Internship @ Adish Aggarwala Law Chambers, Delhi: Clerical Work, Friendly Atmosphere, High Profile Visits, Rs. 6000 Stipend [3rd Prize Winner]

Name of the organisation. City. Office Address. How was the office? Team strength.

A.A. (Adish Aggarwala) Law Chambers. DS-423/424, Gaura- Harish Kunj, New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi- 110060. Tel: 011 28742913.

If you are travelling by the Delhi metro then you have to get off at Rajinder Place on the Blue line. From there the office is located at a distance of 20 minutes. Rickshaws are easily available just at the exit of the metro station.

Buses are also available easily to that place from any place in Delhi. When I was interning most of us used to assemble at 9 am and take a rickshaw together to divide the Rs. 30/40 fair per rickshaw.

The office is located in a very quite and green area. To the front of the office is the Central Ridge Reserve Forest with beautiful hills and also many peacocks and sometimes deer’s too.

But the USP of the area lies in the fact that it is located in the heart of Delhi, so travelling to any other place is comfortably easy and quick. It has 3 metro stations nearby and road connectivity to every possible direction.

The office was small but a neat and posh one and was located on the ground floor. Mr. Adish Agarwala uses that as his house also. So basically, two rooms are for the family whereas the other two for interns and trainees, making it too crowded sometimes.

At the entrance there is a waiting room with all cozy sofas and a beautiful glass table having rose petal engravings, where we sometimes used to have our lunch.

Then there is another room which serves as his office, where a maximum of 4 interns sit with him who on that day have been assigned important work, and the rest sit in the adjoining room.

The interiors are neat and simple but you will find little evidences of astrology here and there in all of the rooms, probably giving an insight in the beliefs of Mr. Adish Aggarwala. A total number of 15 people can work in his office. The number doesn’t really matters much to him till the work is getting done smoothly.

He never divides work. You are given tasks randomly by the PA and according to the order of the day. You don’t have to submit your work to Sir, he only checks you when he finds an error and that too he takes in a light vein and continues to appreciate you and tell you all the gossip of the legal world and joke about it.

adish aggarwala internship

Duration of internship

13th May – 13th June. Although you can leave a week early and take holidays also and there won’t be much fuss about it.

Application procedure? Internship Contact Details

There are many ways to apply. In my case I contacted a senior who had already interned with him and he mentioned my name to him. After which I was required to send a mail to him with my CV and wait for the confirmation.

He gives preference to students who are from Delhi because it is easier for them to commute or at least who have already taken a PG or are staying somewhere in Delhi and secondly to students from National Law Universities and the one and the last mandatory thing for this internship is owing a laptop.

I had sent my Internship mail to [email protected] which is his personal account and he prefers that internship applications be sent to this one. His second personal email is [email protected] but this is used mainly for official work.

The subject of my internship email was Internship Application: 13th May-13th June: Delhi Office. The body of my email was basically my cover letter written after following a format on Lawctopus. It had my contact details, my reason to intern in his chamber and how could I contribute more to his office. I also attached my CV following a general format prescribed by Lawctopus.

I got his reply the same day. Although if you haven’t been recommended it will take a while and you may have to call his office repeated number of times. In his reply he asked me to prepare a Paper on “International Business Framework 21st Century – New Horizons” in about 5000 words within 2 days. I declined and I got my confirmation to join as an intern.

You can also choose to work from home and assist him online. But in that case, he may not get to know much about you and the chances of your stipend may lower.

Many of my co- interns worked in his office as well as assisted him online after office hours. In that case he gives you a dongle, so no worries about getting a connection and also you are much appreciated and left early.

Duration in weeks. Days of work per week. Timings.

The internship was supposedly four-weeks long but you can also leave a week early. It began on a Monday and ended on a Saturday.

The 6 day scheme was not well appreciated among the interns as there was no time left to go out as Sundays were taken up for rest especially for those who were from outside Delhi.

So interns had to take a holiday whenever they wanted to go out or had some other work.  Although the timings were flexible.

An attendance register was maintained and the PA kept reminding us about how our stipend will depend on the number of our working days which was not the entire truth.

