The Maddening, Vicious Cycle of Law Internships and the 8 Point Story My Resume Tells

internship
By Rupam Gupta. Campus Journalist at MSRCL

WARNING: The readers of this article may completely lose interest in their law course. They might feel sad, depressed and lonely and curse god for their miserable existence. I refuse to take any liability for the above mentioned mishaps. But seriously, you have to read this.

To really enjoy this piece, read the write-up in 3 parts; separated by photos.

So I have just completed making a list of all the law firms I wish to apply for this summer. It was not an easy task; I had to take a lot of factors into consideration before I started making my list.

Let’s take a walk together of how it came to be. The main concern for me was to analyze what I wish to gain or achieve from this internship.

My objective goes like this –I am seeking an internship position with a well established law firm where my legal skills will be implemented and enhanced. This will prove to be very helpful for me in the long run”. 

Sounds nice and elegant! I am sure many law firms will send me a confirmation mail immediately after reading this objective.

So I got to work and started making the list. A quick search in RSG India and I had made my choice – Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB Partners, JSA these law firms went no.1 in my list. How hard can it be to get an internship in their office?

Once I impress them with my resume, they will surely give me an internship.

I mean, if Mike Ross from Suits, (a potential drug dealer without any law degree) can get recruited, I am sure I can too.

After I get the internship, I am going to dazzle them with my brilliance and legal knowledge. They will get so impressed that they will have to make me an offer I can’t refuse and give me a job. Then, I am on my way to legal stardom. Not to be boastful or anything, but my future looks definitely bright.

I have already decided where I am going to intern this summer. Now it’s time to update my resume. If Lawctopus has taught me anything, it is that “your resume should tell a story”.

Great, I am very good at writing stories. Score one for myself! Anyway, I have an awesome story line lined up:

1. Work Experience : I have plenty. Last summer I worked atI Scratch your back & You scratch mine Legal Associates“. It was super awesome. I was asked to wear the black coat and everything; I learnt legal stuff, got free coffee, free lunch and met the other interns (some were smoking hot).

The only part I didn’t like was that I had to go court everyday to see my firm’s proceedings (face palm!) At the end of the internship, I was given my certificate. However, I wonder as to why I was the only intern not being offered to continue my internship.

2. Sports : Counter Strike, Assassins Creed, FIFA and NFS – these are the games in which I am unbeatable. They are challenging and test ones analytical and perceptive skills all at once.

They are the sole reason behind my amazing eye-hand coordination, which let’s be honest is very important for a legal career! This will be the point where the recruiters are absolutely getting convinced that I am the right candidate for the Internship position.

3. Competitions : I was the lead singer in my metal band “The Burning Bazaar”. Though we didn’t win anything, I could tell people loved our performances; they would start clapping and would not stop until we leave the stage. Thank you guys for all your support!

4. Publications : I don’t wanna brag but, you know those yahoo answers when you do a quick google search? I have made tons of publications there.

There was this guy who had some problem in his love life, I totally helped him out. I am very modest, but let’s face it… I am a Hero. I also maintain my own blog, www.hubba-hubba.com.

5. Achievements : On September 27th, 2011 at 2.45 am, I Got 350+ likes for my display picture in Facebook (proudest moment of my life).

6Areas of Interest : I love Hilly areas, I also like beaches but there is something about Hilly areas that I just can’t resist.

7. Education : I have decided not to include this on my resume (little bit embarrassing). In fact, its not even needed – who cares about marks ! By the time they reach this section of the resume, they will be already amazed at the talents I possess.

8. Reference : My Uncle who lives in Darjeeling, is the owner of a tea plantation. I also have my far cousin somewhere in USA, he says he is in speaking terms with Johny Depp, so you can say I know Johny Depp.

life of a law intern, legal internship, law student life

easy work

Everything was going smoothly, until my friend Anirban gives me a call and tells me about this firm he has applied for through their online application form. He mentioned it was very easy to fill in, he had to choose most options from drop boxes. It took him only 5 minutes to fill up the form and submit it.

I was like, great, now I don’t have to write a bogus cover letter and mail them personally. I asked him for the link and I opened their website. It really looked impressive and I thought to myself I just have to intern here. So I went to the Internship section and started filing in the form. That is when something really, really bad happened.

