Name. College. Year of Study
Sohini Chatterjee, 3rd year, NUJS
Name of the organization. City
Centre for Law and Policy Research (CLPR), Bangalore.
Kind of organization
CLPR is a non-profit organization that is engaged in public policy research and litigation.
It was founded by Sudhir Krishnaswamy and Jayna Kothari. The website can be accessed here.
Duration of the internship
3rd June to 28th June (4 weeks)
How big was the office? Team strength?
The office is located in an apartment called Dona Cynthia and occupies one floor (though I believe they are expanding to another floor for which construction is already underway). CLPR has a sister law firm called Ashira Law, and both share the same office.
While CLPR concentrates mainly on policy research and public interest litigation, Ashira Law deals with litigation in other areas like property law and family law. Associates and interns of both CLPR and Ashira Law work in one (spacious) room where everyone can have their own work station.
Normally, the total team strength is 5. But when I joined in the beginning of June, there were only three associates working for Ashira Law. The previous CLPR associates had just left and the new ones were scheduled to join in July.
Application procedure. Internship contact details
The application procedure is swift and efficient. I applied in March for an internship in the month of June. I received a reply within a week. Interested candidates should send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a cover letter and CV.
Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings
4 weeks; 5 days a week (yes, weekends are off!); 10 am to 5:30 pm. However, on a few days I had to stay back till 7:30-8 pm.
It depends on the work pressure and imminent deadlines.
Accommodation: how, where, how was it?
Since I am not from Bangalore, I had to stay in a PG. Due to extraneous reasons my PG was located in North Bangalore, near Ramaiah Hospital. CLPR is located in Primrose Road, which is a seven minute walk away from the popular MG Road. Due to the distance, the commute was quite bad for me.
It involved two buses and an auto (the latter always over-charging even for the short distance between MG Road and Shivajinagar). I would strongly recommend anyone who wants to intern in CLPR to fix an accommodation close to Primrose Road or MG Road.
This would ensure that work is only a walk away from your accommodation and you do not have to be caught in the snares of the terrible Bangalore traffic and nor do you have to beg for the mercy of unforgiving auto drivers on a daily basis.
First impression. First day, formalities etc.
There were no major formalities. On the first day, my co-interns and I were told to go to the High Court to attend a hearing. There we met Jayna Kothari Ma’am who immediately struck me as extremely sweet and approachable.
After the hearing, we headed back to the office. We were soon given files to work on.
Main tasks (in detail)
One of the first things I worked on was in the area of disability law. My co-intern and I had to compile schemes and policies enacted by various state governments for disabled persons.
Since I am fond of Constitutional Law, I had applied for this internship hoping to be given work in that area. I was glad when in the second week my co-intern and I were given the chance to work on a challenging legal opinion which involved Constitutional law and administrative law.
It was a great experience working on it as we got to learn from Prof. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, who is a preeminent Constitutional law scholar. This is the task that took up most of my time in the one month I spent there and I found it to be a wonderful learning experience.
We also worked on consumer law cases, a legal memo involving contemporary legal issues and the Mental Health Care Bill 2012.
Also, at the end of the internship period, every intern is supposed to make a presentation on something s/he has worked on in the course of the internship. This is a tradition that has been observed since quite some time and these presentations are taken seriously.
Work environment, people
I felt that the work environment was great. It had the right mixture of formality, informality, work and fun. The associates were friendly and since a few of them were fresh graduates we had a lot in common.
Best things? (Nothing is all bad)
1) One of the best things about CLPR is that everyone sits together and eats lunch every day. Not only were the lunch time conversations entertaining, it served to acquaint people better. They were also kind enough to pay for our lunch.
2) They take interns seriously and make it a point to allot work to them. You are treated with respect and not as though you are part of the furniture.
3) There is a kitchen stocked up with food, coffee and tea. My friend and I used to survive by making regular trips to the kitchen and drinking endless cups of tea and coffee.
4) On the last day, we were taken out for lunch by Jayna Ma’am and the associates. I was surprised to note how fond I had grown of all my co-workers in the short span of four weeks. It was a great end to a wonderful month spent at CLPR.
Bad things? (Nothing is all good)
Other than the commute and the over-charging Bangalore autos, I can’t think of anything bad.
What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues
CLPR is located close to Garuda Mall, MG Road and Church Street, so there is no dearth of places to chill.