Internship @ Bangalore Mediation Center
Name, College, Year of Study: Meenakshi Kurpad, NUJS, 2nd Year
Where did you intern? Which city? Bangalore Mediation Centre, Bangalore.
How big was the office? How many lawyers worked there? The Bangalore Mediation Centre is one of the two largest Mediation Centres in the country, (the other one being in Delhi) and is constituted under the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore.
How did you apply for the internship?
I applied via e-mail. They take a week or two to reply. I sent them my application, CV as well as a recommendation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Duration of the internship in weeks? Number of days/ week? Office timings? The total duration of the internship was 4 weeks. I worked for 6 days a week. The timings were from 10.30 to 3. 30. (sometimes 4).
Accommodation: I live in Bangalore, so I didn’t have problems with regard to accommodation. But, I’m sure there are loads of PG’s in areas connecting to Siddiah Road(where the Mediation Centre is located).
First impression about the internship? On the first day, I met with the Director, who introduced me to the staff and later the Deputy Director, who was in charge of my internship. I got to work right away- no waiting for hours on an end for someone to notice there was an intern at the workplace.
What were the main tasks given to you?
As an intern, I got to watch the mediation proceedings and participate in them, though not directly with the clients. After each session, the mediator would sit down with me and go through the file.
I had to submit a daily report to the Deputy Director, which had to contain interviews with mediators, lawyers and clients. Additionally, I had to submit a research paper on mediation.
How were the work environment and the people? The people at BMC are extremely sweet and kind. They’re very welcoming to new interns. Additionally, they are extremely professional about their timings and work culture. The Mediators were very enthusiastic about interns and told us as much about mediation as they could. They also encouraged us to ask a lot of questions.
What are the best things you liked about the internship? Out of the three internships I’ve done, this is the best one I’ve had so far. The work culture is excellent and you get to learn the nuances about mediation. Moreover, people are extremely friendly and open to teaching interns.
And the worst? Sometimes, lawyers can be really rude to you and that curtails your daily reports as it is mandatory to interview a lawyer. I had a bad experience with this one lawyer who described me as “a national law student using the common lawyer’s knowledge to write papers and make money off it.” That was the worst.
Otherwise, most people are nice. Talking to some clients can be a challenge as well, especially those involved in a matrimonial dispute. This is understandable, however, as it is a personal issue. I didn’t press to talk to clients who weren’t comfortable talking to me.
What all did you do to chill? Siddiah Road isn’t a great place to hangout, but Brigade Road is just a bus ride away, so on some evenings I just took the bus to brigade road to meet friends. My co-interns were fun.
Any other thing which you would like to tell the readers? If you really want to do an ADR based internship- this a great place to start! You learn a lot about mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.
What were the biggest lessons? I learnt a lot about talking to people. I think this is the most important thing I learnt from the internship. I also learnt the various things a lawyer has to keep in mind while dealing with clients.
Oh, and a LOT of patience while listening to the mediators!