In the college section there was a drop box, I kept on scrolling down, kept on scrolling down till I reached China, but I could not find my college name. My college was not part of the list!! The firm was so strict about their intake of interns that they restricted students from our college to even apply for an internship. 

The more I went down the list, shock and tremendous fear ran through my spine. They had a section for marks which was a drop box and had limited options – 1st option : Top 2% in class, 2nd option : Top 5%, 3rd option : Top 10%. There was no 4th option.

Then they were sections for Top 3 internship experiences, Top 3 moot court experiences, Top 3 Publications. This was too big a shock to intake. I shut down my laptop and went for a walk. Perhaps the most important walk I ever took in my life.

“I am Jack’s Broken heart”..

That Internship application made me realize the criteria in which these top law firms recruit interns. The level of competition is crazy and it is impossible for any non NLS student without any legal contacts to flourish in an environment like this.

We take up a long 5 year course and go to law school and after going though all the trouble, there exists a high probability that we might end up unemployed. Even worse, even if we are employed, we will get peanuts as salary.

patience in applying for internships

patience. that’s what became of the kid above

Generally, recruiters for Internships prefer students with prior experience. To gain prior experience we need internships. It is a vicious circle. I agree people in the Top 10% in class have earned their rights to at least go forward and try. But what about the other 90%? They don’t even get a signal to go ahead. Patience is the key, they say.

Maybe it is true. But you should communicate this to our bank authorities from whom we have taken student loans.

Nowadays, we spend most of our time doing things which will help us build our resume. We sign up for any course or event accompanied by a certificate. Do we ever stop to ask ourselves what is it actually about? Are we genuinely interested?

At the end of the day, logic takes over and we resign to the fact that we will get another bullet point in our resume. Nothing to lose, but hey, at least I am filling out my CV!

We spend hours, days, months building our resume and it only takes a few seconds for the recruiters to reject them. Can’t blame them, can’t blame us, no wonder everybody is so pissed off. “Life is a Train, its eventually gonna hit you, so either you start running from a far distance, or else you can sit down, crack open a beer and watch it coming”.

In the end it does not matter what college you went to or what courses you have done. What matters is how much money you have in your wallet earned through legal means. Anyway, I have got the best solution to solve my problems .

I have broadened my search from the 3 best law firms in India (according to the web search I made earlier in RSG INDIA) to all the law firms in India. I’m tired of listening to people saying that we should select only 5-6 firms, make custom cover letter and follow up. What a bunch of whiners.

I will make only one cover letter, go to Lawctopus, get all the internship contacts and am going to mail the same cover letter along with my super awesome resume to all the law firms in India. At least one of them will surely follow up. [Editor: No, they won’t]

I am also going to update my resume with minor alterations. Now I know you guys have been thinking I missed out so many important and genuine points from my resume but don’t worry, the same has come to my notice.

Firstly, I will add my photo, to make the recruiters notice and appreciate the fact that I look similar to beloved SRK. Then I am going to add some of the more adventurous and dangerous sports such as football and cricket to my resume.

The only sad angle is that I have done too many spectacular things in my life, I just can’t try and fit everything in 2 pages. Nothing is enough!

I hereby declare that all the statements above are true and to the best of my knowledge. This is not just me writing this article because I am here bored and all alone in my lonely little room. 

-The Man.

Rupam Gupta is the Campus Journalist at MSRCL. He is an utter disgrace to the legal community. Good for Nothing. Lazy, Slow and unproductive, writes crappy articles and pisses people off. Claims to be a huge music fanatic, he can’t even differentiate between Metallica and Megadeth.

Images from here and here.

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Comments Till Now

  1. Anonymous says:

    just one thing ill like to add, getting internship through personal contacts and not on merit basis by these top law firms…
    bias attitude at its core!

  2. LegallyLost says:

    Its a vicious cycle no doubt, an average student in a non-NLU virtually looses his chance of making big someday. Seriously, I curse myself today, I should have listen to my parents who warned me from pursuing law.

  3. wow!nice!

