Internship Experience @ Chambers of Advocate Aditya Wadhwa, New Delhi: Meaningful Work, Amazing Coffee and Chai

Name

Anonymous

Duration of Internship

Jan 6, 2016 – Jan 30, 2016

Name of Organisation

Chambers of Adv. Aditya Wadhwa

Location

DD-13, Kalkaji, New Delhi.

The place is well connected by Delhi Metro with the nearest station, Govindpuri metro station (violet line) being a 5 minute walk away.

There are several PGs available nearby, and since work gets over quite late it is advisable to take up a PG in the nearby area (CR Park, Kalkaji, Alaknanda) so one can cut down on travel time.

Also, it is near to places like GK and Saket so even though it would be difficult to hang out there on weekdays, Sundays can be put to some good use.

Application Process

I e-mailed my CV along with a cover letter, mentioning the duration of my internship and interest in Criminal Law to Aditya Wadhwa at [email protected] and got a response within a span of a few hours.

Two of my friends also applied in the same way and got a response almost instantly.

Area of work

I applied to Mr. Wadhwa because I was interested in a criminal law internship and his field of work being the same, it seemed like a good option. However, he shares his office with two of his brothers and interns can be given work from their fields, viz. IPR and Civil law also.

The work is primarily research and drafting oriented, occasional court and Police Station visits ensue. The interns were mostly made to research on DLSA assigned cases.

So we worked on a plethora of issues such as perjury, domestic violence, the NDPS Act, Negotiable Instruments Act etc. Sometimes, we met the clients when they came to office but this was restricted to only DLSA clients.

The work given ranged from looking up cases on specific issues falling under these acts, looking up the ingredients of certain offences and subsequently drafting complaints/replies/writs. Some of the interns were taken to case briefings with senior counsels, which was also a great experience.

I found drafting to be the more fun part because you actually get to work on the legal documents you must have only read about so far.

Visiting courts made me privy to the reality of the system and the ostensible lack of infrastructure. One of the co interns visited a Jal Board Tribunal and informed us that there were exactly two people as ‘staff’.

Apart from this sometimes clerical work like making a list of dates, numbering pages and translation was also allotted.

Even though making a list of dates did not sound particularly enjoyable, it was a breakthrough in terms of gaining practical knowledge, for instance I learnt how actual case files work, FIRs and charge sheets look!

Criminal Law II completed a full circle only when I actually saw these documents rather than mindlessly reading about them in class.

What really took a toll on my mind though was translating documents written in illegible Hindi.

I could empathise with all my teachers in school who kept telling us not to contribute to their diminishing vision, which is why I used a magnifying glass (no kidding) to read those tiny alphabets scattered on torn papers. It was mind boggling.

Work is usually allotted by the associates but sometimes when Aditya Sir is in the office, he gives research problems on his own.

It is given on a day to day basis which is great because you get to work on new issues almost every day. So you’re never out of work and even though sometimes the work is boring, it’s not monotonous.

But a drawback is that you’re not always given feedback on what you do so you don’t know whether what you did was right or not, this especially happened when Aditya Sir gave us work and asked us to send him a note.

We would anxiously wait for his reply, which for a lot of times never came but he did follow up on our research at times when he did not leave the office to meet clients/go to Court.

The work is usually given in teams of two or three which is great because that is the only time, apart from lunch, where you get to interact with your co-interns. Also, an added benefit to this is that if you mess up, you are not the only one being chided.

The best part though is that you are free to work as you desire and ask as many doubts as you may have. The people around you will help you in case you are stuck and if not anything, India Kanoon always has your back.

And if you are lucky enough to have remote access, your life will be much easier because at times it became difficult to access Manupatra/SCC when other people were already logged in.

Timings

Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 7-8 pm., can easily extend to 9-10 pm, depending on what work you have been given on that particular day and its urgency, and if you have made a bold endeavour to ask for more work post 7.

Stipend

None.

Team Strength

Aditya Sir has two associates working under him. They are very friendly and polite and can be approached at any time. There were 5 interns working under him. However, the total number of interns was around 10-11.

The first week there was a bit of a problem managing the available space because the office wasn’t ready for an army of 11 interns and each day as a new nervous face arrived, the others looked at him/her with disappointment knowing that they would have to sacrifice the few extra inches they saved up as leg space.

But thankfully, by the second week the importance of respiration was realised, and we were given plenty more space.

The Workplace

The office is in the basement of a house but is an extremely sophisticated work space. The interns are given a separate table alongside a mini library in a corner of the office. The atmosphere is chill and you can take a stroll outside whenever you wish to.

Food

I preferred to take food from home but a number of food joints are located in a 0.5 km radius around the place. For lunch, these can be walked to easily. A particularly economical and clean place called “Dawat” is a 10 minute walk from the office.

Other than the dhabas and thelas that serve anything from Rajma Rice to Kulchas, the regular fast food joints (McD, Subway etc) are also nearby so food is not a problem.

If you’re especially burdened with work and are diligent enough to miss going out during lunch, you can always order in and there is a pantry in the office from where the cutlery can be obtained.

A peculiar ‘fried’ burger (Gupta Ji ka Paneer Burger) is available at a stall about 50 metres from office in the evenings. Even though I did not risk my stomach to the seemingly heavenly burger, my co interns tried it and loved it.

Best things

The associates are friendly and the general atmosphere of the place is not intimidating so one can work freely and actually learn new things each day.

The interns are not treated as lesser beings (like I have been told they are by a number of people) and are a given a lot of meaningful work.

The mini library is very helpful in research and a lot of good books on almost every subject are available.

Tea and coffee are available throughout the day, thanks to Inder Ji who is very sweet and takes care of the interns in the most adorable way.

On the first day he told us that he would not ask us whether we needed anything and we would have to tell him on our own. But even then, he asks everyone what they want every couple of hours and makes even customised beverages (green tea with lemon and honey was one odd example).

The coffee and chai are amazing and sometimes chips and biscuits are also served.

Bad things

Amongst a range of interesting work that was given, sometimes pointless work like numbering documents and then scratching out the old numbers was also to be done.

Also, there was little to no interaction with Aditya Sir. And whenever he gave us work, we ended up being clueless because he did not brief us  exhaustively and this was a major let down because we did not enjoy doing work given by him at times when we did not have enough information about what exactly he wanted us to look up.

Overall Rating

8/10

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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