Internship Experience @ Chambers of Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra, New Delhi: Attend the court proceedings and assist the counsels

Name

Keshav Pareek, Third Year, NUJS Kolkata

Organization

Chambers of Senior. Advocate, Ms. Geeta Luthra (New Delhi)

Duration of Internship

10th April, 2015 – 07th May, 2015.

I interned there for 4 weeks but if one wishes then he/she can also extend the duration of internship.

They were very flexible about dates.

Application Process

I applied for the internship by sending a Cover Letter and CV to [email protected]

Sometimes, one has to send follow-up mails also.

One should apply at-least 3-4 months in advance since they receive a lot of internship applications. The cover letter should contain the exact dates you wish to intern, details about your previous internships and extra-curricular achievements such as moots, debates etc.

However, this is what is I did and there is not a set rule regarding what should be included in cover letter.

The format of CV that I had sent was Lawctopus sample CV. For writing a proper cover letter and CV, one can also refer lawctopus.com or the book written by Mr. Tanuj Kalia titled as “Law as a Career”.

Accommodation & Food Places Nearby

The office was located in East of Kailash, New Delhi. So getting a PG in nearby areas will not difficult for anyone as one could easily find a good PG anywhere in East of Kailash, Greater Kailash, Defence Colony, Neeti Bagh etc. I stayed in Delhi Stay located at F-38, East of Kailash. The PG was a decent place to live. All rooms were air-conditioned.

The cost of room was Rs. 10000, Rs. 8000, Rs 6000 for double, triple and four sharing rooms respectively exclusive of electricity charges. The best part of the PG was it was merely 100 meters from the Kailash Colony Metro Station and there were no issues as to timings. However, the staff of that PG was not so good and sometimes was uncooperative.

Also, there was no dearth of restaurants in that area including Pizza Hut, Dominos, McDonalds and several other North-Indian restaurants.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

On my first day, I was asked to report at 109, Lawyers Chambers, Delhi High Court at 10 am. When I reached there, Jomol Ma’am asked my name and college.

Thereafter, I was given the form for getting visitor pass in order to get entry into the court rooms.

Later that day, I attended court proceedings where I saw Geeta Ma’am arguing in some cases.

After the court hours, I was asked to reach Office which was situated at A-35, East of Kailash, New Delhi.

The office is around 2 kms from the Kailash Colony Metro Station. One can take an auto-rickshaw from there which would cost Rs. 30-40 max. The office is the basement of her residence.

The office was a well setup area consisting of associate cabins, conference rooms and desk for interns as well.

There were around 10 associates and 4-5 clerks working with her. On the first day, I was given some research work and I was allowed to leave at 9 pm.

The work given on first day was least as compared to other days.

The office had three PCs. However, it is highly recommended that you should use your own laptop as most of times the PCs were occupied by someone and were also used for printing. The office also had a decent internet WiFi connection.

Needless to say, the interns were supposed to be in formal dresses i.e. black and white.

Office Timings

An intern was supposed to come for 6 days a week and sometimes even on Sunday if there is an important work. Generally, an intern had to report at 10 am and sometimes it may be even earlier varying from 8:30 to 9 am.

The interns were asked to report usually at Delhi High Court, however sometimes one was asked to reach at Supreme Court and trial courts of Delhi including Saket Court, Patiala House, Karkardooma district court etc. After the court hours, one has to report to office.

On Saturdays also, generally interns are directly called to office provided that there is no case in trial courts on that day.

As for leaving, the time was uncertain and it also varied with each intern. I used to stay there till 11:30 pm or 12 midnight. Sometimes, if I was lucky when there was no work, I was allowed to leave earlier i.e. 9 or 9:30 pm but that was exceptional. However, it also depended upon the amount of work that an intern was willing to do.

One may also take holiday for a day or two if one has a valid reason.

Main Tasks

I was given a variety of work and this enabled me getting exposure in various areas of law. If an intern does the work properly and diligently, then the work was also appreciated.

During the court hours an intern has to attend and observe the court proceedings. Sometimes, one was also asked to bring copies of judgments from the High Court library or to get print outs of the same from printing or Xerox shops.

Most of times, an intern was asked to report to Delhi High Court and sometimes an intern needs to report to Supreme Court and trial courts of Delhi such as Saket, Rohini, Tees Hazari, Karkardooma, Patiala House and Gurgaon District Court as well.

The work during the court hours was very less. The main job of intern was to attend the court proceedings and assist the counsels if they need any help. It is suggested that in order to have a fruitful internship experience, one should also attend proceedings of even those matters which are not argued your lawyer.

Sometimes, it is very useful to see how other lawyers argue and learn from them. Moreover, it is an indeed nice experience in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court where you can see some big shots in litigation such as KK Venugopal, AK Rohtagi, Kapil Sibbal, Salman Khurshid, Gopal Subramanium and many more, arguing in court rooms.

Further, understanding court proceedings in High Court and Supreme Court is much easier as they are way more organized than trial courts and involve very less procedural work.

Mainly, I did research and drafting work. During first 2-3 days of my internship I was given research work only. After some days, I was asked to prepare case notes and was also given drafting work.

I research and prepared case notes on matters pertaining to Domestic Violence act, Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act, CrPC, CPC, IPC, Recovery of Debts due to Banks & Financial Institutions Act etc.

I was also given opportunity to draft Written Statements, rejoinders, Written Submissions reply to applications under Hindu Marriage Act, Domestic Violence Act and Criminal Procedure code.