  4. Great style. Very well conveyed.

    1.You look way better than SRK.
    2.Were you really the only one not offered to continue with the internship? If not, I wouldn’t make myself any more modest than necessary; albeit the overtone of sarcasm does build up to that!
    3.The humor is close to perfection. But then, we really don’t know what perfection is 😀

  5. Dear Rupam,
    It was really a great experience reading your write up…its simply amazing…the coherence in projecting your thoughts at proper frame was awesome and majority of law students will agree to it except some of the narrow minded freaks…
    These are the instances where we also feel the same but we ignore it…u hav focussed on those feelings…but truly speaking i hav not ended up on this option bcoz for many of our inmates (dedicated and genuine) it has become a matter of passion and ego…
    As far as my personal experience is concerned i m on the verge of completing this course and the feelings u had expressed hav gone thru me as well…but u know wat the fact is…i have risen above it. its essential to be happy wid the little we have…
    Hav started focussing on other alternatives…
    moved on now but not depressed that why i had opted law…

    • Guru,

      I totally agree with what you have to say, infact till date even I have never regretted to opt for law as a career option. Its just that its very competative and the market is very dry. Anyway thanks for sharing your views and thank you for your possitive response, Best of luck for the future.

  6. shibu sweta says:

    well – written story!!

  7. Cracklin N. Hash says:

    If I had a nickel for every lawyer or law student, usually from the creme d’la creme law schools in the country, who constantly felt the need to condescend every other law student who attend regular law school, I’d have a big bag of coins which I would use to buy your overinflated ego which I will then use to pump balloons that say “Frak Ye”.
    Clit Yeastwood,
    Clearly you’re one of those who was in so deep with the books that you built a wall around you to protect your chastity.
    I guess years from now when you will shut your shop every night, you’ll let the cats out of the office and dust the mats, and say to yourself “I.Wish.I.Had.A.SenseofHumor”.
    I’m sure you also wear one of those fancy Livestrong bands. Here’s what you do; next time you feel the need to go out of your way and condescend someone when you can plain opt to ignore it and move on, put the band between your fingers, pull it back till it reaches the gates Cul-de-sac of the Bland and smack yourself in the eye and put yourself out of your misery

  8. Dave's not here man says:

    For those of you ridiculously brilliant legal aspirants who think that y’all are brilliantly ridiculous, you probably are, which boils down to the fact why you couldn’t sound funny and academically fuhrer’ish at the same time. I actually happen to know Rupam personally and i’d go out on a bare act here and say, he’s got more heart than most of you legal farts who think once you bag that dream job at that dream (read horrendously soul-sucking) law firm, your lives are set. Welcome to the jungle where you’ve to wake up at 7 in the morning everyday till the age of 60 for that exclusive lifestyle. Well if i may not deviate, i’d say that yeah go suck up to your seniors and you’ll probably end up with a salary difference of around 20k more than if you hadn’t.
    Happy sucking up..

  9. Anonymous says:

    The table’l turn around… sooner or later….n the disgraceful Mr. Gupta will find grace …and grass!
    P.s- apllying for farms not firms might be more logical … needless to say productive .

    • You got more issues than National Geographic says:

      Firstly lemme say all this commotion is awesome, this discussion might go on for ages and I swear I won’t regret it. However, this is a website and there is no need for this. Mr. Clit and Anonymous 2, lets just review.

      1. No where in this article have I mentioned anything about how undeservingly NLS students get more attention, nor have I questioned their legal abilities. They have cleared CLAT and deservingly got admitted in the best law institutions in the country. No arguments there.
      2. There are thousands of people giving Clat every year, as there are limited seats many of us cannot get through so we resort to other institutions. But just because we are from the other section, does not mean , we dont deserve to get a job.
      3. This article was a general write up, it was not intended to cause any rift between NLS and Non-NLS students, But by your comments it seems to me you guys are begging to turn this thing into a war. I don’t know what is eating you inside and why this grudge , but whatever is eating you inside – must be suffering horribly.
      4. Don’t disgrace your university name out in the public , for people like you, Nls students have started getting the “douche bag” tag. If you feel you are superior to us, why do you bother fighting it over such trivial matter, like this article. Dont you have some assignments to complete. Studying in NLS how can you spare time to argue over stupid things?
      5. As an outsider, what do you think of the human race? I advice you dont be totally ignorant of the other massive section of the law students in this country. yeah some like me may productively apply in farms rather than firms ( I see what you did there,very funny ) but there are few gems too. I wonder you must have a very large brain to hold so much ignorance.

