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It is a small but fully equipped office, located in the busy streets of Kilpauk Chennai. Finding the office was no big deal, but then there were second thoughts when I saw the small office after having interned in big places like Luthra and Luthra. But as the first day started, the second thoughts vanished.
Work Environment at Selvam and Selvam
It was a surprisingly good start start when we came to know that the owner of the firm, Mr Raja Selvam was a young man who apart from IPR was also very much into jogging, a lot of leg pulling and of course, supportive at every level.
The day started with Raja sir, briefing us about how we would be working and under whom we would be working. We mostly worked under Navarre sir and Amrita mam, who were more of an older sibling to us who taught and supported at the same time.
The other people in the firm included Amelia mam, Vijay sir and Allen sir who kept us good company during the course of work.
Rule number 1 was start working.
Rule number 2 was if you dint have work, better find it and refer to rule number 1.
Selvam and Selvam is a firm which dedicates itself completely towards the field of IPR. The firm concentrated exclusively in Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights.
The firm comprises of very less number of people, but then who needs an army when you have the legends working as a team. The firm worked from 9 in the morning till 6:30 in the evening, with an hour break for lunch. It was an off on Saturdays unless and until there was some work to be completed.
The tasks assigned to us comprised of a lot of learning, reading, researching, drafting, and then giving it to the associates for review.
Most of the times there were a lot of corrections in the work submitted, but by the end of the day the associates made sure that the work submitted was up to perfection.
My fellow intern was from a different university who did not waste time in working as a perfect team mate while carrying out all the tasks assigned to us.
Despite a lot of works like RTI filings, writ petitions, responses etc. the environment in the firm was always lively, where every moment of opportunity was grabbed in an attempt to have fun.
This clearly motivated me and my fellow intern by helping us gain a lot of interest in the subject as well as become more confident while completing the tasks assigned to us.
The associates were all cheerful, patient, fun loving, and highly supportive of us at every front. the lesson that was clearly learnt here was that in a situation where we did not know something, its best to be honest and express our thoughts than not say nothing at all.
Some of the best parts of the internship could always been seen during the lunch hour.
Unlike most places I have interned, here in Selvam and Selvam the boss, the employees and the interns always had lunch together. On the contrary, during the lunch hour it felt like everyone sitting at the table were more of good friends than colleagues.
And since the employees were all young people, we did not have an issue opening up to them freely and sharing whatever we felt. In other words, the entire experience felt like a responsibility given to us by our family.
We were never discouraged, or scolded. But when we were given a task, we had to complete it no matter what. Our tasks included a lot of deep research and study which we had to report to our associates from time to time, and any silly excuse was never taken.
But when a task was duly completed, the associates made it a point to appreciate us rather than just take credit for the tasks themselves.
It had become mandatory for the interns to research and write an article which the firm duly posted on their blog giving us the credit for the same. This factor ignited the urge to read more, write more and best of all, learn more about the field of IPR or any law for that matter.
There were times where everyone at the firm were at the peak of their frustration levels due to the work load. But despite that factor, no one would end up in an argument or a squabble.
On casual days, there would be discussions on different topics which would range from international legal disputes to arguments about which hotel made the best Biryani or who deserved to marry whom in the film industry.
To chill out we usually used to go out for lunch initially, to a nearby French Loaf or Krishna Bhavan, but most of the times we preferred to have lunch with the people of the firm.
Last day was a little bit emotional for us as time ran too fast for us. We sat together in the dining hall, had cake, and we the interns were asked to share our entire experience with everyone at the firm.
After which we were given our internship completion letters, a stipend of Rs 2500, and a big pat on the back for successfully completing our tasks.
When I walked out of the firm that day there were few things that did flash in my mind. Interning is not always about working at big places, but its always about working at a young place and learning to grow. That could be learnt in Selvam and Selvam.
Over all it was indeed a great experience working under people like Navarre sir, Amrita mam, Vijay sir, and Raja sir, who treated you more of a friend than a mere intern.
To anyone who is interested in interning, I would suggest that its always best to learn from those who are willing to teach than just willing to make you work.
Selvam and selvam taught me alot and in all my internship experiences, the firm is the best place to get going ahead in the field of IPR.
H.B.Keshava, B.A.LLB (hons),
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Dehradun