Internship Experience @ DSK Legal, Mumbai: Get the great feel of a corporate environment

Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength

DSK Legal, Mumbai, 8 Partners, nearly 40 associates (memory fails).

Application Process

I interned at the corporate office. They have a separate litigation office as well.

Send your resume to: [email protected]

Additionally, an intern form must be filled here.

A Word to the Wise: Most of the internships here are through contacts.

These guys aren’t big on drawing interns, although they are nice enough to the ones that do come!

Duration of internship and timings

My internship at DSK Legal was for a period of 4 weeks, and while they did not mandate a specific duration, 4 weeks is definitely the minimum period you should apply for. To not seem like an unprofessional douche.

A normal day begins around 9:30 am and for interns, ends by 6:30 pm. The associates peg away for much longer hours. However, if you do have a lot of work, you will have to finish it in office unless you can assure them of submitting it on time if you do take work back home.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

First of all, entering India Bulls Towers is a scary but awesome experience. It is all glass and sophistication and while a poor little intern may suddenly feel overwhelmed by the corp glam and its associated sharpness, the experience is great.

DSK Legal is effectively on the THIRTEENTH floor but India Bulls deftly avoided this tricky issue by having the Floor labelled 12 A. Problem solved. *tiny cough*.

Getting There: If you are getting off at the Elphinstone Road Station, you have a brisk walk ahead. This is the only way you can walk to office or face the wrath of fellow pedestrians. Everyone is busy so try not stick out a leg.

DSK Legal is in Tower One. The Towers can be a little confusing so try coming a little early on the first day. You will be issued an intern pass so come prepared with Passport sized photos. You can wear the ID around your neck to feel important and more importantly to gain access.

First Day, First Show

Not really. You will be shown around the place (which is kickass), made to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of your internship. You will be shown to your desk, side by side with fellow interns and associates. A computer will be assigned to you though this takes a day at least.

A decently impressive library is available. A partner will conduct you through an orientation class with other interns. They have a great coffee machine and you will be served coffee twice a day unless the grumpy peon is on duty. In that case take your fellow interns and crowd the kitchen. It is tiny so the peon will give in eventually.

A matter of concern for the budget conscious intern is the India Bulls Cafeteria. It is expensive and you have to get cards made to buy food. The chicken fried rice was the cheapest meal for around 150 bucks.

Most associates at DSK Legal get food from home. There are very few eating joints outside India Bulls unless you want to eat cheese sandwiches or vadapav daily.

It is a nice break from the chicken rice. You should definitely check out the other tower cafeteria; more Indian options plus there’s a Gelato stand.

If you have a plump wallet then this place has excellent options. And there is a classy bar somewhere in the Second Tower. There is also an avoidable paan wala opposite the tower and your local cigarette shop.

Main tasks

I had a few dreadful weeks of mind-numbing of due-diligence work. I also researched on questions regarding Company Law and the law of Trusts. I also proof read agreements and was awarded a compliment for spotting a key error.

There was also a forgettable research assignment thanks to my not so superior Manupatra skills and a confusing associate. They appreciate good research skills and quickness, like any other firm.

Be prepared for all sorts of work. I was made to wrestle giant agreements once.

Work environment and people

Formals- Indian (women) or Western (both) wear, is a must.

I would say avoid the junior associates because they are loaded with due diligence reports. The associates at DSK Legal are approachable even if the office did at first seem a bit cold. That was mainly the air conditioning. Gets pretty chilly.

They have cultivated a sort of ‘ignore the intern attitude’- but this is a test. They are always watching and expect you to make the first move. So if you want work you should get going and badger all the associates, not just your team. Make conversation and they will give you pointers.

A few of the partners also keep an eye on interns though they mostly pretend not to care. So getting caught using your phone is possible and highly embarrassing. They form an opinion early.

They are also very clear on the hiring policy- if you want a job here an excellent work record and prior internship at the firm are critical. Very chosey lot.

Best things

The office gives a great feel of a corporate environment while not being the cut-throat firm that we hear of so often.

You are treated like an adult and learn to become a ‘go-getter.’

dsk legal internship

Bad things

The no stipend policy is kind of a turn off because I was given quite a bit of work.

The pricey Cafeteria is a definite low with few other options.

There is also no intern corner here so your every move is viewed and you can’t loosen up inside the office.

I couldn’t meet my team partner and they generally do not encourage personal interaction with partners.

Stipend

Nope. No stipend. We were told to hoard knowledge. I disagree with this concept because they made a few us do a lot of due diligence and that kind of work needs to rewarded. Nobody wants to do it. Incentive please!

Biggest Lessons

Partners are all seeing if not all ways present.

First impressions are the only impressions you make here.

Professionalism is encouraged and noted.

It is important that you stand out (in a good way) or else they will ignore you.

Any Other Thing

Mumbai is a great, amazing city and I would urge everyone to intern at least once here. More so if you can afford to cause lets face it- unless you can crash at a relatives/ friends place, you will have to board at a PG or hostel.

And these places are expensive. But once you get here, the work culture, the sheer freedom of living in a place where people are too busy to butt into other people’s lives is such a relief if you come from a traditionally nosey part of India.

Colaba, Kihim beach, Bandra, or just drinking cutting chai at Grant Road- endless options for a good time await thee.

And Marine Drive will always have a spot for you and your peeps. Just don’t chuck things into the water. Don’t be that person. Be nice and the city will be too.

P.S. Gokul Bar is SO over rated. Ditch if asthmatic. Can’t help it, I’m from Bangalore.

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