My Internship sojourn at becoming a Barrister-at –law !
Amity law school centre 2, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh
20th May 2015- 20th June 2015
One often dreams of interning under a successful counselor as a stepping stone to hone skills and enhance knowledge whilst completing the legal academia.
However, I had never envisaged such a colorful and vibrant journey while interning.
It all started with a mail from an associate at Ms. Geeta Luthra’s office asking me to report on.
I promptly acknowledged in the affirmative thanking them effusively.
On the appointed day, I suited myself in my formal court room attire and rang the bell 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
I was greeted by a wise old gentleman who politely enquired as to my business.
On being told, he ushered me down to the basement of the house which was the office of the legal firm.
I was shocked at seeing no one in the office!
Then as if I was blind folded and could not see, the gentleman majestically looked around and said, “As you can see Madam, no one is present! All have gone to work.”
I was greatly disappointed and thought that the assigned associate had forgotten about my joining date.
So after being pacified with a Nimbu-Pani, I left and called my father describing my experience.
He consoled me by saying that their work took precedence over all else and that I should call the Senior Associate. I did that but to no avail.
Being a Saturday, I took the liberty of calling the next day on Sunday and was told by Mr. Sahai to report to court directly on Monday at 9 am!
I was overjoyed!
And thus began my exciting internship!
The Legal Firms Vital Statistics
A-35 East of Kailash, – address
Basement of Ms.Luthrs’s own house has two main big cabins, one belonging to Ms.Luthra and one to her partner Mr.Sanjeev Sahai.
Three smaller cabins for associates. One room for the Interns.
Geeta ma’am’s room and Sanjeev sir’s rooms were very spacious and full of books, from the floor to the ceiling.
The Interns room- had another room inside it and we called it the inner sanctum of solace. This room had all the files stashed in it. We would at times use this room to sit and chill out when there was lesser work load and we wanted a respite.
However, as there were too many interns, some of us permanently sat inside the file room, it gave a nice cozy feeling.
The Cardinal Chamber at high court!
Compact chamber at high court, 109, Lawyers Chamber, Delhi High Court, Sher Shah Suri Marg, Sher Shah Suri Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001.
Our Daily Routine (O Lord, Give us this day our daily bread!)
We had to report to the designated court every day at 9.55 am, as assigned by the associates the previous night.
No chance of being late as the proceeding started bang on time and being late was a cardinal rule being broken.
I remember, one fine day my mother had made Alu Puris for breakfast as I had the entire day at court with no break. I did report at 10.15 am on the dot. But that was late too,and everyone had already left for the proceedings .So there you have it, compassion but according to strict guidelines and rules!
After reporting we had to collect the copy of the cause sheet and then go to the assigned court room to attend the proceedings.
The various courts we could be called to besides the High court were, Karkadooma court, Saket court, Tees Hazari and Patiala House.
A great amount of responsibility is given to the interns and they are made accountable for several things, thereby strengthening the learning process, including the responsibility of feeding the golden retriever, which I loved doing as I love dogs.
Highly cordial and cooperative associates, always there to guide you through the whole process and take pains in explain every detail.
We would get to attend the mediation proceedings.
I was lucky enough to attend the mediation of a case I was working on already, and it was a great experience, although the funny thing was that the mediator and the lawyer of the opposite party understood we were students and asked us our year and college, so we were made to feel comfortable and important at the same time.
A lot of major tasks are delegated.
I had to keep late working hours and staying in Noida which is far from GK posed a challenge. Again, as a matter of compassion, I was allowed to leave by 8.30, though most interns were asked to stay till late , which is why most of them took up accommodation in pg’s near her house.
That probably was the only challenging aspect as everything else was truly amazing!
Anecdotes from the High court days
Since my internship was during the time when courts were mostly about to shut, we didn’t get the letter to make a court pass for a month and hence everyday in the morning we had to collect our letter from the Chamber and rush to get the pass made and avoid the long queue. This area was rather bizarre!
Being an observant person, it used to be great to see all types of people standing there waiting in the queues, some even fighting to get one made faster, some men trying to enter into the female lines, some trying to enter into the lines for the senior citizens, despite looking young and healthy in all ways!
For me this was usually a troublesome process because of the heat, since we had our black blazers on and it was scorching hot and crowded and mostly we were in a hurry to reach the court rooms.
Learning’s from Geeta ma’am
Great advocacy skills.
Good knowledge about anything and everything related to her cases.
Leaves no open ends.
Knows how to get her cake and eat it too.
How to maintain cordial relations with your opposite council.
Hard work is a key to success and there is no substitute for this (she used to personally stay up till late after returning from court to read up and work with everyone on the cases of the next day ).
The litigation Rush!
The adrenal rush litigation gives you just doesn’t want to make you stop, even though you might be dead tired, sleepy and irritated but it gives you a high which is unbeatable and makes you come back for more.
Experience with my Co-Interns and To do list for the free time
There are interns from all colleges all over India and in fact I was lucky that while I was there we were close to 10 fellow interns.
So one could never get bored and since I was junior to most of them, they were very helpful and friendly towards me.
The office is located in East of Kailash which is in the heart of south Delhi and even though we never got too much time to go chill outside but we did manage a few lunches here and there in greater kailash and kailash colony when we got the time.
There are great joints nearby too, from where we used to order our lunches at times, very tasty and very affordable, making it even better for our student budgets.
Geeta ma’am has a very cute golden retriever who would also come down to the office in the evenings to join us for preparing our case. Being extremely fond of Dogs, this was a plus point for me.
And along with him also came tasty snacks for everyone, be it momo’s or aloo patties or pao bhaji, along with tea or coffee.
Mostly a lot of research work, however sometimes the research is also very tough, so you have to keep trying.
A lot of drafting is also handed over to the interns, and formats are available for all
The interns were also made a part of the discussions when the clients came, if the client gave the consent for the same.
This made me top family law the next semester in college, as I had so much firsthand experience to deal with divorces !
The associates are extremely friendly and helpful, one of my favorites would be Jomol Joy,
Jomol ma’am: the kind who would work even in high fever and even when she could barely speak. Recent pass out from Nliu Bhopal, and she knows it all, just perfect.
The other asscociates were extremely helpful too, be it Naina ma’am or Suadat sir.
Passing Out Parade!
There came the last day, and we all went to Big Chill to celebrate it, after which we got our stamped certificates from the office and left for the day with a memory that would last forever.
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This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.