You have to reach the office by 9 am but sometime it can go up to 11am also and the girls are allowed to leave by 5 pm or 6 pm but the boys have to stay a little longer till 8 pm probably and especially those who are staying nearby to his office. But if you stay in a far off PG he will consider it and most of the days though not always leave you early.

First impression, first day, formalities

This was my first internship in my 1st year and I had no fixed set of expectations in my mind. I was late on my first day, had no formals and also no laptop.

And I was the only one who was sitting in the waiting area and I was feeling quite intimated and also stupid for my lack of discipline and conduct. Mr. Adish Aggarwala was not there and I was told to wait till he comes.

As soon as he entered he started commanding everyone around the house and everyone immediately took to work. All the interns sat properly and from FB shifted to Manupatra.

Immediately he asked me to sit down and made me write some basic details in the internship register, after which he asked me to start working. But since I had no laptop I just sat there bracing myself for a good scolding. But he is not a short tempered person and gave me his laptop to work upon.

 I was told about the general conduct from my co interns all of whom were very friendly and helpful. Mr. Adish Aggarwala is capable of creating a very friendly atmosphere, therefore no formals or any formalities.

There was no restriction on who could intern under him. It could be anyone from 1st year to 5th year. His trainees too ranged from 4th year to LL.M. students.

Main tasks

There is no such thing as main task in the office. All the interns who had come wanted to learn aspects revolving around litigation and the complexities of law but the days only revolved around simple excel sheets work and emails.

The work that he gives ranges from data entry to sorting and replying to emails and the kind. Legal work is rarely given.

One of the reasons for no legal work and too much clerical work is the fact that Mr. Adish Aggarwala doesn’t litigates these days. He only gives time for one or two high profile cases and the rest he devotes to organizing seminars twice a year in his capacity as the President of the International Council of Jurists.

Although there is no shortage of work to be done sitting comfortably in the AC all day if you like doing data entry jobs. He has many email accounts.

He assigns every intern with 4 or 5 of them and they are responsible for work revolving around those emails. Most of the time either one or the other email account is getting blocked due to excess of mails so one of the major work is to first reply to every mail, second sort out the mails event wise, third clear the spam and trash folder and lastly keep making new accounts.

After you have been assigned the work, there is no requirement to finish the work within a stipulated time and there are always so many people ready to tell you the procedure any number of times or even do your work.

Everyone in his office used to share work this way so that no single person is burdened with additional work whereas someone else enjoys his 2 page long data entry for a month.

The breadth of exposure was not at all wide. Most of the time the interns had nothing concrete to work upon so from initial boredom things took a turn towards frustration.

One day we requested Sir to give us legal work but to no avail. He laughed it off, so instead of enjoying our work and learning from the wide possibilities that could have existed under his guidance, we dabbled with emails in his presence and in his absence did our own wok.

Also there was nothing much to read. There was this one shelf that was filled with works written about Mr. Adish Aggarwala and there were only one or two books that could quench the thirst of an intern willing to learn and work.

Also once or twice he takes some of the interns to the High court or Supreme Court. The interns are supposed to assist him there in the manual work and bear witness to the court proceedings. You are required to wear formals only for court visits. 

Work environment, people

The work environment was very favorable for my temperament. Everyone was civil, friendly and not at all rude.

Only once or twice a scene was created in office and that was just because of the PA missing out on some important work but the interns were all dealt liberally with.

Just to make up for the feel of the chambers, we disciplined one another and supervised each other works and kept on reminding one another to submit the work to the PA on time.

If you sit in the room with him you are continuously monitored by him. So, no social media or torrents.

But if you happen to sit in the adjoining room, then you can talk to his PA Mr. Amit Kumar throughout and get to know all the tricky details of the legal world or else you could gorge on food that a very sweet Anita who works in his house especially makes for all the interns in the evening.

And each day it is a different thing. Sometimes even his wife Ms. Saroj Aggarwala makes the evening snacks for the interns. It was always made sure that it is a combination of a snack and a beverage. Occasionally she checks your laptop to see if you are escaping your work but otherwise the atmosphere is very home like and congenial.

