Internship Experience @ Menon & Pai, Litigation Law Firm, Kochi: Strict Working Environment, No Stipend

Name of the organization. City

Menon & Pai (litigation law firm), Kochi, Kerala

Duration of the internship. No. of days/week. Timings 

I interned from October 14th– November 6th. I worked for six days a week (Sunday holiday).

They did not grant us holidays on any of the festival days (Diwali etc) but availing leave was not a problem.

We were expected to be there by 9:30 and leave at 5 but again, they were a little flexible about this.

How big was the office? Team strength?

The office was reasonably big, with two floors.

There were five partners and about thirteen or fourteen associates when I interned.

The interns were made to sit together in the conference room.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

This was a personally arranged internship but I was told by the other interns that they had been required to send in their CVs after a phone call request.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

Due to the fact that I have family in Kochi, I did not have to seek any other accommodation. However, the other interns had told me that there were PGs around the office area.

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

This was my first litigation internship. On my first day, I spoke to a partner who was very nice to me and told me to go to him if I ever needed anything.

He also introduced me to an associate who took me around the office. On the first day, I was allowed to leave early. It was a decent first impression and the work ethic seemed to be quite strong.

There is no specific dress code at Menon & Pai but it is advised to dress at least semi-formally on regular days, which is “mellow” Indian clothes for girls and pants and shirts for boys.

Given the heat in Kochi, wearing trousers and a shirt for girls may not be the best idea and Indian clothes are far more comfortable to work in. For days that you will be taken to court, black and white is the norm (as is everywhere else).

Main tasks 

The work that I was given was mostly research work for the arguments that the associates were to make in various cases. I was also given fact sheets and case files for my opinions on different cases (involving topics I knew nothing of like tax!).

The internship mostly involved reading many, many, many cases but I was also made to perform other interesting tasks like drafting a will, drafting an affidavit and also in writing a plaint. I got to research and read up on a variety of topics pertaining to various litigation disputes.

Work environment, people

The work environment is not very strict and if you want to work, it is up to you to go looking for it. The associates did not usually call for work.

There were even periods where I spent four or five hours with no work  despite asking all the associates. The associates expect the work to be done within a specific time limit.

The people are polite and courteous but the way they treated interns was strictly professional. They were not particularly friendly and never took a personal interest in helping the interns learn something.

It helped me take the work a lot more seriously than I would have so I suppose it was a good thing, in a way.

Best things? 

The hours were flexible with easy come and go timings with an hour off for lunch. The internship gave me a taste of what working in litigation would be like- a lot of reading.

It was real world experience in this extremely messy field. I realized many very jarring things about courts and cases during this internship.

Bad things?

The unapproachability of some of the associates was a slight detriment to my enthusiasm towards working. Additionally, the office did not have WiFi and only had one computer connected to the internet for the interns to use.

I ended up bringing my laptop and a photon almost everyday to get my work done on time. The room that they made the interns sit was also not air  conditioned and the rising heat made working slightly uncomfortable at times.

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

I did not “chill” with my colleagues or co-interns as I spent my time with my family.

Stipend/month

No stipend.

Anything else you’d like to tell; Biggest lessons

Nothing, really.

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