First Impression, First Day Formalities, Infrastructure
Our first day at State Legal Services Authority, UT, Chandigarh was started by the assembling of students from different law colleges in the State Legal Services Authority office at sector 9 Chandigarh.
An induction/introduction session was conducted by the law officer (Mr. Rajeshwar) of State Legal Service Authority whereby he explained in detail the functioning and working of state legal services authorities and the process and procedure through which the authority carries out its functions and duties.
Interns were also handed out pages containing information about the working of State Legal Service Authority, Chandigarh and the types of cases in which free legal aid is provided. It also contained information on the Lok Adalats which were conducted by the authority and the types of cases which come under its jurisdiction.
There were about 25 interns who showed up on the first day and all of us were divided into groups. The interns were divided into 3 groups. I was in group 3 with 9 other co-interns. Each group was given its own schedule structured in a weekly basis which we had to follow every week.
Our first week included visit to the Permanent Lok Adalat in sector 17. Our second week included visiting the Mediation Centre in sector 43. Our third week was in the SLSA office itself in sector 9. While our fourth week included conducting surveys in villages.
Watching the proceedings of Lok Adalats, the Mediation Center and Pre-Litigative proceedings.
We also visited various places like the Legal Aid clinics, Snehalya, old age home.
Work environment and people
The work environment was extremely easy going. The work hours were flexible and depended on the places one was scheduled to visit on that day.
There was hardly any concrete legal work we were free for most of the time. The staff and co-interns were pleasant.
The biggest lesson was witnessing mediation proceedings and understanding the various facets and problems associated with it.