My initial days were spent doing mail sorting tasks. But later as time went by, all of us started using the time for our own good. I started reading online articles on various legal subjects that interested me.

I kept myself updated on all the legal news of the world. We had daily newspapers and tabloids coming to office and so went my first half after which I read Mr. Adish Aggarwala’s papers that he presented in International conferences.

Apart from editing these I started working on his soon to be published book and researched for it. And so went my two and a half week. In my last days I enjoyed, we all went out to nearby places and explored the mountainous area.

We started interacting with famous people who came to his office and most of our time was consumed in the last days in finding good eating points or establishing our contacts with other big lawyers and judges.

Many a times he used to drop all of us in his car till the metro station and all the while keep on motivating us to become a judge because the complexities of a litigation life wear you down till your death bed according to him. Apparently he is from a big family of all Judges.

Once it was his wife’s birthday and he took all of us out to UPSC corner to the famous street food of Delhi. And he gave us a hefty treat starting with golgappe, dahi-papdi, kulfi-feluda and fruit chaat and it was almost an hour of gorging on food and he insisted all of us to even have pav- bhaji after that. Well, we all had to quickly bid him a goodbye then.

A constant thing I noticed is that many people are always flocking his office for help and he is very patient and understanding towards all of them, whatever the type of help is. This reminds of one incident where everyone in his office was very busy preparing for his upcoming seminar in London.

A week before that he received an email from one of his associates as follows, “Respected Sir, I have always been a great admirer of yours and especially because of all the help that you have bestowed upon us always. Please continue to do such acts that call for immense respect and therefore kindly book me a ticket for London and also my return ticket to India. Yours thankfully”.

He heaped several cuss words and all of us couldn’t help but laugh hard. 

The best things AND the bad things

The best thing was probably the luxury of time given to all the interns. We were our own mentors there. Most of went out to have our lunch to a nearby dhaba which sir told us about. This was a blessing in itself as we didn’t had to walk much in the scorching heat and the food there was very cheap and very, very tasty.

From having our lunch till completing it with a smoke, we could spend two hours outside and no one ever questioned us. The PA was a relaxed person so sometimes he too joined and took us to the famous biryani eating joints.

But if sometimes we exceeded even those 2 hours we used to bring back ice- creams for everyone in the office and even for Mr. AdishAggarwala’s son, Amish, who is preparing to be a judge, just to escape the reprimand.

Also the atmosphere in the office was very conducive to understanding each other’s problem and helping one another. Although we were not allotted much legal work but whatever we did, we always made it a success.

It was the homely atmosphere that made me complete each task with excellence and interest. If not for the equality meted out there, a person like me who won’t mind leaving a cushy corporate job for a trip to Ladakh would have never been able to sustain there.

Also after a few days when I received my internship certificate I got the best feeling in the world. Despite the fact that I had actually not worked too much, my certificate spoke glories of every effort that I had put into. This is one of the best things about sir.

He notices everything and for what he does with your stipend he compensates in your internship certificate.

Also almost every day we had some or the other high profile visit in the office. During those days all the interns would shift to the common room and sir with his wife and the important guest would sit in his office and discuss political and legal matters over cups of tea for hours. This way we saw many such people face to face and witnessed their laughter and tensions.

Also I really enjoyed learning to fax people in different parts of the world. I used to be very excited when it came to the fax machine and that was one task where I found out my own style.

The other fun and the most amazing part of all the scheme of things was that each day Mr. Adish Aggarwala used to talk to some high profile actor or a politician or even a sportsperson.

He used to keep his cell phone on loudspeaker and we all used to enjoy it. Two incidents are particularly interesting. The first was when we all gasped hearing him talk in a very relaxed and friendly tone to the Prime Minister of Jordan about who will be the next CJI. The second was a hilarious one.

Mr.Adish Aggarwala is a Congress supporter and so when the historic election results were announced, he was heartbroken and just kept on evading every question. He was pacing to and fro when he decided to give a call to his friend Shatrughan Sinha to congratulate him for his historic win and as usual he told one of us to find his number in his phone.