      Anyway I hope this is the last we hear of this, Thank you for sparing time from your busy schedule and creating this unwanted commotion for no good reason at all.

  10. Well this was expected. says:

    Mr. Clit Yeastwood,

    Frankly, if this article did not recive any single negative comment, I might have not done a good enogh job writing it. Previously, there was an article published, it was named The Most Common Complaints of A Legal Intern [We Hear You], a very good article by a KIIT student. This person named Kcuf Uoy stated “Yeah, don’t the ‘N’ word demotivate you because you anyways can’t do anything about it. C’mon, whom are you kidding? A KIIT student can never get anything in life. You people don’t even get preliminary placements man”

    Very intresting comments. Obviously we Non Nls students are less than dirt to you. I won’t go ahead and level “up” to your standards , I am not worthy enough. I have quite a substantial amount of friends in some NLS institutions who would chose to differ.

    And yes about, the “typical Indian amateur blogging” thingy, this I totally agree with you, I am a typical Indian amateur blogger. However , I would like to know, which great nation do you belong from.

    Anyways, motivating as always , I like to pay attention to the other possitive comments made and ignore yours completely .

    Have a Nice Day, Mr. Clit Yeastwood.

  11. Clit Yeastwood says:

    Utterly unfunny. We have your usual lame attempts at humour, the 3 Idiots idealism and a “witty” line to end it all – typical Indian amateur blogging. At least I am comfortable in my city of justice.

    To aspirants who are reading this drivel – do not lose hope. It is not too difficult getting into NLUs. Study enough for CLAT and you’ll make it. To others who do not, you probably don’t deserve a job either.

    • My god. They make the NALSARites plain douche bags these days, don’t they?

    • YuckFou says:

      First of all, Clit Yeastwood? Inconcievably ingenious much?

      So you are implying that people (future non-NLS mortals) sitting for the law entrance exams envision their (dismal) internship prospects before the journey even begins (*much like your-gifted-self*) and if it so happens that they do not clear it, they deserve to be *unemployed*? (I am sure a lot of random school pass outs bumped into this site to pay heed to your awe-inspiring advise) (sniff the sarcasm?)

      The one’s who get into any said NLS, courtesy *the lil ratio*, are better than any non-NLS law student?
      The ones in other law schools must not give up and keep trying to get into NLS just to score an internship/job or their life ought to go to the dogs?

      I would personally like to give a piece of my mind to every single NLS student who thinks they are better than a non-NLS fella just by virtue of their *University Tag*, because I have personally known parts of the clan who didn’t know the difference between Article 14 and 19! (No Kidding)

      For people with brains who know how to use it (irrespective of the *University* they belong to)—> *RESPECT*
      Delusional and condescending folks? You know better.

    • Oh really! So the non Nls people do not deserve a job… interesting view. though I beg to differ, Law is one field where anyone who holds a law degree can kick the other person’s ass in court!

      Secondly it is all about one’s knowledge and ability to use it

      An Nls fellow thanks to the n- brand may have an advantage initially, however once inside the business, it wont help!

      All that matters is your concept, knowledge, clarity, hard and smart work! the college name does not provide you with an extra advantage

  12. Roses are red, Violets are blue. I have a gun. Get in the van. says:

    There are plenty of law firms having their own online internship application firms.

  13. I can tell you, but then I might have to Kill you. says:

    I have decided never to speak of the firm again, I still get nightmares , terrible nightmares.

    On a serious note, I just wanted to make a point that all top law firms strictly follow these criteria while recruiting. And if a firm like this .. does exist .. they are just doing their job.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Out of curiosity, which is this firm that had an online application form to fill?

  15. Rahul Bajaj says:

    You are my hero. 😀

    This is epic. 🙂

  16. I believe most of the law students would relate to this writing.

  17. Legaloldie says:

    Awesome article! Even the small law firms want stars – top 10 % in class, top 3 publications, top 3 moots and so on.. I will be graduating soon and I am close to despair. I think the only option is a table and typewriter outside court a.k.a Jolly LLB

  18. Anonymous says:

    A well written piece 🙂

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