Internship Experience @ Chambers of Menaka Guruswamy, New Delhi [NLSIU, Oxford BCL, Harvard LLM]

Name. College. Year of Study

Anon, NLSIU, Year IV

Name of the organization. City

Chambers of Menaka Guruswamy, New Delhi.

See here Linkedin profile here.

Duration of the internship

January end to March beginning, 2014

How big was the office? Team strength?

For a standalone lawyer, the office was impressively spacious and airy, complete with a conference room, a balcony, three computer systems (apart from the one in Menaka madam’s office and the clerk’s computer).

Other than Ms. Menaka Guruswamy, there was one junior lawyer working under her, and three interns in toto. It is very tastefully done in shades of white and red, and there is a small kitchenette, complete with a microwave, a fridge, a coffee maker, the works.

Application procedure. Internship contact details

Send in your resume along with a sample of your writing (such as project, term paper, any publication) to [email protected]

This is followed by a telephonic interview with expected questions regarding your reasons for seeking this internship, career plans, etc.

Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings

Mine was a four-week internship, but I believe duration would be flexible, just discuss it during the phone interview. They allow you days off in case you have any competition such as moot/debate to attend, or for other genuine reasons.

Accommodation: how, where, how was it?

I lived at home, but you could very easily find PG accommodation in or around new friends colony.

menaka guruswamy internship

First impression. First day, formalities etc.

Ms. Menaka Guruswamy is quite friendly and non-intimidating at first, but means business if you slack off or don’t submit quality work. Her junior will mostly take you through your tasks.

Main tasks 

You have to submit your research in a crisp and clean format if you don’t want to be told off for submitting work that is too voluminous and inaccessible or incomplete work. She is very particular about organization and brevity.

Work is mostly research oriented, such as research on the position of law on a particular subject matter, with supporting judgments, or research on judgments that specifically support a particular case you have been assigned.

You’ll get work on a wide-ranging variety of legal areas, including bail, FIR, civil matters, and even extra-legal matters. For sure, you will not get bored. There are a few court visits to look forward to, but not very many of them.

Work environment, people

The work environment is friendly enough, but not if you are suspected to be slacking off. You can usually leave by 7 or 8 in the evening, and your request to leave early will usually not be declined (early does not mean before 6, though), unless there are tasks to be finished urgently.

On Saturdays, unless there is too much work, you’re let off by 5:30 or 6; Ms. Menaka Guruswamy will usually encourage you to shoo away and enjoy your Saturday evening if she finds you working late on Saturdays.

Best things? 

The fact that there is wonderful Shawarma and other sorts of culinary fare to be tasted at walking distance (NFC market) and also that Ms. Guruswamy often brings her two very sweet pet dogs to chill in the office. The office itself is airy, cool and uncluttered.

Bad things? 

If your work has caused any amount of dissatisfaction to Ms. Guruswamy, be prepared for being made to feel like you need to sink into the ground or not occupy any space in her office.

She can be ruthless without even yelling. But if you can manage to not take it personally and just try to extract as much information from her or her junior regarding how you could have done a better job, it’s all good in the end.

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

Both my co-interns were from my college, so I didn’t really meet new people, but the environment is such that you can interact with comfort, and you can walk down to the local NFC market (it’s called the NFC community Centre) and chill over there with a fantastic variety of very affordable food.

Most other market areas are not much more than half an hour’s distance by cab/auto from the office, if you have time in the evening to hang around.

Stipend/ month

None.

Anything else you’d like to tell

Just try your best to do good-quality work and not tick anyone off. Mostly, don’t tick her junior(s) off, because you’ll primarily be dealing with them aside from reporting the work you have done to Ms. Guruswamy. Not much else to be said on that front.

Biggest lessons

Take criticism in your stride and concentrate, more than anything else, on making your own work better. Good luck!

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  1. kundan Prasad Singh says:

    May I request you for a copy of writ petition (criminal ) No 129 of 2012 for study. My son Rahul Raj 23,was killed by Mumbai policemen on 27 october October2008.I am preparing for writ filing in-person. Kundan Prasad Singh, Patna Bihar. cont 9472401153

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