Kick-Starting a Corporate Law Firm Career With Internships [Advice by Kochhar and Co.’s Partner]

This question was asked by Amitesh Giroti from Savitha Jagadeesan on her career advice page here.

Question: I have average grades but good oration and arguing skills. I am interested in working in a corporate firm preferably in Delhi. Please kindly suggest me as to how should I start my career in the field.

Answer: Grades are important, but more important are the skills that you can gather, and that comes with experience.

When one embarks into the legal field it is important to explore and seek to find what kind of practice area, one would like to undertake.

The first step is to choose the correct internships.

It is important that we take our internships seriously, choose firms that are midsized so we do not get lost amongst the horde.

I would also recommend internships or even the first few years for a newly graduated lawyer to get attached to a firm that has an effective litigation practice.

The process of drafting, filing, the nuances of court procedure, can only be learned with litigation experience.

When you seek internships it is important to first decide areas of law you want to gain expertise. Which firms provide internships and the persons in charge of the internships.

I would also suggest that you pick a firm that has fewer lawyers, as they tend to use the interns to do research, so you will get good exposure during your internship.

For most A list law firms the seats tend to fill up fast therefore you must apply in advance and block a seat for yourself.

Thereafter you have to pick out firms based on their work and partners too.

It is good at the start of your career to go for some midsized boutique firms as you will get a chance to get tons of hands on work.

While applying in the firms of your choice do some research to find if vacancies are there, how they recruit, try for firms where you might have colleagues or connections it helps quite a lot.

Further, I would say to all new comers that when you join a firm, it is your work that speaks for you…never say no to any kind of work and always seek work, it won’t be long you will come into focus of your partner.

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