Internship @ Bangalore Mediation Center : Great Place to Learn ADR, Helpful Mediators, No Stipend

Name. College. Year of Study

Ipsita Mukherjee, Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian Law College, 2nd year.

Name of the organization. City

Bangalore Mediation Centre, Bangalore.

Duration/timings of the internship

2nd April to 30th April, 2013.

The total duration of my internship was 4 weeks. I interned for 6 days in a week. The regular timings were from 10.30am to 4pm. But since, I was doing this internship while attending college, so with the permission from the Director, my timings were from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

Students who are interested to do their internship at BMC are to apply by e-mail. They might take a week or two to reply, so try to be patient. I send them my application as a CV with cover letter, addressed to the Deputy Director at [email protected]

How big was the office? Team strength?

The office of the Bangalore Mediation Centre (BMC), is itself the ground floor of the ‘Family Court’of Bangalore! The BMC is initiative of the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore. It is one of the two largest Mediation centers in the country. The BMC is truly exceptional institution in terms of the commitment of its authorities and the dedication of its staff.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

From the 1st day I got to work. I got an impression that the BMC operates like a close-knit family, rather than an impersonal legal institution. The Deputy Director, who was in charge of my internship, helped a lot to make the interns feel comfortable with the environment.

He even introduced me to few of the mediators so that I could easily go and observe their mediation sessions!

Main tasks (in detail)

As an intern, I got to watch and observe the mediation proceedings and ask related questions to the mediator or the lawyers. I was allowed to even question the parties about the case without pressuring them.

After each session, the mediator would sit down with me and go through the file. The mediator would sometimes even ask the intern’s opinion on resolving the case. In the end of the day I had to submit a daily report to the Deputy Director, which contained brief of all the mediation sessions I observed.

On the last day of the internship, I had to submit a research report on mediation and a brief of what I learned from this internship at the Bangalore Mediation Center.

Work environment, people

The BMC has a welcoming and relaxing environment! In particular, the potted plants that are arranged around the premises and the soothing background instrumental music that is played on the effect of calming those who enter the BMC premises. I have not come across a more hospitable and warm working environment than the BMC!

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

I didn’t have problems with regard to accommodations since I stay in Bangalore. But not to worry! Since just minutes away there are many PGs which provide affordable accommodations for people who are not form Bangalore or nearby (example: Shantinagar).

Best things? (Nothing is all bad)

The mediators at BMC are extremely friendly! They take their time out to check where the interns are understandings and keeping up.

They are always open to teach the interns more about ‘Mediation’ at a practical level. The BMC arranged for the interns to have lunch with the mediators at the ‘Mediator’s room’, which enabled the interns to interact with the mediators in an informal capacity. The staff where constantly worried whether the interns had their lunch or not, so the interns are never left empty stomach!

Bad things? (Nothing is all good)

According to me, sometimes the lawyers are rough towards an intern. As per personal experience, that the only bad thing.

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

From the first day, me and my co-interns had lots of fun and gossip! Since the interns were allowed to enter the ‘Mediator’s room’, we spent more of our free time there along with the other mediators. As a suggestion, the main hub for fun and hangouts in Bangalore, i.e. ‘Brigade’ is just a few bus stop away!

Stipend/ month

No stipend.

Anything else you’d like to tell

This is truly ‘THE’ place to start for anyone who is thinking about interning on the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)’ field! You will get to learn a lot about the techniques and traits of ‘Mediation’ as a whole. It’s a wonderful experience!

Biggest lessons: Gradually I learnt a lot about talking to people, controlling body language and keeping an open and clear mind while dealing with the clients/parties. According to me, these are the most important things I learnt from the internship at the BMC.

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