Name, College, Year of Study

Soham Goswami, ILS Law College Pune 3rd year

Name of the organization, city

Chambers of Ms. Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate, New Delhi

Duration of the internship

May 2015 (4 weeks)

How big is the office? Team strength?

The office, in the basement at her residence at A-35, East of Kailash, New Delhi is pretty huge; there are offices for Ms. Luthra and business partner Mr. Sanjeev Sahay, two offices and a common room for associates, a reception area and an intern room, where the interns sit.

Apart from the two seniors, there are several associates; there were about 7 or 8 when I interned.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

Apply to Ms. Luthra’s email ID at geetaluthra@gmail.com

It is IMPERATIVE that you follow up by calling them at the chambers (011) 2-338-6625, (this is the landline number at Chamber 109 of the Delhi High Court Lawyers’ Chambers, Ms. Luthra’s office at the Court complex).

Please be persistent, but not pestering; it’s a busy chamber and they make all the efforts to accommodate and give interns a chance.

Be persistent and they WILL give you an opportunity. No dearth of that at this Chamber.

Duration, timings

I worked in the month of May, when the Delhi High Court was at its busiest; this is to wind up before the Court shuts for the summer vacations in June.

We were often required to come on Sundays too. Interns are always intimated as to which judicial forum they must report to the next day; be it the Supreme Court, the High Court, any of the District and Sessions Courts or the Debt Recovery Tribunal or other fora.

If so, you will be asked to report at a certain time. (Usually 10 a.m. for the High Court.) If not and you’re headed to the office, make sure you’re in by 9:30-10 a.m.

There is no fixed time for leaving; you may leave as and when you’re done with your work, but rest assured that that will not be before 10 p.m.

However, they are quite accommodative and allow interns who live far away to leave earlier.

One may even be required to stay until later, which is why interns not residing in New Delhi are advised to take up accommodation in proximity to the office.

For girls, there is a very decent paying guest accommodation a minute’s walk away, where a lot of interns stay: call (+91) 9999-611-091.

Accommodation

I am a resident of New Delhi, so I commuted from home; however, if you live far away, you might find that taking up accommodation nearby is economical.

Travelling to the office is a bit difficult, as the nearest Metro station (Kailash Colony/Moolchand on the Violet Line) is a 40 rupee rickshaw ride away.

First impression, first day/formalities

I had to report to Chamber 109 of the Delhi High Court (Note: Carry a copy of your college ID or any ID on your person at all times in order to access the premises, security is VERY tight.)

On the first day, I met Ma’am on her way out of a courtroom.

She is a very pleasant person, albeit brisk and makes each intern feel welcome.

Later, I reported to the office and I was handed a file to read, vet the list of dates, write a summary and apply the provisions of the law.

High Court (first timers, Bombay/Calcutta HC frequenters, N.B.): Immediately after you join, make sure you print a letter requesting grant of admission for an intern into the Court building.

Ask Ashish bhaiya at the office to give you a letterhead and get it signed.

Without the pass, issued at the Bar Association office on the HC premises, you cannot enter the Court building, though personal ID is enough to enter the complex.

The other alternative to enter the Court building is to obtain a visitor’s pass on a daily basis, for which the process is so tedious, describing it brings back painful memories.

Other courts usually do not require such passes. Carry your college ID wherever you go.

The Supreme Court, however, has a procedure similar to that of the High Court.

Main tasks

EVERYTHING. This is one of the best things about this office.

Interns are trusted with every kind of work, provided you know how to do it.

If you do not, ask for assistance.

Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it. (Yes, that’s a Harry Potter reference.)

Work largely includes reading files and making case notes, list of dates, summaries etc. but usually also include preparing a brief summary of the law involved (this will be relied upon, so make sure it is correct), attending conferences (one may also interact with clients).

Clerical work will also be given.

Legal research is also a major part of the work, so be thorough and don’t limit yourself to Manupatra; I found myself calling the Embassy of India in London to ask them a query once.

One will often be asked to brief Ma’am or an associate on the matter.

CARRY YOUR OWN LAPTOP. There is a Wi-Fi connection in the office, but it trips often, so an Internet dongle is also a good idea.

Work environment

The work environment is quite professional, except for sometimes when it gets too crowded.

The associates are very friendly and have a lot to teach you from a professional standpoint.

Associates Ms. Dwivedi, Ms. Joy and Mr. Kirmani were the ones I interacted with the most, and trust me, you will find yourself warming up to them in no time.

They are tough taskmasters, but are also wonderful people.

Best things

I cannot quite explain the way this internship is structured, but one generally finds that one is quite well-versed with many aspects of the procedural law and the substantive law at the end.

Having worked on several family-related matters, I found that the practical knowledge that I had gained went a long way insofar as applying the law was concerned.

I also took away from this internship several teachings on personal conduct and dealing with other people.

Bad things

There will often be a mountain of clerical work and disproportionately little time to do it.

Further, resources at the office are limited.

What did you do to chill?

As we were quite a lot of co-interns (5 when I started), we went out for a quick chai break in the evenings to the nearby market, where you’ll find chai and samosa but little else.

You’ll be working through lunch, so get the phone numbers of nearby joints who can deliver to the office.

Or bring food from home.

Anything else

Understand that you are expected to be proactive in taking up work and ensure that you hand it in well in time.

Making mistakes is not an issue; you can ask for as much help as you need and you have the right to be given help.

But I cannot stress upon the importance of meeting deadlines at this office enough; if you don’t, there are severe consequences.

I’ll leave that to you to find out.

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