Name of the organization.
Chambers of Darius Khambata (Advocate General of Maharashtra)
Duration of the internship:
October 1st to October 31st, 2013. 10 – 5 which is when court proceedings ended. But on most days, I stayed beyond 5 to attend conferences and client meetings. The earliest I had left was at 5 when there were no conferences lined up.
The latest was days when conferences went on till 8 and 9 pm. I was also given the option of going to work on Saturday which was the day exclusively reserved for conferences.
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How big was the office? Team strength?
The office which is situated on the first floor of the Bombay High Court annexe building is fairly large. The team comprises of 8 juniors and 10-15 other staff members.
There is a room for Mr Khambata which is also has the conference table. Outside his room is where you would find the desks of the administration staff. The adjacent room is the room where the juniors work which is also where interns work.
Application procedure. Internship contact details
I applied for the internship by sending an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accommodation: how, where, how was it?
Since I’m from Bombay I did not have to seek accommodation. However, friends who interned in Mumbai around the same time were able to find PGs around the Bombay High Court.
First impression. First day, formalities etc.
When I arrived at the office on the first day, I was taken aback by the e number of people in the office. There seemed to be a lot of people who were waiting to speak to him so I wasn’t able to meet him for a few hours.
When I did finally meet him, I was given a general idea about work in the office and I also asked him a few questions.
At the end of this discussion, I was also given my first assignment which was research on certain aspects of private international law. Subsequently, I was asked to accompany him to Court on a PIL hearing.
I researched and assisted on cases Mr Khambata was arguing at the time as well as cases where his opinion was sought. Some of the areas of law that I did substantial research on were family law, private international law, law of contracts, child rights and women’s rights under international law and law relating to public interest litigation.
He usually tried to ensure that I was gave me work on my areas of interest or on subjects that I was fairly acquainted with.
However, even if I did not have any knowledge of a particular subject but showed an interest or willingness to learn, he would always be forthcoming and ensured that I could participate actively in that particular case.
One thing was always advised me to was to read case briefs and attend every conference so that I could follow what was happening in Court.
Work environment, people
Even though I was a little nervous about only being in the second year and having limited knowledge of legal subjects, I was never lost because everybody in the office was extremely friendly and helped and guided me at every stage.
The excellent work culture is one of the reasons I would love to go back.
As Advocate General of Maharashtra, Mr Khambata deals with government as well as private matters, which was interesting as I was exposed to a large variety of cases.
Mr Khambata is an extremely flexible person. He doesn’t interfere too much as long as the work is delivered to him on time. Since his office is situated in the High Court building, he also encouraged me to attend Court proceedings and watch other lawyers arguing.
As the first lawyer I interned under he is approachable, extremely encouraging and inspiring not only due to his brilliant advocacy skills, but also his professional ethics. Additionally, the excellent work atmosphere makes it a great experience.
I wish I had been given work by the juniors during the time that I did not have to work on any assignment given by Mr Khambata. I would probably have learnt more, as they were present in the office more often than him and it would have been easier to approach them.
Additionally, I also wish I had been given drafting work. Though this is not something I had ever done prior to this internship, in hindsight I think this is a skill I would have liked to learn. Apart from this, I really don’t think there is anything one could complain about.
What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues
There were no co-interns during my internship period. However, this was not a drawback as my colleagues were extremely friendly. I never imagined that work would be so much fun that I would look forward to going every day. The atmosphere was wonderful.
Apart from work and important matters at the High Court, we also discussed current affairs, and had casual conversations about food, movies, plays and events in the city.
Most of the chilling happened over lunchtime where I had lunch in the office or we went out for lunch together. I was always made a part of any plans that my colleagues came up with.
Anything else you’d like to tell; Biggest lessons
Litigation appears to be a fascinating option, there is no shortcut to success. It is easy to be a practicing lawyer, but being a successful practicing lawyer is no cakewalk.
While it does entail a lot of hard work, legal acumen combined with perseverance and dedication to the profession go a long way in ensuring one’s success as a practicing lawyer.