Internship Experience @ Human Rights Law Network, HRLN, Delhi: Accompany Lawyers to the Court

Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Aarushi Bansal

Name of Organisation, Location city, Team Strength

HRLN, Delhi, Flexible strength

Application Process

Contact the in charge with your CV, application, letter of recommendation and a writing sample assessing your writing and analytical skills. Send these over to to [email protected] with a title in the subject line of the email: ‘Internship at Socio Legal Information Center’.

The application form to be filled is available on their website.

Duration of internship and timings

12th April, 2015 – 15th May, 2015

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

The first day started with an completion of formalities like filling up a form and paying 1000 rupees as registration fee which is a requirement for all interns. We were given an orientation about the basic tasks and our in-charge, as well as the variety of departments the office had. Several foreign interns were also present.

The office has three floors and the interns are usually given a place on the first floor. Everybody seemed professional and serious about their work, and worked in their own field of expertise. There were not only lawyers, but also socialists, social workers and volunteers.

While we were told that we had to be willing to work and take initiative, we were also given the liberty to choose the kind of work we were most interested in and let our in charge know in case some task did not meet our expectations, which was very encouraging for interns.

Main tasks

My in-charge specialized in Human Rights and Criminal Rights and gave me work accordingly. My work included lots of research to substantiate her cases and I also helped her in formulating arguments in her memorandum.

We accompanied one of the lawyers to the High Court on our first day and observed the proceedings there. I even visited the Tis Hazari court to get the dates of certain hearings. We even sat with clients as they communicated their grievances to us. I even prepared several writeups of the ongoing cases and initiatives of HRLN for its website and it remains updated with all its current events and activities.

The most interesting task for me was to attend a Sexual Harassment of Women in Workplace committee meeting of an aggrieved woman as an observer and ensure the proceedings were fair and unbiased. There were meetings every Friday, which the entire office was supposed to attend. Overall, it was an enriching experience.

Work environment and people

Work environment is extremely professional and interns are required to complete all the tasks on time. Interns are required to keep their incharges up to date with their work progress and must be constantly willing to get more work.

Most people are friendly and will help you out in case you require any guidance and will also give you a quick background check on anything you need to know. However, some some people were less amiable to work with, which is another thing these internships teach you and interns soon learn how to cope with such issues.

Best things

Interns will get more exposure if they are willing to work more. No one hesitated in helping out. The Friday meetings were a good experience as they were very interactive and everyone participated and discussed important human rights issues, and were also attended by Mr. Colin Gonsalves, senior High Court lawyer.

It was a great experience to be able to interact with him and learn about his take on law. Even interns were treated like everyone else and encouraged to participate extensively in the discussions. Our researching skills were also sharpened in the process.

Bad things

Some colleagues in the office were often problematic to work with. There are not too many places to visit around the office. Although the metro is best commute, you might have to change it at least once and take an auto/ rickshaw to reach office.

Stipend

No stipend.

Biggest Lessons

Meeting the deadline for work is of utmost importance. One must develop a habit of reading and be willing to take up more work or the initiative to work.

Maintaining a professional conduct in office is essential. It might do you good to keep in mind that one will meet different people in a workplace, all of whom might not agree with you at all times, however it is important to learn to figure out a way to work with them nonetheless.

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