Name of Organisation, Location, Team Strength
Law offices of G & A Associates, New Delhi, 6
This was a personally arranged internship.
However, the internship was preceded by a phone call regarding the areas of law I had already covered in law school and the ones I was interested in. I was also asked to send in my CV to the associate at the firm.
Duration of internship and timings
My internship at the Law Offices of G & A Associates was over the month of July, 2013.
Work was over a six-day week, with Sunday being a holiday. However, casuals are permitted in an otherwise formal environment on Saturdays.
I had to report to the office by 10 in the morning and was expected to stay by at least 7:30 in the evening, although if work was to be completed, sometimes I would stay by 8:30.
First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure
I promptly showed up at the office at the stroke of 10 on the first day. I was let in and directed to a small desk where I tried making myself comfortable but instead fiddled nervously with a pen.
As the senior partners of the firm arrived, I was ushered in to meet every one of them, including Senior Advocate Manoj V George [Linkedin], who was to be my mentor during the internship.
I was also introduced to one of the main associates, Advocate Aakarsh Kamra who I was told would gladly clarify any doubt I had and help out when required.
I had a favorable first-day impression with a steady load of work happening around me. The energy was good and there was a frenetic pace to the work that was going on.
On the first day, I was given a case study to read and was asked to make a brief report and a chronological timeline of the case.
The work I was given throughout my internship was primarily research-based. I was told to dig up case studies on various aspects of law to substantiate and supplement the briefs of the senior advocates at the firms.
Areas of law concerned would range from Insurance laws to something as diametrically opposite as domestic family laws.
At times, I was also asked to write something like an piece on what I thought of, legally that is, about different points of law, which was interesting and fun to do. Not so interesting, when my mentor asked so to my face and I was frequently caught unawares and dumbfounded.
Occasionally I was asked told to accompany Senior Advocate Manoj George to the Delhi High Court which in itself was a wonderful experience.
It was always a real pleasure to have a front-row seat to the workings of a much-caricatured organ of the State and realize how different the actual court proceedings are than depicted on television and celluloid.
Plus, the cafeteria at the Delhi High Court serves great cold coffee.
Work environment and people
The work environment is not too strict and although there was certainly an urgency to the work at the firm, there was no compulsiveness to the work at hand which was great. Even when I had to take a day of leave, I was not scolded at, provided I had timely notified the associate about my absence for the day.
Sometimes, I was without any substantial work to do. Which on the brighter side, made me appreciate the value of looking for work. Perhaps, I appreciated its value more after I had finished my internship. However, I kept myself mildly busy by helping out with some typing work with the associate.
The people were polite and courteous and everyone, especially the associates, were pretty helpful and were only glad to clarify any doubts I had. Although constrained by a professional environment, I’d say I was on friendly terms with the associates. Best things I was never made to feel that at the end of the day, I was just an intern.
Everyone was very friendly which really made me comfortable with how many times I could approach the associates and the senior partners for guidance and help. Also, whenever I would accompany either of them to the court, I would always be made aware of the little intricacies and idiosyncrasies in court language and mannerisms.
The firm had a small but well-stocked library which was a good trove for information. The very fact that all books were so well arranged made me re-evaluate my own abysmal book-stocking skills. The firm also had a fairly fast broadband, which anyone my age would say is the biggest asset any firm can have.
The firm is located at the basement level of an apartment block, which on the first day can be difficult to locate. Also, until I was well inside the firm’s offices, the air was kind of asphyxiating.
I’d say that learning, especially for a field such as law requires that you have people who have the time and interest to help you when you need it the most.
Practice, in a firm or under a lawyer makes you aware of the many things in law that you don’t get to learn in law school.