As soon as the bell rang, we got to know it was not Shatrughan Sinha but Saurav Ganguly’s number that we dialed and then one of the interns told suggested to find his number not as Shatrughan Sinha but as Khamosh! And he for a moment he forgot the day’s melancholy and broke out into a big laugh.

Also one of the mischiefs that I will always remember is how I added myself in his Facebook account. We all knew the passwords to all the accounts and one fine day I was assigned his Facebook and Whatsapp account. And so I made him my FB friend too.

However the bad things were that we were not taken seriously but rather childlike and our suggestion to improve the outcome or the organisation went in vain. The PA was not serious enough and sir never had that much time.

Whatever time he had he devoted to his international business and according to him the flourishing of his international affair was enough and therefore the Indian business could be overlooked. He is an established and a sought after lawyer in London as well. But he is more of a political rather than a legal personality.

How the internship could be better

There were several points of improvement in which the first was about the criteria of selecting interns. 

He never gave a look to the CV or anything else for that matter. If he knows your college beforehand he may say yes but without a National Law University it is difficult.

If once you are able to establish your contact with him then the road ahead is very easy but before that you have to keep calling him (09868510674, 09910063501, 09958177904 and 09711542388) and keep on telling him how important it is for you to intern in his prestigious chambers.

The second point was about the work assigned to interns and how it was too clerical in nature and meant nothing except using WI-FI and the AC.

The third was about the mode of paying the stipend. Mr. Adish Aggarwala rarely pays the stipend on time and the amount depends on your impression on him.

If he thinks you have worked hard enough he may give you up to 5000 and not 6000 which is written in every internship offer under him. Otherwise you may end up somewhere between 3000-4000.

I got my stipend two months after I interned and I had to call him regularly.

The last point of a little discomfort was the fact that there was no separation of his house and office. Sometimes the ‘household’ affairs get meddled with the ‘office’ affairs.

Also there is a little network issue in his chamber. So most of the time your phone may not get network but if it does somehow then you always have to receive all the calls outside the office as a rule. 

Stipend/month

6000/ one month but depends on the effort you put in and the repo you share with Mr. Adish Agarwalla.

Accommodation etc. What did you to do chill in and around the office and the place of stay?

I am from Delhi so I never had a problem in accommodating myself even though the office was a good 10 stations (which equals to an hour) away from my place.

The early morning metro ride also taught me many things. Like how to come out with your hair completely disheveled because of the overcrowded metro and still enter the office smiling exuding a positive patient aura.

But for those who are from outside Delhi, there are many areas where in-budgets PG’s are available like Laxmi Nagar (9 stations away but you don’t have to change the Metro line, it is a direct route so that makes the journey more easy and time saving, also this is the number of the one of the good PG’s where many of my friends from outside Delhi stayed- 8447882064- Mr. Gaurav) Mukherjee Nagar (the distance is same as Laxmi Nagar) etc. Google proves to be the best friend in finding a decent PG plus Delhiite friends also.

Moreover Rajinder Nagar is a good place to stroll about. It is the place where Shahrukh Khan grew up and went to the same school as Adish Aggarwala’s son i.e. St. Columbas School.

One of our favorites in the area was the Duke Pastry shop. It had Arabic and Russian sweets and cakes and brownies and Hazel nuts and I could just go on, drooling.

We tried the Baklava and the red velvet cake also there, which is was a very sweet experience. I bought many delicacies back home every day.

The area is also the residence of many a big names in Delhi, whether Ministers or Judges or Bureaucrats therefore there is always some or the other cultural event happening. The place is also marked with good restaurants and other fun places to visit or shop. Also CCD is close by to the office.

All in all, it was a very relaxing yet a complete experience, as I got to learn many little snippets which no other lawyer would have taught me in the first place and yet there wasn’t a single moment when I felt burdened or stressed out.

This place I would say is for people who are not much into just learning legal work but can also engage themselves in office work, happily.

Mr. Adish Aggarwala’s Wikipedia page is here.

His Linkedin profile is here.

The entry won the 3rd prize in the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.

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