Internship Experience at ALF, Bangalore: Great work in the Social Domain, Excellent Team!

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Name of the intern

Gourav Mahlotra

Name of your college

New Law College

Name of the course and year of study

B.A LL.B | 1st year

Name and address of the organisation

Alternative Law Forum (ALF), Infantry road, Bangalore near Karnataka High Court.

Duration of internship

From: 08/09/2021 Till: 08/10/2021

How did you apply for the internship?

The application procedure requires interested individuals to send their CV along with a cover letter at interships@altlawforum.org about 3 months prior to the date of the desired internship.

ALF’s website (altlawforum.org) have a format for application. It is required to be filled and sent to the the aforementioned email address.

Based on my own experience, I found that individuals whose application email contains a statements of purpose which are familiar with ALF’s mission, apparently have a higher probability of getting selected.

First day formalities, infrastructure, first impression

Honestly, I was quite nervous because of this was my first internship at law school.

When I first reached ALF’s Infantry road office. The office isn’t quite like the legal chambers and corporate offices I have been familiar with.

In fact, it is located in a residential property that has been turned into an office.

The elevation of the building is like a bungalow with two floors and the top floor with an open space to dine in. Such offices can dissuade me from working but it’s quite warm to work there.

I was greeted with incredible warm associates, with whom I ended up developing a great comfort and ability to converse freely.

My fellow co-interns, belonging to some of the good law schools, and I, got along rather quickly and a spirit of camaraderie came to us naturally.

It felt like every single person at ALF has a warmth from within, something I had never seen in the early  phases of my life.

Main Tasks

ALF will provide you with as much work as you are willing to undertake.

My main responsibilities were researching on the numerous issues that ALF deals with, ranging from dalit activism, women’s rights, transgender rights, freedom of speech, etc. to name a few.

I was also tasked with drafting divorce and domestic violence petitions for pro bono legal aid provided by ALF to distressed women in need of help.

In addition, ALF undertook a whole new host of activities such as organizing panel discussions, assisting in organizing activities such as the Namma Pride parade and book launches.

It organized protests in situations when the circumstances demanded it to do so.

Therefore, I sought to include myself in all these activities and was provided with exposure and experience therefrom.

Work Environment

The work environment is anything but static. Things constantly seem to be happening at ALF.

There is always some case being filed or argued, or some matter which requires research, or some event that requires organization.

In addition, the associates are young, vibrant social activists, who are as fun to be around as they are dedicated and driven.

Furthermore, given that ALF takes interns who are more or less inclined towards the same kind of work and associate themselves to a similar ideology of public service.

It is very easy to establish an effective relationship.

Moreover, the individuals and organizations that ALF associates with are themselves fascinating to say the least.

I have been privileged to listen to various stalwarts such as Colin Gonsalves and Ashish Kothari solely because ALF provided me the opportunity to do so.

Good Things

It’s incredibly difficult for me to pinpoint what I would consider a highlight for me during my time at ALF, since the entire month felt like a highlight of my law school internships.

If I had to choose, I would undoubtedly say the people that I interacted with.

It be my fellow interns, associates, the lawyers that ALF liaises with, the street workers and labourers ALF seeks to defend, the members of the LGBTQIA+ community that ALF associates with.

Lastly, Diego the cat, the light that brightens up ALF.

I can say with no uncertainty that the quantum, as well as the quality of work I undertook at ALF was previously unparalleled to any of my internship.

I worked on issues that were not only close to my heart, but of monumental social importance too.

Bad Things

In all honesty, it’s tough for me to narrow down on the drawbacks of this internship.

If I had to, I would say that ALF is perhaps too easy going with its interns at times, and some students need to be parented a little more in order to make sure they work.

However, since that is not in keeping with the spirit of ALF, it is understandable that they do not stand with a carrot and a stick, trying to whip its interns into action.

Therefore, the biggest objective drawback would have to be that the kitchen smells a little weird owing to the cat food laid out.

Stipend

ALF does not provide any stipend.

Details about accommodation and commute

I used to stay at rent nearby and it was around 3km from ALF’s office.

There are many rental apartments for tourists at reasonable prices. I used to travel to office using public transport.

Anything else?

The most important aspect of ALF for an individual like myself, is it is unsure of whether to commit to a life of public service, was to show how fulfilling and meaningful such a life can be.

Being able to interact with such bright and brilliant individuals not only furthered my own understanding of the intersectionality of law and society.

Rather it also furthered my interest in developing an aptitude for public service.

Disclaimer: Internship Experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus' official views on the internship. We also do not edit internship experiences (except to ensure readability) to ensure that the intern's voice remains intact.

Disclaimer: Organisations should not influence interns to write internship experiences on Lawctopus. Neither should they make writing an internship experience on Lawctopus mandatory for the intern to get a certificate. Indulging in such practices will lead to the organization getting blacklisted from Lawctopus. In case of any such instance, interns are requested to inform at contact@lawctopus.com

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