Internship Experience @ Legal Aid Services (LASWEB), Kolkata: Research work, Interaction with Retired Justice Basu, Friendly atmosphere

Name. College. Year of Study.

Aastha Pratik. National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. 2nd Year.

Organisation. City.

Legal Aid Services (LASWEB), Kolkata.

Duration of the internship, Timings.

5 weeks, 11:30am-5:30pm.

Application procedure. Internship contact details.

Applications for internship need to be sent to [email protected] It is necessary to attach one’s CV, a reference may be included in the application but is optional.

Once, your application has been approved they’ll send you an email in order to arrange an interview. Internships may start on the day of the interview itself.

You may need to follow up with them if they don’t contact you.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

Since I live in the same city, I did not have to avail of any external accommodation facilities.

How big was the office? Team strength? 

The LASWEB office comprised of two fairly sized rooms and one small chamber, mostly adequate but did get a tad crowded if too many people turned up.

There were five members of staff and three interns, including myself, for the duration of my internship.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

Filling out an internship form was the only formality. The entire office is lined with books, which led me to have a very good first impression.

The office is suitably equipped in so far as internet connectivity and printing options etc. are concerned, but interns are expected to get their own laptops to work on.

Main tasks.

Main tasks in LASWEB for me included going through case materials, making a case brief and drafting a writ petition with regard to the case.

Subsequently I had to make a number of presentations on certain legal topics (such as the Crimes against Women, Applicability of Foreign Divorce Decrees on Indian NRI Marriages etc.) that were found to be relevant for the legal part of the counselling course also run by the organisation.

Work environment. People.

The people are helpful and cordial. The work is not very challenging and the deadlines are mostly more than sufficient to get the work done.

The overall atmosphere is quite relaxed.

Best Things.

The internship at LASWEB took place under the guidance of Retd. Justice D.K. Basu, who is a kind and patient teacher.

The staff was extremely friendly and so were my co-interns, the rapport developed made the internship an enjoyable experience

Bad Things.

Given the relaxed atmosphere, one may find themselves with a lot of free time and not enough work to finish. Although, people willing to work will however have the opportunity to ask for more work to do.

Also, no boys were allowed to intern at our office in. And although it isn’t really a bad thing per se, it did strike me as being slightly unfair.

What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues.

Since the office is situated in one of the central parts of the city, there were quite a few entertainment options within a reasonable distance.

Moreover, there is a wide variety of food outlets in the vicinity for those who enjoy eating out.

However, since too many people are not allowed to take their lunch breaks at the same time, there wasn’t a lot of chilling going on during office hours or even the breaks.

Stipend.

No.

Any Other Thing.

Retd. Justice Basu, under whose supervision I interned, also teaches certain parts of law to a PG Diploma Class for Counsellor Training.

On one occasion, a co-intern and I were asked to deliver a talk to the class on the subject of Transgender Rights in light of the recent Supreme Court judgment.

The talk was well received by the class, which consisted entirely of people much older than ourselves and who were working in a variety of fields.

Moreover, we got an opportunity to meet a few eminent persons from different backgrounds who were there to conduct the classes.

However, the high point for me was when I went to the High Court subsequently and an advocate came up to me to compliment me on the talk I’d delivered in the class, which she had also attended.

It was truly the most gratifying moment I had due to the internship.

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