send a flawless document to her.

After submission of every note, she used to give me small feedback. After completion of one research work I was assigned other work. Mostly all of my work was given by Archana Mam and sometimes from the associates (if they are instructed to do so by Archana Mam).

Whenever I was given some work, I was asked if I was free and not doing some other work.

They don’t treat me as machine on which they can put as much as burden they want. I was at liberty to take help and ask doubts regarding the assigned work from Archana Mam or the associates.

Apart from research work I did proof readings of the draft copy of the contract, the debenture subscription agreement, master framework agreement and the service provider agreement, filled up the FCTRS form after going through the share purchase agreement and made a table of dates and events and typed the Written Resolutions.

I also had to maintain a worksheet which was supposed to be filled on daily basis. It contained my daily work and duration at the office. It helped HR to keep a record of my work and to issue certificate at the end.

Work environment, people

This law firm had such a suitable, encouraging and energetic environment to work in. You need to maintain discipline and decorum in the office but yet there was flexibility when it came to my submission.

I was allowed to commit mistakes and take time for submission but at the same time I was expected to complete the task properly. Archana Mam only looks at the amount of hard work you have poured in the task.

You can take time in completing your work but once you submit it should be able to meet her expectations.

Everyone at the office was nice, cooperative and friendly. I was at the liberty to approach any of the Associates for their help. There were many times when I was unable to understand any provisions or some editing problem with the document. So they always helped me out.

The best things AND the bad things

The best thing was that I got an opportunity to work under the partner of the firm. One can learn a lot from Archana Mam if one knows how to observe and study a person. She knows how to handle client, how to cover up any mistakes, to make you understand something without losing temper, etc.

Also the internship has made me very confident especially with respect to research work. It has taught me that one should be careful with formatting and editing style while sending a document to a client.

It showed me how a corporate office works. It taught me to work confidently, diligently and to put every effort no matter how small a topic is.

The office was small with very less no. people working. But what I observed was that every person was good at his field and very dedicated to their work. The work environment was very nice, comforting and encouraging. Also I could have unlimited tea and coffee whenever I wanted.

They generally take one- two interns at a time so the office is never crowded so it cut off the competition. There are chances of learning more as most of the work will be directed to you.

All the people there are cooperative and friendly. Also before Diwali Vaccations, Archana Mam took all of us to lunch at Mirch and Mime where we all enjoyed delicious Indian food.

On the last day of the internship, Archana Mam will give review about your internship performance, where she might ask you to come for second internship. This is the time when she explicitly appreciates you for the efforts and hard work you have done.

I could not find anything bad with this firm. Although for some people “no stipend” clause could be a bad thing but for me it was not because I went there with the purpose to learn only.

Stipend/month

No Stipend.

Accommodation etc. What did you to do chill in and around the office and the place of stay?

I stayed at a pg in Om Shanti Complex which was just at 5 minutes walking distance from the office. This helped me to escape wasting time and money on autos or metros.

You have all the necessary shops around that complex. There were also some bars and good restaurants nearby the area to chill out.

This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.

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