May 5- May 31, 2013. 4 weeks. Timings were 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. You might be called on Saturdays to the lawyer’s chamber.
There were rarely times where any intern was asked to stay back late. In that way, the Court’s environment was comfortable and relaxed.
Directions: Getting to the High Court is a bit confusing at first since there aren’t any signboards nearby. It is situated adjacent to the District Court.
You can either take a shared auto which costs about 25 rupees per person, to the Hazratganj Chauraha (since thats the only landmark nearest to the Court), and from there you need to take a rickshaw which will drop you to the High Court in 20 rupees per person.
Personally, I followed the same conveyance. Its easy and does not take much time.
I approached one of the well known advocate of High Court ‘Mr. Mahmood Alam’ as I came to know about him through various people. I sent an e-mail to him with my CV attached, application and a Bonafide Certificate.
The first day I reached the High Court office a bit early at 9:45 am since I didn’t know what time the interns were supposed to arrive at. I was made to sit in the plush chamber of my lawyer under whom I was interning. Peeking around, I saw that the chamber was spacious and uncluttered which gave a good sense right at the start.
At 10:00 we met with Mr. Mahmood Alam, the Central Government Counsel of High Court. A cheerful man full of enthusiasm, he showed me to my desk and asked me to be comfortable.
Once all the interns were settled and allotted workstations, we were introduced to each person in the chamber which was a nice way to know the names of everyone (which didn’t take long considering as there weren’t a lot of people in that particular chamber).
We even had a little tour of the Court where we were shown the Court rooms, the proceedings, Judges, victims, criminals etc.
There was a cafeteria too. The Cafeteria had all the essentials: A fridge, A microwave and a TV. There were times when the work load was low, we watched a few scenes of movies that were playing at that time (though the cafeteria guy would look at us displeasingly).
The tasks assigned to the Interns were primarily case study and research based tasks.
They were mostly issue based research tasks although some times you would get fact based research where the lawyer would give you the fact scenario and you had to answer certain questions based on those facts.
There was, however, no due diligence based work for the interns that was allotted during the time I was there.
The main area of the lawyer under whom I was interning was Criminal law and cases relating to it although he took up various other type of cases as well. Also, he used to take up cases of IAS officers and big criminals.
Tasks also included researching on recent case law pertaining to certain judicial questions.
These were generally a bit tougher since the research questions would not classify as conventional research questions.
Thus, one had to be very ingenius and creative in the way one phrased their search parameters on databases. This was more challenging than issue based research, however, finding that one elusive case that satisfied the question was a thrilling experience (which generally resulted in a silent air fist).
What the lawyer looked for were not pages of research and case laws, rather he looked for precise statements of the existing laws and how well one could answer the question asked.
The focus always remained on the question that was asked and what was expected. What he look for is a clear picture of the law and rules in a concise and coherent note.
The work environment at the High Court was highly professional and relaxed. When one was given work, one was expected to do it with all seriousness and diligence.
Each note was scrutinized extensively by the lawyer and invariably there were 2-3 drafts that needed to be prepared. I guess the lawyer works by the motto of perfection since that was what was expected from each task assigned to the interns.
We even had long interactions with many other lawyers in the Court regarding the Courts reality check and a brief introduction to the same.
The people at the High Court were extremely helpful, jovial and nice. This was extremely helpful for interns since generally a lot of them are hesitant in approaching lawyers but the same was not the case here.
Personally, I got to interact with all the lawyers in my Sir’s chamber and each one had something helpful and instructive to tell.
The younger lawyers were also very friendly and on every occasion of the firm (be it someone’s treat, or just beautiful weather) all the interns were invited and made to feel comfortable.
These generosities included a small party, a samosa and cold-drink party and non-veg party (Yum!)
A positive aspect about the drafting of notes and case study pertaining to the issues was that almost always, the interns were asked to give their own reasoning and analysis of issues, specially in the issue based research notes.
A lot of emphasis was put on interns coming up with their own conceptions of the issues and they were encouraged by the lawyer.
After drafting the Note, the lawyer took time and discussed the note with the interns at length, understanding their position and approach to the task.
This made for a very enjoyable and educative internship since you received positive criticism and useful feedback on your notes.
This meant that everyone took a keen interest in your work if they could see that you had put in effort. The work environment and the people were definitely a plus point.
On the down side, there were times when my lawyer had little work to give me.
Further, cases took a lot of time to be solved and the dispute didn’t settle easily.
I have my home in Lucknow. But there are a lot of PG’s one can look for. Finding a PG isn’t very difficult and not very expensive as well.
Since the Court is in the hub of the city, one can easily go the best market of Lucknow i.e., Hazratganj and enjoy best food there.