Name, College, Year
Counsel’s Name and Address
Senior Advocate Sanjay Jain (currently Additional Solicitor General of India for the Supreme Court), 488, New Chambers Block, Delhi High Court, New Delhi – 110003, India.
Duration of internship
The period of my internship was for 4 weeks (2nd Jan to 1st Feb 2019)
There was one other intern with me for this period, who was also interning for 4 weeks.
Although the duration can be flexible, it must be for a minimum of 4 weeks and can be extended depending upon performance.
How you applied?
I got in touch through a contact, who instructed me to send my updated CV to Sir for his perusal. Upon doing so, I received a reply informing me of their decision to accept my candidature for the internship and containing the most essential details related to joining.
Following this, I was asked to report to his office (then, located at The Lodhi) directly on the first day. There were no other steps involved!
First day formalities, infrastructure, first impression
As already mentioned, there weren’t really any first day formalities.
I was asked to report to his office, following which there were basic introductions (very small team at the office so it’s a very personal and intimate working experience) and a descriptive tour of the essentials of the office that shall be of use during the internship.
Additionally, a Whatsapp group was created which included all the interns and all the lawyers working therein to ease communication.
The work-space was divided into two chambers; one for Sir (where there were meetings and conferences) and the other where the rest of us used to work. There was a table at the centre of the space and all members of the team (interns and lawyers) were meant to sit across each other and work together. There were no separate areas allotted for interns.
My first impression of the place was that it is an amicable place to work and learn along with your peers and other lawyers, irrespective of their seniority. Everybody seemed available and ready to help, in case there was anything to learn or anything new to do. Due to the small team, it provided great scope for interpersonal interactions and learning.
At the outset, an intern’s day would start at about 10:30 AM and would stretch to as long as 9:00 PM with a 7-day working week (flexible depending on the matters to be covered and the work pending).
Due to the small size of the team, the interns are integrated into almost every task that rests with the members of the team.
If there were matters listed for Sir on that given day, the interns would be asked to report straight to the concerned Court (mostly the Delhi HC but also Supreme Court, FEMA Tribunal etc) wherein most of the work was observational in nature.
The task of the interns was to observe Sir in the way he went about in Court. Other than that, the interns were meant to assist in the preparation of case files by doing menial (but urgent) tasks such as getting prints, issuing acts from libraries, getting copies of judgements and doing preliminary research work on specific questions.
Sir would never keep more than 4-5 hearings on a single day, so the day in Court was frantic but also provided enough time to observe and assist with the matters in a fruitful way.
After getting done in Court, the interns were asked to report to his office (around 3-4 PM). In his office, the job of the interns was to assist the team in preparation of argument notes and attend conferences with briefing counsels.
The case files for all the matters listed the next day (or in the near future) would arrive at the office, which would be followed by a delegation of work amongst interns for tasks such as doing research work, reading bare acts and commentaries, preparing argument notes and flagging of files and attached documents.
The interns were also allowed to sit in the conferences of the cases that they had worked on. In this conference, Sir expected us to take notes for our personal understanding and observe the nature of questions posed and the framework of arguments discussed and compare/contrast it with the arguments on the same in Court in days to follow.
There would be as many as 7-8 conferences scheduled on a single day.
Apart from this, the interns were also expected to contribute in any work that has the full attention of the team. Thus, the exact nature of tasks could vary on a day-to-day but always included work that was needed to be done by the team.
A lot of good things about this internship:
- Great scope for discussing tasks with your seniors every step of the way as everybody sits on the same table and works for the same goal.
- Sir would sometimes invite the interns in the office and speak to them. It is an immense pleasure for any law student, as he is always willing to share his experiences that he has accumulated in over 20 years of practice. These moments would probably end up being your best moments from this internship, as he will share more than what every other person can offer.
- Involvement in every step that is involved in the functioning of Sir’s chamber, allows one to fully understand any matter that comes by.
- Excellent team, every lawyer that is present at the office is cordial and comforting. To break the monotony, you could discuss almost anything with them and they would talk to you. Occasional jokes also help lighten the mood and provide little breaks in between all the work.
- Exposure, that you will gain simply by covering the various fields in which Sir specialises. During my internship, I worked profusely on matters varying from Energy law to Service-related matters to matters related to the Constitution.
There are no real bad things about this internship.
Maybe the fact that working hours (including travel to-and-fro) can stretch to 12 hours and that you are expected to follow this routine all 7 days of the week if you are called. e.g. I was called to work on all Saturdays in January and two Sundays and rarely left the office before 8:00 PM.
I received a stipend of 10k for my period of internship. However, I am not aware as to what the stipend structure generally is for interns.
I was not informed that I would be receiving any stipend at the time of joining or at any point subsequently.
Sir just invites the interns in his office on their last day to speak to them once before they leave and grants a stipend worth an amount that he perhaps deems apt.
Accommodation and commuting to the office
I did not have to search for accommodation since I live in Gurgaon. However, I’m sure that the accommodation of all different types and prices can be found easily enough in the surrounding parts since it is New Delhi.
The office is located very close to the courts, so that makes it easier to find suitable accommodation.
I reside in Gurgaon so I used to take the metro back and forth every day, with autos for the last leg of the journey. This option is available and can be easily exercised by anyone interning with Sir.
Travel between different Courts or Appellate authorities (if there are multiple hearings) can be done with the team in their personal vehicles. On various days, someone or the other would always give the interns a free ride from the Courts to Sir’s office.
Anything else, what you did to chill out, lessons learnt etc
The internship is a very chill experience, where you stand to learn a significant amount whilst also having the freedom to express yourself. On most days, work doesn’t feel like work.
Apart from this, the fact that you’re in the centre of the Metropolitan City of New Delhi means that there’s always a fair amount of stuff to do depending on what you like.
Also, you can order food to the office or generally indulge in good food as others also who order are always willing to share.
This internship not only teaches you the nuances of law and working in the chambers of a senior advocate, but it also teaches you to mix work with the right amount of fun to give a very satisfying and invigorating work environment.