Ankur Sharma is currently enrolled as a student of LLM International Law at South Asian University, New Delhi, India. He pursued this internship while while he was a final year student of B.A.LL.B.(Hons) at GGS Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India.
About The Advocate:
I interned in the office of Mr. K.K. Venugopal, Senior Advocate at Supreme Court of India. Mr. Venugopal is a famous constitutional lawyer who had appeared in many high-profile cases. He was conferredPadma Bhushan award by Govt. of India.
He was invited to Bhutan and Nepal as the adviser for the drafting of the Constitution of Bhutan. Enrolled as an Advocate in January, 1954, He completed 60 years of standing at Bar this year.
Timings of my Internship
I interned in the month of March, 2014 for one month. Generally He takes intern for maximum duration of four weeks (i.e.) One month. However on humble request he may extend the duration of internship on the basis of your performance demonstrated.
Intern Recruitment Policy:
Unlike Big shot names of Lutyen’s Delhi Durbar, Mr. Venugopal’s office follows a strict transparent process of recruiting interns. Whether you are a student from India’s primer National law school or from regional law college you will be given equal opportunity to intern at his office subject to the availability of slots at the given moment of time.
They encourage students who demonstrate his genuine willingness to learn and that demonstration should be supported by previous work done in CV. Generally as a matter of Policy He take two interns at a point of time.
How to Apply
You can apply directly through E-Mail. He can be reached at [email protected]
For bright chances of selection do send hard-copy of your application at his office “ Shantha, A-144, Neeti Bagh, New Delhi-49 India. +91 11 26855666, +91 11 26855777
Since internship are given in a very transparent manner, generally slots are full for next two years. So it is desirable that you plan your internship dates comprehensively well in advance and apply at least 2 years before intended dates of internship.
About The Office
Mr. Venugopal have two offices which are just at a 2 mins walking distance. One office is newly erected and is very advanced & well equipped with world-class infrastructure having almost all major e-resources, latest workstations and all what you can imagine in a world-class office.
Unfortunately Mr. Venugopal mostly used to sit in his old office which is equally good in all respect but is old.
He have two associates both of them are very knowledgeable and eager to share their legal wisdom with interns. Apart from that He have two Personal Secretaries, and about 5-6 persons in his staff who will assist in day to day affairs at court and office.
9:30 AM to 4:00 PM in the court and from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm maximum in the office. Office is 7 days a week but as a matter of policy SC doesn’t allow interns in court on Miscellaneous days (i.e.) on Monday and Friday, so you will get Monday off from court visit, and Friday full day off and Sunday half day.
Day 1 formalities:
On the very first day I reported at 9:00 am and I was literally amazed to see that his secretary was waiting for me with my hardcopy of CV, E-Mail printout placed in an elegant folder with a reference letter for getting Supreme Court pass. He instructed me to immediately meet Mr. Venugopal who will be heading to court in next 15-20 minutes.
I meet him, he was very cordially in the meet, asked me about my college, faculty there, my future expectations and most importantly he asked me “How can I contribute in making India’s Justice Delivery system better?”.
Impressed with my response he immediately signed the reference letter, handed over to me his personal daily cause list and asked his secretary to print another copy for him. He asked me to see him in the evening for assignment.
Nature of Assignments and Style of Working (Soul of Internship)
From 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM interns are supposed to be in the Supreme Court and to follow each and every matter and take proper notes of the case in a very systemized diary with personal observations and doubts if any a intern is having.
Though intern have full liberty at SC but be carefully you are being constantly watched by the associates and even sometimes by the boss himself. If you miss any case, you may be suddenly called by any associate to brief him about the proceedings in the case and if you fail you may be reprimanded.
At 4 pm daily interns used to rush to office which is 15 mins drive from Supreme Court/ 30 minutes drive by DTC Bus. You are supposed to be ready for work by 5 pm anyhow.
Associates will assign interns cases to be listed before courts either tomorrow or day after tomorrow and interns are supposed to carefully go through case file and prepare Case Note that includes:
1) Facts of the case
2) Question(s) of Law
4) Averment and “ List of Dates”
Believe me after reading bulky of briefs running through thousands of pages, if you are successful in picking these four things accurately and prepare a thorough yet precise “List of Dates” you won the half battle. This whole exercise should be circumcised within 3 pages maximum.
Once you submit your case note to concerned associates after putting hours of hard labour, you feel very delighted that you are able to sum up a case running in thousands of pages in just 3 pages and achieved something.
But guys wait, don’t be satisfied too early. Once the associate in a cursory glance rejects your work without giving any reason, it makes you feel very unhappy. Why this is so? Because associate are specially told by Venugopal sir not to tell you what’s wrong with your work but to give you ample of opportunity to self judge where are you lacking.
They (Associates) will do the same task that you did in 4-5 hours in just 20-35 minutes and come out with a new case note on the very same case that need to be placed before Boss just 5-10 minutes before meeting is scheduled with the clients (Generally Top Notch Law firms who hired him for arguments). Now you can see the difference in your work and associates work and introspect where were you lacking and how you can overcome those shortcomings.
Most interesting part comes when Mr. Venugopal with only these 3 pages worksheet in hand start conference with clients ( Law Firm who hired him) that includes a full team of 5-6 lawyers, 1-2 representatives of the party, technical experts and so on briefing him the whole case in as short duration as possible.
The way Mr. Venugopal start questioning them, dismissing irrelevant points, picking up most relevant points, pondering on definition of each and every single words, dictionary meaning of English words used and intent behind using them, questioning use of grammatical things like semi-colon and verifying every single data etc, will be very scintillating experience in the life of a sincere learner of law.
In 12 hours durations You witness the difference in your approach, associates approach, law firm’s team approach and then your boss’s approach towards the case. And ultimately next day you observe the mastery of arguments by one of the best legal mind in the apex country and witness the approach of His lordship. What else do you expect from an internship?
This task is the prime task given to every interns as Mr. Venugopal believes that this is the finest way of analyzing and conceptualizing law and its practice. Even He was trained by his father Late Shri M.K. Nambiar in the same way.
Apart from this task interns are also assigned to do little bit of legal research ( as mostly research is done by law firms who hires Mr. Venugopal), research for his speeches to be delivered at various national conferences/seminars and lectures etc.
This internship will help you to “Look beyond obvious, think beyond good intentions and act beyond activism”. This internship will open your mental horizons and help you to understand what is expected from lawyer, what responsibilities a lawyers carries and how we as a future lawyer can learn how to reconcile the interest of client and personal interest while being duty bound and fair towards the court.
This internship will also give you a lesson on “How to pass on the repository of knowledge that you posses to others without letting the recipient realize what he/she is getting”.
If you want to learn drafting skills then you might be disappointed at this place because Senior advocates never drafts except in certain circumstances. It will be better if you join Advocate on Record (AOR) to learn the basics of drafting and then come to this place.
In a profession where people earns a lot but parsimonious in giving, Mr. Venugopal stood apart from them. He gives 8000 INR per month for every intern but not as a stipend but as a token of love and appreciation from old generation to posterity to excel and take bar to new heights.