Name of the Student, College, Year of Study
Anabhra Mishra, 3rd Year, Army Institute of Law
Name and Full Address of the Organization
Sobti Law Office
Duration of Internship
15th March 2021- 15th April 2021
BEYOND BARE ACTS
“Who called it an unpaid internship and not ‘I love you but just as friends!”
This is a meme I came across and really liked, and who better than a law student would understand this, right?
Wondering what’s up with me? Hold my beer!
Law students find humour in just about any situation, the internet is flooded with “memes” and jokes about all that we endure in the five years of law school! But on a serious note, even unpaid internships, contrary to popular belief, if done religiously, do pay in experience and skills and I’m sharing my experience of a one-month long litigation internship that I did from 15th of March to 15th of April 2021.
I happen to be a student of the batch of 2024, yes yes, the batch that got to experience six months of college life before the pandemic happened. Whether we’re fortunate to have at least seen the college, unlike the batches that came after us or unfortunate to have spent half our college life in front of laptop screens, is a discussion we’ll save for later!
For now, let’s get to my saga of failed internships before I finally found “the right one”. Like any other student just stepping into law school, I was absolutely clueless and rather enthusiastic about moot courts, internships, research papers and what not. Calling every senior I knew, asking them about internships. They would smirk and say, “you’re only in the first year, don’t worry, you’ll figure it out!”
How did you get the Internship?
Now that I look back, we turned out just fine. Quick update, I smirk at my juniors now! Few months into the pandemic, when my second year commenced, I was more confused than ever, one year down and I had not done any moot or internship, research papers weren’t my thing either. That’s when I decided I had to try things out. I know it’s not the easiest thing to find internships specially in the junior years but starting early is always a good thing and even if you feel like you’ve done nothing it’s never too late!
Enough with the “gyaan”, I did a few online internships, ADR competitions etc., but I did not feel like I learnt anything from the internships. That is when all my friends were interning, hence with the good kind of peer pressure, I started looking for them too. Scrolled through Lawctopus like it were Instagram, looking for internships.
Finally, a senior of mine helped me contact a college alumnus and I got the internship. Pro-tip for beginners, college alumni and seniors are the best mentors you can ever get, they have been where you are right now and they understand you like nobody else will! College is all about networking after all.
Despite pandemic, I was fortunate to have found an offline internship at Sobti Law Office, Chandigarh. On my first day in the office, I received the warmest welcome and felt very comfortable and it only got better each day. All the seniors in the office were so helpful, I learnt more in that one month than I had in the one and a half year of studying in law school.
From reading case files and making notes and internship diaries to learning how to arrange files and seeing how actual courts works, they taught me so many things. I read writ petitions, family court cases, PILs, company law matters, criminal matters and attended virtual as well as offline courts. The euphoria that comes with attending courts, offline, is something that I will never be able to put into words!
The environment in the office was very positive and I always felt like a part of the team, the office hours were flexible. The cherry on top was the delicious homemade food at the office, that made me feel close to home! For all the people planning to intern in or visit the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the court canteen is an incentive enough to do so (their cold coffee is my favourite).
I will stop with the blabbering now. I must also tell you this, I, just like all of you am still figuring it out and trust me on this, internships if done sincerely teach you a lot more than text book and bare acts will, that’s how the real-world works. Give yourself the chance to sit in a court room even if you’re clueless, trust me the rush that sitting there listening to arguments gives you will make you thank yourself for deciding to pursue law as a career.
There is nothing like witnessing with your own eyes, the power that Indian judiciary holds and brownie points, interning teaches you a lot about what you want your life to be like after graduating from law school. Make an internship diary, make notes, read and take initiatives, ask seniors, learn even the most basic things such as making index and preparing files for cases, everything is worth the effort!
I admit I wasn’t working all the time; I had my fair share of fun but I ensured I worked hard when I was in the office. I was awestruck, it broke so many myths and preconceived notions for me and I am grateful to Sobti sir and all the seniors in the office for such an enriching experience.
Its okay to not know where you’re going and its okay if things go south sometimes as long as you keep trying and move ahead with an open mind. I will look forward to doing more such Litigation internships and trying out other types of internships as well. Hope this helps you out and trust me when I say this, we will turn out just fine!
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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.