Name and Description of Student
Raveena Rai, 5th Year B.A.LLB (H), Amity Law School, Delhi.
Office and Description
Chambers of Mr. Vivek Sood, Advocate, Chamber 203, Black III, High Court of Delhi, New Delhi.
2 Months (July – September), Monday-Saturday (6 Days a week).
Timings are 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM.
However, I was told that these timings are flexible and even though I did stay in the Chamber till 7:00 PM on most days, I was given no judgmental looks for leaving as early as at 3:00 PM in the afternoon.
Mr. Sood works from his chamber in the High Court itself.
Thus, I could reach the chamber by getting down at any of these metro stations: Mandi House (Blue Line), Pragati Maidan (Blue Line), Patel Chowk (Yellow Line), or Khan Market (Violet Line).
So, metro commuters (Except for those on the Red and Green Lines) are blessed with a direct metro for this location.
However, any of the metro stations are not at a walking distance, and a Rs. 30 auto was an indispensable part of my morning commutes.
I sent my CV to [email protected] and also talked to a junior working under Mr. Sood before I landed in front of Mr. Sood’s desk.
Apart from being one of the best at criminal trials in lower courts and now in the High Court, Mr. Sood is by far the most considerate person that I have ever met.
He accepted my application before I could even blink, and the next moment I was being assigned that days assignments.
First Day, an Introduction to the Chamber
Since I had already talked to one of Sir’s Juniors, I had a fair idea that two more interns were working under him.
When I entered the Chamber at around 11:00 AM, I was greeted by a bulletin board with the phone numbers of Sir, his four juniors, his two clerks, the steno, the cartridge guy, the cleaning guy (all these along with their designations), so, I could make out the strength of the staff working under him.
Thus, the first entry into the chamber gave me a feeling of claustrophobia, which was immediately converted to a sudden sense of warmth that was oozing out of the juniors in the chamber.
I was further comforted when I had my first conversation with Mr. Sood, who immediately assigned me some work and that too with the most humble smile.
As a 5th Year Law Student, who has gone through a myriad of internships, this was a fresh breeze of comforting professionalism that was completely new founded.
Although I was told to work from the High Court Bar Room after that (to avoid a cluster in the Chamber), I really did not mind.
Nature of Work
For all those who are aware of Mr. Sood’s work on Cyber Law (He has authored as many as three acclaimed books on the subject) may presume that there would be number of cyber crime/cyber law cases which he would be dealing with.
Au Contraire during the span of my internship, I did not come across a single cyber law case.
Mr. Sood deals exclusively with Criminal Matters and that too in the High Court only (now).
He is also the founder of an NGO through which he takes up a lot of matters of jail inmates and undertrials.
There is an abundance of bail applications, murder and kidnapping cases, rape cases, NDPS matters, etc. that are dealt by Mr. Sood daily.
Thus, just sitting in the chamber and reading the paperbooks of these cases can give a great insight into a wide sphere of criminal law.
Where on one hand I enjoyed reading the files that contained the A-Z of a criminal trial, my time was denoted to a lot of other tasks too.
One of the major areas of work was helping sir research for his new book on criminal law, which was more educative than the whole two semesters when I studied criminal laws in college.
Further, I researched on various propositions of law, which can only be thought of by the most ingenious criminal lawyers.
The assignments were to be completed within a particular timeframe and were severely checked and scrutinized by Mr. Sood himself.
The research work was mainly dealt with in the evening after 5, when the courts closed.
Before that, I witnessed plethora of court proceedings argued by Mr. Sood, and everytime Mr. Sood would come out of a court after arguing, he would have an exclusive session with the interns, explaining to them the nature of the case, what he argued, how he thinks the judge reacted, and if the case would ultimately work out in his favour.
All in all these after-argument sessions were a practical guide to criminal law.
I was also given the opportunity to draft a few bail applications and writ petitions, and the Juniors were very considerate in helping me wherever and whenever I stumbled.
Also, the opportunity to sit during meetings with clients gave a rare insight into the plight of those stuck within the confines of the criminal justice system in India.
The highlights, however, were the evening round-table conversations that the staff had with Mr. Sood, where he would tell propositions of law, his experiences in lower courts, a thorough dissection of landmark cases in criminal law, in a light-hearted manner.
As I have already described, the work environment, the favourable temperament of the Juniors, the opportunity to understand criminal law personally through a source which has tremendous understanding of the same, the flexible working hours and the location, were probably the best among the other places I have interned at.
There is not dearth of work and every new assignment leads to a different learning.
Mr. Sood and his staff makes sure that everyone is well fed, and there is regular service of cold-drinks in the chamber.
One can also join Mr. Sood for lunch at the High Court Canteen (the cold coffee is a catch), and be entertained by his childhood stories as well.
The personalized attention that each intern gets from Mr. Sood is incredibly motivating and he never shies away from appreciating an interns work.
Overall, one steps out of the internship with a renewed zeal and love towards law.
To all those who are planning a career in criminal law, this is one place to learn your basics.
Not So-Good Things
The lack of pressure to work sometimes leads to a very casual approach from the interns, however, Mr. Sood makes sure that you are given a time-bound assignment if he detects your casual attitude.
I stay in Delhi, so I did not need a separate accommodation.
However, there are many PGs in nearby areas like Lajpat Nagar, Paharganj, Rajendar Nagar etc.