Internship @ Damodar Mundra Associates, Hyderabad: My first practical teachers in the field of law

Name of the intern

Dalia Pasaari, ICFAI University for Higher Education, Hyderabad

Name of the organization

M/s Damodar Mundra Associates, Himayath Nagar

Are you seeking internship at a law firm immediately after your first year? Do you have some reluctance to go ahead with it? Are you worried about not knowing something which might be expected out of you? Do you have the fear of not being able to deal with subordinates because you have never worked under a “boss” as such?

If yes, this article is all about how I felt, AFTER having felt the above reluctance, worries and fears. Sometimes, after the experience is all over, you feel it was worth it!

I started my internship after the completion of my 2nd Semester Exams at Faculty of Law, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education.

The firm and the infrastructure

M/s Damodar Mundra Associates (DMA), Advocates is a law firm situated in the heart of the city of Hyderabad. It was an initiation by Mr. Damodar Mundra in the year 1997 along with his professional colleague Mr. Dinesh K. Gilda, after jotting down 10 years of experience under Mr. Rajeev Indani, Advocate.

The office is on the second floor of a building named KG.N Plaza in Himayath Nagar. The office also has another branch in Balanagar.

The part of the office that attracted me the most was the logo of DMA Advocates engraved on a piece of glass and portrayed on the wall right after entering the office. It had two rooms for two of the associates, namely Mr Damodar Mundra and Mr. Dinesh Gilda.

Besides that, two separate cubicles were made for the purpose of typists and other people who drafted the documents. These cubicles were equipped with all the stationery and the printers that were required for the day to day functioning. Another room was meant for the Junior Associates, Mr Mayur Mundra and the interns.

There were not many people in the office. They worked as a team of six – Mr. Damodar Mundra, Mr Dinesh Gilda, Mr. D. L. N Goud, Mr. Venkatesh, Mrs. Sagarika Loya and Mr Mayur Mundra. The duration of my internship was for almost 45 days from May 3 to July 2, excluding all the Sundays.

Application Process

Only 4th year students are eligible to intern here. However, I got an opportunity through a reference even though I was only in the first year. Since it was my first internship I was reluctant and excited at the same time.

I wanted a professional environment but at the same time I wanted little leniency in the sense that I would be forgiven for my first-time mistakes so that I can learn from them, and not be reprimanded for the same at the very first instance.

The ones who are interested are instructed to mail their CVs to [email protected]

 On weekdays, the office was working between 5pm and 9pm. On Saturdays, the working time changed to 11pm to 2-3pm, depending upon the pending work. The best part about interning at this place was I got a tinge of both- the professional approach and the casual approach.

Main Tasks

During the period of internship, which I am privileged to have undergone in M/s Damodar Mundra Associates, I was able to see the intricate legal working environment of a legal firm.

The firm mainly deals in all types of civil disputes and appeals, revision petition, writs including PIL in Andhra Pradesh High Court, City Civil Court at Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Nampally and District Courts at Ranga Reddy.

I had worked on a project on Testamentary Documentation and prepared a report in partial fulfillment of the BBA LLB (Hons.) Programme of Faculty of Law, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Hyderabad. The purpose was to conduct a detailed analysis on the various aspects of a Will & a Codicil and get acquainted with all the procedure involved therein.

One of the main purposes was to be able to be able to refer to different case laws so as to see the procedure adopted by the Supreme Court in interpreting wills and codicils in different circumstances and identifying the true meaning of suspicious circumstances.

Since there is no legal formality involved in the execution and registration of the wills, my aim was to refer to the already prepared wills by the firm.

The Firm provided me with books such as Law of Deeds, Instruments & Documents with Allied Matters by ALD Publications, Edition 2014, V.S.R Avadhani & V. Soubhagya Valli, Practical Guide to Deeds & Documents, 1997, 3rd Edition, Hind Law House, G.M. Divekar, B. B Mitra’s The Indian Succession Act, 12th Edition, M. N Das, Eastern Law House, R. Swaroop’s Hindu Law of Succession, ALD Publications, Fourth Edition 2007.

The office server which had the ALD and AIR softwares were also made available for my ready use. Since it was my first experience at a legal firm with minimum legal knowledge, I focused more on the drafting work.

I read the notices, sale deeds, lease deeds, development agreements and other such deeds and conveyances. At times, I was helped in the research work. Sometimes, I was given the file of a particular case to understand in entirety, from the beginning till the end.

Being a beginner, no stipend was given as most of the time I worked on the project and helped on the research work at the most. No work was given to me as such.

In fact, on my last day of office, my project guide also told me that since I was just one year old in law, he did not assign me work and deadlines but after a few more years in my law course, when I approach him, he will definitely give me more work to do and learn much more that I did now.

In and Around

Being situated in the heart, there was never a problem commuting to the place. Besides that, being one of the most developed areas for residential as well as office purpose it had all possible outlets within an ambit of 1 km distance- right from McDonalds to Chocolate Room to Café Coffee Day to Subway to Minerva and Chutneys to Cream Stone.

It also had a series of shopping showrooms where one could easily go window shopping to the Puma or Adidas or the 109 degree showrooms.

Work environment

In fact the office environment was a very friendly and interactive one. Everyone looked like one big family. I was always worried about being hesitant to asking queries or expressing my views but the people there had made it very comfortable for me, right from the office boy to the junior associate to the senior associates.

In fact, even on my last day, I was asked to share four things that required changes in the firm. This shows that the firm was welcoming feedbacks and suggestions and gave importance to the views of every person in the firm.

That was something which truly made me think differently. Amidst the working, there would be instances when a little chatting here and there would suddenly pop up and lighten the situation.

Technology and the law firm

Also, one of the unique features I observed in this firm was that the firm details its clients about the adjournments dates through SMS and E-mail, hence, notifying their clients from time to time regarding the details of their case proceedings.

Also, the firm facilitates a unique client login to each of its clients to enable them to check the status of their case and also see the drafts prepared by the firm so that any corrections can be reported immediately without causing inconvenience of time or the botheration of travelling to the office for petty issues.

The Verdict

All-in-all, my experience was a very good and comfortable one, contrary to my expectation as I was very scared about interning in a law firm. But it all went though very soothingly and at the same time, got to learn a lot.

All of them kept motivating me and appreciated even the slightest of good things that I did and accomplished.

That further encouraged me to do better and better. All I can say is, at the end of my internship, I was proud to have successfully completed one and a half month of association with a group of people whom I looked up to. I consider them as my first practical teachers in this field of law.

The entry was a part of the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.

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