Internship Experience @ Chambers of ASG Pinky Anand, New Delhi: Work after court hours

Name of Intern

Anonymous

Name of Organization, Location, Infrastructure

Chambers of ASG Pinky Anand. The office is located in South Delhi, exact address is A-126, Neeti Bagh. That’s actually Ms. Anand’s residence but the office operates on the 2nd floor. The closest Metro Station is Green Park.

The office has a simple reception and a waiting room next to the washroom. On the right side are about 8 cubicles/ desks for the associates and then is a small conference room to comfortably seat about 8-10 people.

Walking to the other side, is the library on the walls of the aisle, a very small intern room (where interns usually don’t sit), and three big cabins for Ma’am, her husband and the senior most Associate. All the areas are air-conditioned but we’re discouraged from using the AC sometimes.

There’s also a terrace on the top, we hung out there when we got too lazy to go down.

Team Strength

Apart from Pinky Ma’am and her husband, there are about 10 associates. And every month about 10-12 interns join in for a month.

Application Process and Contact Details

I had met Ms. Anand at a conference and she asked me to drop an email at [email protected]

I sent my CV along with a brief cover letter mentioning my areas of interest, desired period of internship, and a little about my past internships.

After receiving the mail, it is passed on to the internship coordinator (Ms. Kritika Sachdeva, at that time). You may apply on the same ID or if you know anyone in the office, your work is done because there are a lot of students who come in through personal contacts.

Usually there’s a waiting for 6 months or so have I heard. It’s better to apply 6 months prior to the dates you want to start interning and re-apply 2-3 months if you don’t receive a reply. Follow up and keep doing it.

Nagging works at times but remember, stretching a band too much may break it!

I’d applied on the ID and followed up after two weeks. I applied for December but an associate offered me internship for August, so I accepted it.  I had my doubts about being accepted so easily, so I kept a check on whether my internship was actually, rightly confirmed or no.

The associate who confirmed my internship, messaged me on Whatsapp and I entertained it so that he wouldn’t take offense and cancel my internship.

Later when I shared it with my internship coordinator she said I shouldn’t have entertained him and should’ve informed them before joining. I did inform them about it before joining but I guess the information did not reach the right person.

Please be very sure as to who confirms your internship, and who should actually do it. I faced some issues because of this in spite of reconfirming the same before going to Delhi.

Duration of Internship and Office Timings

27th July 2015 – 28th August 2015

My internship was for a month however, I left Delhi a couple of days early as I was diagnosed with Dengue. Unlike a lot of places, the internship period at this office has no limitations; it could be for 3 weeks or 3 months or longer. You can mention your desired time period in the cover letter. 

Office timings are long. According to Ma’am’s instructions, girl interns are supposed to leave by 7.30 pm tops. However, DO NOT expect that to happen at all. You are required to stay back till 8.30-9.00 pm minimum.

Mostly in my batch of interns, the guys stayed back till 11 pm also and sometime post that.

If you’re in the SC team you’re required to reach the court at 8.30-9am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Monday and Fridays are miscellaneous days so interns are not allowed in the court.

On these days, you can relax and reach office by 11ish or if your associate permits, but if you’re caught coming in so late, be prepared to get a lecture.

If you’re in the HC team, you get to visit all tribunals, district courts, etc. apart from the HC. This also means you have to go to the court everyday.

No Monday & Friday exemptions unless approved by the associate. What time and which court you go to obviously depends on the associates. You may even have to run between two courts on the same day!

To sum it up, NO FIXED OFFICE HOURS. And yes, don’t expect to not work on weekends. You’re lucky if you get one, though!

If you wish to work here as an associate, interning here could hike your chances.

First Impression, First Day Formalities, Infrastructure

The first day I went to office at 11 am but there was no one so I was asked to come back at 3 pm. I met a few associates who were amicable. They introduced me to the outgoing batch of interns.

The interns gave me all the information as to the way of working of various associates, the dos and don’ts, and other not-very important stuff.  The interns sat in the conference room and not in the intern room due to space constraints.

There were no first day formalities and neither was I shown around the office or introduced to any associates or other staff. You just go with the flow.

I was really apprehensive about how the rest of the month would be as I got some really cold vibes from some people because of a controversy that had recently happened before I joined.

I was idle the whole day as the SC team came back post 6 pm so I didn’t have much work apart from trying to fit in. But right before I was about to leave, Raju Sir (Ma’am’s husband) needed an intern to take down some notes and type it out.

Since the other interns were well aware of him, they almost ragged me and sent me to get his work done.

It was a tough time working up to Raju Sir’s expectations but I guess I made it through that. Besides, he recognized me throughout my internship and addressed me with my last name. Yay!

Main tasks of your internship

Think of all the things that a lawyer does except arguing. That’s your main task. 

Go to court on the days you’re asked to go and  attend matters. Take the cause list and the court room numbers will be assigned to you. You need to keep track of the matter and update the associate.

Drafting was also a major part of the internship. I got to draft petitions, replies, rejoinders, opinions, arguments, etc.

We had to research on whatever matters were given and make notes about the same or write articles for Ma’am.

I also attended meetings with people of various ministries and the Attorney General and the Solicitor General.

Lastly, very rarely, we were asked to take print outs and photocopies because ma’am loves the environment and hates wastage!

This internship was a perfect blend of everything. 

