Internship Experience @ Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives, Lucknow, UP: Gain Practical and Theoretical Legal Knowledge

Name. College. Year of Study

Saloni Gupta

Gujarat National Law University

2nd Semester, Batch 2015-2020

Name of the organization. City

Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Duration of the internship

20th November – 20th December, 2015

How big was the office? Team strength?

The office was pretty big, with enough space available for 15-20 people. I got my personal desk to work at; however I had to use my own laptop.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

Visit their website. There is a specific section dealing with volunteers and interns.

You then have to send them your CV and a recommendation letter (from your University) on the id given on their site.

If they are not replying, call them on the number given on the website and remind them to respond to your mail.

This is what I did.

Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings 

Four weeks.

Five days a week, weekend off.

Timings- 10 am – 6 pm (Strictly followed)

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

I have my house in Lucknow, so it wasn’t a problem for me. However, there are PGs easily available around the office, and some of my friends stayed there.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

My first impression of the office was that everybody took their work seriously here. Regardless of whatever people say about NGOs and their functioning, this was very different. Everybody was engrossed in their work, yet would always take time to answer your queries. The work environment seemed extremely professional. However, everybody was friendly so I did not feel intimidated.

For the first half of the first day, I was given a lot of reading material about AALI’s past projects, so that I could familiarize myself with the organization. This may sound boring, but it was not. I got to read about interesting cases which AALI had taken up earlier. The entire exercise was informative.

Main tasks (in detail)

I was lucky to be in the case-work unit of AALI, thus I was exposed to a lot of legal work.

The following is the list of work I completed during my internship:

– Made a number of case studies pertaining to cases of violence against women.

– Interviewed five survivors who visited the office to seek legal assistance, along with the lawyers.

Filed RTIs to 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh

– Did research work on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act,2005

– Participated in the State Level Lawyer Workshop on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2015

– Assisted my team members in drafting various legal documents like First Information Report, Non-Cognizable Report and objection letters.

– Compiled data on the crime occurring against women and children in recent years.

– Compiled survey questions on Sexual Abuse and Harassment as part of a research program being conducted by the NGO.

– Made a presentation on Right to Choice of women, Made posters for the Street Walk organized by the NGO.

Work environment, people 

The work environment, as I said, is very professional. If you are looking for a ‘Chill’ NGO internship in your first year, this place is not for you. Everybody takes their work very seriously here and they try their best to help women who come to seek their assistance.

The timings are very strictly followed and you are hardly allowed to sit and waste your time during any part of the day! They make sure you are productive at all times.

The people are friendly and accommodative. I remember having some interesting discussions with the lawyers there on issues relating to legal and other rights for women, the justice system and situation in U.P. et al. Overall, I learnt from the people.

Best things?

Exposure and work, with a sense of purpose.

You gain so much practical and theoretical legal knowledge in your very first year, it’s amazing! That too, you are doing it for a cause – women rights. Even though I’ve always been a feminist, it was only after coming here that I understood the issue in depth.

I sat with clients, drafted documents, visited the Court and the Police station, researched on various acts, read lengthy judgments. Basically, I started loving the field of law after doing this internship!

Bad things?

Sometimes the timings did get exhausting. Other than that, this was my first internship so I cannot possibly draw any comparisons.

What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues 

My friend interned with me too, however she was in a different unit of AALI. I chilled with her at times.

Stipend/ month

No stipend

Biggest lessons

I gained ‘work stamina.’ I could work for long hours without getting tired. I also understood how to be an efficient worker.

Other than that, I realized how important the profession of a lawyer is after being exposed to people who relied completely upon lawyers. Now, I want to be a good lawyer not just for a fat pay cheque but because I understand how much relevance this job holds for the society and the people.

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