I also drafted various affidavits and Memorandum of Understanding. Sometimes, I also used to assist the associates for preparing them for court proceedings such as getting orders from Delhi High Court and Supreme Court websites, flagging the annexures in the files etc. Apart from that, I also got the opportunity to interact with some clients.

If one wants to work, then amount of work is huge. Sometimes, even after working till 11 or 12 in night, I had to take the work with me at my PG. It is very important that work needs to be done on time and associates were also strict about it.

A lot of work was given to interns and they trusted the interns a lot. So, if some work was given to an intern then it was expected that work should be done carefully and properly because the associates trusted their interns a lot.

Moreover, the amount of work also depended upon the fact that an intern was interested to do. Sometimes, one had to take initiative to get work but there was no dearth of work.

Work Environment & People

The work environment was very good. Sometimes, Geeta Ma’am and Sanjeev Sir also gave me research work which was indeed a great opportunity.

The associates were friendly in nature. Most of the work was assigned to me by Jomol Ma’am and she helped me a lot while doing the work. Sometimes, she asked to work on a particular case and I had to brief her on the matter.

I got to learn several things from Jomol Ma’am and she was very friendly and at the same time she also expected the work given by her should be done properly with due care. She also shared her experiences including why he chose litigation over any other career options.

Further, she was a valuable source for getting advice on stuff related to law school activities, academics, mooting and what to opt for after completing law school. Naina Ma’am also gave me research work and some translation work. She was very particular about work and more importantly she wanted her work to be done on time.

However, she was very helpful and nice person. Moreover, she also used to tell the factual background of the case on which you are working that made research work somewhat easier because some cases had very complicated facts.

Apart from them, all other associates were very supportive and approachable. It was a place where I enjoyed working there and I had no problem going back at 11 or 12 in the night only because of amazing and lively work environment. Further, there were several other interns as well so there would be hardly any time you get bored.

Initially, I planned to intern there for 3 weeks, however my internship experience was so good that I extended my internship by one week. I extended only for a week because I had to join another internship which I had scheduled earlier.

The clerks were also helpful. They would be ready to help in case you need anything be it files relating to some case; stationary stuff such as highlighters, staplers, flags etc.

On the last day of internship, I also shared my law school and personal experiences with the associates. It was nice talking to them and the associates also gave me valuable career advice.

As regards as food is concerned, tea and snacks were served in evening everyday which was also one of the good things of internship.

Best Things

There were a lot of best things in that internship. Some of them are:-

  1. A lot of work was there and hence you get to learn a lot.
  2. The work environment was very amazing which ensured that you never get bored and made learning things simpler. Getting a chance to work with Geeta Ma’am, Sanjeev Sir, Jomol Ma’am and Naina Ma’am is an opportunity that one cannot afford to miss it.
  3. Being praised by the associates and especially Geeta Ma’am for the work done is the best incentive and was enough for making that day.
  4. The research work pertained to several diverse areas which allowed gaining a better practical knowledge and insight of wide variety of laws.
  5. Geeta Ma’am’s library consisted of best legal dictionaries, books of renowned Indian as well as foreign authors pertaining to almost every branch of law that was relevant to litigation. Therefore, a lot of sources were there which made researching on complex legal issues easier. Needless to say, one could also access SCC Online and Manupatra.
  6. Another thing I observed was that if you do well during an internship, then you are also given an offer to intern once again. And sometimes, the associates are recruited on the basis of internship. During my internship, I saw that some of associates had actually interned under Geeta Ma’am during their law school period and based on their work performance they were offered to work as associates. However, it was only an observation based on my personal opinion and should not be understood as a general rule for recruitment to Chambers of Geeta Ma’am.
  7. This is a must do internship for those who want purse career in litigation and even if someone does not want to choose for litigation, this internship is a very fruitful learning experience.
  8. This internship is great place to learn drafting and certainly I learned a lot in that aspect. Moreover,
  9. You get chance to interact with Geeta Ma’am on almost daily basis. I have heard from some of my friends that they hardly ever interacted with Sr. Advocates during their internships which they said was a bad part of their internship.
Bad Things

This was amazing internship experience in which I personally did feel anything bad. However if at all some things were there then these are:

  1. On some occasions, it used to get very boring in Courts when some matters are adjourned. Also, sometimes when I enjoyed Geeta Ma’am arguing in particular matter and was very excited what could happen next in that case, then the next date of hearing was given after the duration of my internship.
  2. The office was the basement area. So, at times I had to go out to make a phone call.
  3. Clerical work was given on few occasions. But, the proportion of clerical work as to other useful work was very low.
  4. It is very difficult to get confirmation of internship. Generally, the associates deal with the internship applications and they hardly get any time to read emails since most of them are very busy in doing their work.
Stipend

No Stipend.

However, interning under Geeta Ma’am is indeed a great opportunity and is great learning experience.

Further, stipend is not a deciding factor for me while choosing any internship.

More important is the amount of work you learn and a good work environment.

Biggest Lessons

If you are planning to intern there you should keep one thing in mind that amount of work you want to do will entirely depend upon your dedication.

If you are less serious about work, then you yourself would be losing something.

So, work hard and have some patience as these qualities are indispensable to succeed in any career relating to law be it litigation, corporate etc.

Any other thing

This is one of the best litigation internship experiences one could have.

I would rate this internship 9/10.

If anybody is getting a chance to intern there, one should not give a second thought on that and this is a must do internship. It is a place where you get to learn a lot of useful stuff provided that you wish to learn.

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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