Name, College, Year of Study
Samarth Goel, Amity Law School Center-II, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, 2nd Year
This is the story of my Summer Internship of the year 2015. I had just completed my 1st year of Legal Studies. As part of curriculum, we were expected to complete a summer internship of minimum 4 weeks.
Everyone around me was signing up with NGOs, as 1st year law students did not have much legal knowledge.
I thought to myself, why not do something different. So I started contacting lawyers. But everyone shot me down with the same reason.
Then, I came across Sagar Chandra and Associates, a small firm specializing in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This is a subject which is generally taught in the 4th year of Legal Studies.
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But I thought to myself, why let this chance go by and why not pounce ahead of my batch mates? I knew it was not going to be an easy task but I was prepared to go through with it and give my best shot.
With the wait, the first day of work came. I dressed up and reached the office half an hour before the time given to me.
Unfortunately, all the associates including the directors were busy in the court that day. I sat patiently waiting for their arrival. The office boy let the associates know that I had arrived. After a while, work was given to me over the phone.
The work was pure research. I had to use a case law database to find out cases pertaining to a certain section of the Designs Act.
Apart from me, there were two interns working there at the time who were more than happy to assist me. By evening, the associates returned to the office.
Everyone was clad in crisp suits, as you would expect from a corporate attorney. They met me warmly and asked me for any problems that I faced in my first assignment.
As time passed, they grew more and more informal. My portfolio there consisted of only research work. I was given propositions and I had to research case laws and commentaries related to it.
One such assignment was an ongoing case of the firm in The Supreme Court of India.
The associate heading the case asked me to read through all the volumes of McCarthy on Trademark and Passing Off and find a case law which termed the two alcoholic substances, Whiskey and Beer, as cognate substances.
It was like finding a needle in a haystack. Took me two days to go through every page of the volumes and then I struck gold. Found a case law which stated the decision we required.
The ecstasy which I experienced cannot be expressed in words. I had come across similar situations previously also when I had to find a case law through a database. But searching through a book was a different level of epiphany.
The best part was, everyone made you feel like home there and everyone was very supportive. My seniors from college had told me that usually people dump work on you in firms and then just call you when they want it. But I did not see this here even once.
Suppose an associate A gave me an assignment which I am struggling with. A will sit with me until and unless I understand it completely and am able to do it on my own. If B & C feel that they can also assist me, they won’t shy away from it and come and support me.
It wasn’t all work and no play atmosphere there. Many a times, I remember in the 6 weeks I was there, the associates themselves asked the interns to pack up early and took us out. Sometimes for a movie or sometimes for an evening snack.
Even the directors of the firm were very friendly to us. They encouraged us to take breaks between work and kept on asking us regularly whether we were comfortable there or not.
One day, one of my colleagues was facing difficulty with an assignment and no associates were present to help her out. The director himself sat down with her and helped her out.
All in all, it was a great experience to work there. The office is small but the people there have a very large heart.
They encouraged me to participate in more moots and seminars. On the last day, every associate pledged that if I require any assistance, they would be there to help me.
I learnt a lot about IPR while working there. The best part was, with the learning, I also got to learn the application of that knowledge.
This internship taught me in true words how much practical knowledge is important to us.