Internship Experience @ DSK Legal, Mumbai: We had a Secret Santa for Christmas!

Name of Organization:

DSK Legal, Mumbai

Location:

The office is located at a very prominent place in Colaba in South Mumbai.

It is on the third floor of ‘Dhanraj Mahal’ which is a stone’s throw from the Gateway of India and the Taj Hotel. Locating the building would also not be difficult as it has a Bentley showroom on the ground floor.

First day at work:

I had been asked to report to the office at 10 AM with a copy of my resume, an essay on why I wanted to intern at DSK Legal and two passport size photographs.

Honestly speaking, I was a bit intimidated by the office on the first day as it was my first proper firm internship. However, the receptionist was very polite and asked me wait for a while.

Then she introduced to all the associates and managers and I was told that they’ll approach me whenever they have some suitable work for me.

The office is a little short on space and the place where the interns sat was completely jam packed. I sat there for about 20 minutes and started panicking a bit as no one came and I wondered if my internship is going to be a waste.

However, an associate came and gave us some work that didn’t really require research or drafting but was more clerical in nature, though not exactly. At the end of the day I returned to my PG a little disappointed.

The way ahead:

The good part of the internship starts now. On the second day at DSK Legal I started getting research work which was generally based on the specific queries provided by the associates.

As the days passed, some of the associates started giving me more challenging research work which got more time consuming and mind-numbing at times and I really enjoyed it.

Within a few days I gelled up well with a few associates who appreciated my work and eventually we started working as a sort of a team, where I started getting proper drafting work as well apart from a lot of research work.

This taught me an important lesson: Simply put ‘You have to earn it’.

An associate doesn’t really need an intern to assist him but if you can show him that you can ease off the burden of his shoulders by your quality work, he’d be more than willing to involve you in substantial matters.

This turned out to be a very productive internship experience and ideal for the 5th semester.

Team Strength:

Compared to the corporate office, the litigation office of DSK Legal Mumbai is smaller in size with around 15-20 associates and 4-5 partners.

However, the quantum and level of work was commendable. Mr. Anand Desai visits the office often but doesn’t always work from there. The office principally works under Mr. Nirav Shah.

Work Culture:

The environment was filled with positivity and everyone used to be busy with their work.

Most of the associates were really warm, though not all of them interacted with the interns. Some of the associates were really cooperative and let me work not just under them but with them, involving me in all the nuances of the case.

I had the opportunity to visit the High Court (at a walking distance) only 2-3 times because I was usually tied up in some work.

Visiting the Court was a great but I personally preferred to research, draft and work on matters at the office rather than listen to counsels argue and Judges pass orders (something that I had already seen a lot previously at my one month judicial clerkship).

However, I’d suggest that one should definitely go to the Court as merely listening to counsels argue teaches us many things.

The office also had a suitably equipped book shelf which contained all the books that one could need in this office.

Since, it is a litigation office, everyone is required to wear white shirt and black pants with black shoes. Do carry your coat as you’ll need it for Court visits.

A tie is not mandatory but preferred. Also, try carrying your laptop with you on the first day as they might not be able to allot you a work desk, given the space crunch.

Christmas and Secret Santa:

The work pressure reduced once Christmas set in and the High Court closed for vacations as the new year approached.

Evenings were relaxed and a jolly environment prevailed at the office. The partners treated the whole office with Biryani on the 24th and also treated us to an expensive restaurant nearby before new year.

We even had a Secret Santa where all of us, including the partners, exchanged gifts. I also got to leave a little early on a few days during the Court vacation.

Timings:

The day for interns at DSK Legal usually began at 9:30 in the morning and for the interns it was supposed to end at 6 (I think).

We left around 8 or 9 depending on the work, although they insisted that the interns needn’t stay late and should stop their work and resume it the next day, if the situation permits.

Saturdays were working but one could take an off if one didn’t have much work.

Pantry?

Yes, it was great. A hot cup of coffee was a good thing to start the day with. We also had biscuits in the evening when we felt low on energy level.

Transport and Accommodation:

Although the location is an awesome place to be at, it can be tough to get a decent PG nearby and one will end up spending a substantial sum if one intends to stay at some place nearby. I stayed at a PG at Marine Lines and hence was saved from the transportation woes.

However, the public transport system is commendable but try not to stay farther than or in Dadar, otherwise you’ll have a really hard time in the locals.

If you’re travelling by a local, you’ll need to get off at the last station i.e. Churchgate and from there you can get a bus for Gateway of India/Regal Theatre for Rs. 10.

Speaking of locals, download the app ‘m-indicator’, it will make traveling in Mumbai easier for a new person (not advertising the app, found it very useful).

If you’re staying at Marine Lines you can directly catch bus no. 70, 106 and 132 from Maharshi Karve Marg for Gateway of India/Regal Theatre (yes, you’ll take some time figuring out the bus numbers and their routes but the local commuters are really helpful).

Getting an internship here:

I actually applied through a reference as I was in the first semester of my third year. A sad thing which I observed was that the other 2 interns and 2 articles had also got in through reference only.

You can follow the internship procedure given at at the DSK Legal’s website dsklegal.com/html/cv.htm.

I’m a little skeptical about acceptance of internships for the Litigation office as it is already very congested but I’ve heard that the corporate office has a proper internship programe.

Bad things:

I personally despise the amount of paper that got wasted everyday but I guess that is a part and parcel of every big litigation firm.

No good cheap eatery nearby (I usually stuck to Subway and Carters Express, however it’s also good to order and try different foods from different places nearby. Ask the receptionist for the ‘menu folder’).

No stipend.

Places to go nearby:

Walk to the Gateway of India, go stand and stare at the massive sea, have a coffee at Starbucks adjoining the Taj Hotel, do check out Colaba Social and 145, Kala Ghoda.

Some random but important tips:

Always write down the exact task in some notepad, because you can get into trouble if you mix it up with other people’s work.

Always be ready to take work and never refuse work from anyone. However, if you already have some other person’s work pending on you, try finishing that first or else ask either of them if their work can be done later, based on the priority and urgency.

Avoid all sort of communication gaps.

Be interactive and cheerful. No one wants to be around a dead machine.

Enjoy your internship. You’re not there to slog for a whole month.

Explore the city.

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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