Most of my internship was spent working on matters relating to the Aadhar card case and the Pornography Ban matter amongst others. Working on the Aadhar matter meant hours of standing in the court room and you can’t not be there when Ma’am or any associate needs you to fetch a book for them.

People

It’s a mixed bag! There are some useless and extra smart people, there are humble ones and there are one who you can actually learn from.

Some are chilled out and some are a little strict about work. You’ll barely take a week to understand who’s who.

All the associates are very approachable most of the times if you have any doubts about any work assigned to you.

You may want to keep a distance from some and avoid unnecessary trouble. I heard weird stuff about an associate but there was nothing to worry about since it was handled very well by Ma’am. 

If you want to do some hardcore work, work for Mr. Prabal Bagchi or Mr. Balendu Shekar. They’re the seniors.

Then there are the peons who make your tea. Before careful who you ask for your tea as some of them are really unhygienic. 

Lastly, fellow interns. I was lucky enough that I had some amazing people as my co-interns. Now, I’ve friends for life!

Work Environment

Since most of my time was spent in court, it was good. The feeling of going to the SC and watching the crème de la crème was really amazing for the first two weeks. It got tiring later. 

If you’re the kind who really wants to learn, you identify that kind of an associate and immerse yourself in work.

All in all, the work environment could get stressful because you have to go back to office and work after court hours, weekends were working most of the times and if you have to leave early for any reason, you carry the file home and finish the work within the given deadline.

Best Things

Certainly the best thing is the certificate with the ASG’s name on it! But that’s not it. There’s tremendous amount of work to be done and learnt. If you show your dedication, you will be recognized and given quality work. If not, then you’ll be looked down on and in rare cases you’ll be asked to leave.

For me, it was a very different experience since it was my first time at the SC. Towards the end of my internship, I needed a change so I joined the HC team on non-SC days.

I attended proceedings at the High Court, NGT, TDSAT and some District Courts. 

Also, when you’re in office you have no restrictions on the number of times you want to go down for a break.

One of the interns was so hardworking and sincere that Ma’am offered him to join as an associate. Also, when he chose to go for an LLM at Cambridge, she wrote him a recommendation letter. See, now that’s what I’m saying,  a LoR from an ASG, what more can you ask for?!

Bad Things

First, sometimes, the work would get to you. It could get extremely stressful. I mean I did not have a life apart from work for those 4 weeks but when I fell ill, they were kind enough to allow me a sick leave. 

Second, there was bare minimum to no interaction with Pinky Ma’am. She may just ask you to do some research during the Court lunch break or not even that. Everyone told me to be “invisible” when she was around.

Third, if you take a print out or photocopies of more than 10 pages repeatedly ask the associate before doing it because you may be yelled at, for wasting paper.

Fourth, Sometimes we lacked motivation and it felt mechanical. Stipend was a distant dream, but the bare minimum was also not available.

Stipend

No stipend.

No tea or coffee.

Often we paid the peon to go and buy milk and make tea for us. Sigh!

Best Lessons

Hard work and Smart work goes a long way.

Very important to strike a balance between work and personal life, if you can’t do that, you can’t survive.

Anything else

1. Food Joints: Just opposite the office is Uday Park Market, there’s Jug Heads which delivers with a 20% discount and also there are general stores to buy chips or soft drinks. A few minutes ahead is a Momo’s guy who serves mouth-watering momos post 6 pm.

There are a number of other places from where you can call for food in the office itself like Ghuralis, Dominos, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Slice of Italy, Mithaas, etc. Look up stuff on Zomato or Food Panda.

2. Places to chill: We mostly hung out at the Uday Park market. There’s Diggin’ which is at walking distance and is a nicely done up deli kind of a place.

Also, Defence Colony Market and Hauz Khas Village are both about 2kms away and have some of the best restaurants, cafes and lounges in Delhi. Further away, is Malviya Nagar which houses some humungous malls like Select Citywalk.

Apart from this, there’s lots to do in Delhi like the monuments, Connaught Place, Old Delhi for the food, Khan Market, Lajpat Nagar Market, etc.

3. Accommodation: This could be tricky if you’re not a localite, as was for me. I would strongly recommend you to stay in Uday Park, Gulmohar Park or Anand Lok. Uday Park is right next to Niti Bagh while Gulmohar Park and Anand Lok are at walking distance.

The rent including breakfast and/or dinner is usually between 12-15k per month. There are about 4-5 PGs in Anand Lok and Uday Park while Gulmohar Park has many. Walk into the colony and ask the watchman, even if you find one PG you’ll get many references about the rest of them.

If you’re not willing to shell out that much then Malviya Nagar or South Ex is a good option and it’s not too far. Malviya Nagar is Rs.40 by auto rickshaw one side or just about 2 metro stations away. You could also put up at Green Park which is close by.

I’d definitely recommend my ex-PG. You stay with the landlord in his house (obviously in separate rooms). But its super safe. The house is not fancy but you can manage a few months. Breakfast and Dinner, cleaning and electricity is included in the rent.

However, if you use the AC, there’s extra charge and you can have your clothes washed for Rs.100/week. There’s no curfew as such but Uncle prefers that you come home in time and neatly lock the doors.

Here’s the details:

Mr. Singh – 47, Uday Park. (No. – 9810903395) He’ll definitely agree to give you a room on a monthly basis instead of a long term agreement. (for girls only)

Mr. Singh – 126 (opposite mother diary), Uday Park – This one’s a B&B.

Apart from these, there are a number of hostel-cum-PG arrangements in South-Ex. 

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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