Name. College. Year

Kaustubh Prakash. Institute of Law, Nirma University Ahmedabad. 5th Year

Name of the Organization. City

J. Sagar Associates, Mumbai. Address- Vakils House, 18 Sprott Road, Ballard Estate, Mumbai.

Important Tip: On your Day 1, if you are travelling by a Taxi, the nearest Landmark is Grand Hotel, Ballard Estate. Addresses ‘Vakils House’ and ‘Sprott Road’ are unfamiliar to Taxi Drivers, so avoid relying on them.

Duration/Timings

June 2-June 20, 2014.

Three weeks. Monday-Friday. Interns are usually not asked to work on weekends but in case of a pressing work, you may find yourself working on Saturday (but not later than 2 or 3 p.m.).

I was assisting the Capital Markets team, which had multiple transactions that the firm was advising on and I accordingly ‘chose’ to work on all Saturday’s (and was never compelled). Interns are also given a liberty to ‘work from home’, which they may exercise.

However, for guys living in Seva Niketan (due to unavailability of charging facility), office is a better place to work.

Location/Team Size

JSA is located in the Ballard Estate, close of Fort Area and is 5-7 min. walk from CST Station.

It takes exactly 57 Rs. in a Taxi if you are travelling from Seva Niketan to JSA Office, meaning if you have someone accompanying you for his Office in either Ballard Estate and even Fort Area, it would be both reasonable and less time consuming.

In case you prefer travelling by Bus, Bus Number 3 will leave you at the Doorstep of JSA (literally!) and would cost 10 Rs., but the travel time would be approximately 25-30 mins. as opposed to 10mins. by a Taxi (keeping the traffic factor constant.)

Ballard Estate has old European Style buildings and roads, which I found very pleasant compared to the offices I have previously worked in Delhi, which were mostly in Buildings and Towers, leaving you with absolutely no scenic beauty.

Capital Markets team is on the Third Floor of Vakils House (JSA Building) and has 4-5 Associates on that floor, whom I was reporting to.

Application Process

Applications for JSA, Mumbai can be directed to [email protected] or the procees can the accessed from their internship portal. (Click HERE).

Applying well in advance, with a decent Cover Letter and more importantly, with the specific team that you would want to work with are the key factors one must bear in mind while applying.

As a general tip, being yourself clear of the team you would want to assist and putting it down in the Internship Application can be of great help, while applying for internship in law firms.

First Impression

Your “Internship Acceptance” email would ask you to report by 10 a.m., which is easy to manage with and reach office within time.

Having considered that one would take some time in figuring out the location, a half an hour leverage is given (9:30-10am) from the usual working hours to interns.

You would be provided with a form asking you to furnish some basic details of yours, including the time you can stay till (at the most) and your team preference.

Mr. Z. Shariff, GM Talent, would be briefing you on J. Sagar Associates, work culture, timings, schedule and all other first day formalities.

As soon as your form reaches the HR Team, your work station will be shown to you and the Associates whom you would have to assist.

Like other firms, Interns have a trainee email account which a group of three-four interns would be sharing.

Your workstation will either have a Desktop or Laptop, which may/may not be the ones as efficient as you otherwise personally use, so get used to the cumbersome exercise of opening PDF Files in not less than three-four minutes.

Mr. Shariff would also provide you with Sodexo Meal Passes, worth Rs. 1100, which can be availed at almost all places, including McD, Dominoes and like, and including National Hindu Restaurant, where you would find yourself on almost Ninety Percent working days.

Unlike most of the firms to I have been or heard of, there are lesser cabins in JSA, Mumbai Office, meaning a Partner may be sitting right behind an Associate or a Senior Associate, conveying a sense of parity amongst all (as how I understand.).

The Office area of not all not congested and there is ample space to walk through corridors.

There is a Cafeteria on each floor with a very friendly and supportive staff, who would be pleased to provide you with Tea/Coffee and Biscuits, even at 12 a.m. in the midnight.

You can also avail the facilities of their Fridge and Microwave for your convenience.

There are around four conference rooms on Third Floor, which you may, depending upon the availability/occupancy, avail for if the work involves plethora of files and documents.

Main Tasks

JSA, Mumbai operates in almost all the branches of law under the Sun, including Capital Markets and Securities, Mergers and Acquisitions, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration etc.

I was assisting the Capital Markets team headed by Mr. Nosh Modi, Mr. Arka Mukherjee and other associates.

Coming back to the importance of choosing the appropriate team, I would advise prospective trainees to choose the team very wisely as it would majorly affect your performance in the team.

Any intern opting for Capital Markets must brace himself with both the jobs of Due Diligence (quite looked down upon), preparing Requisition Lists, reviewing documents and finding discrepancies and related tasks.

Trainees must understand that no work is “clerical”, as if you may not choose to do it, the associate will have to (which he is getting paid for).

Therefore, if you may feel that reviewing an entire bunch of 1000 Pages and then putting it down in a table format is too “clerical” and “non-productive”, you should consider twice before opting any such team.

The aforementioned involves all those tasks which the SEBI mandates the Companies/M. Bankers and accordingly the Law Firm advisers to do and hence the Interns willing, should not hesitate in doing any task that they are entrusted with.

It is slowly and gradually, based on your performance, that the they would give a more research and drafting based work.

Depending upon the side which your Firm is advising on, the tasks may vary.

In cases where your Firm is advising the Issuer, the tasks may include and not only, assistance in drafting of certain sections of the prospectus and keeping it updated with the laws in force and where your firm is advising the Banker, the tasks may include and not only, Due Diligence on the documents pertaining to those various sections of the Offer Document.

Interns are supposed to maintain a Work Sheet, like all of us are in other firms, and has to be submitted to the HR on your last day of the internship.

Interns are also supposed to send out Daily Time Sheet to the HR of the work daily assigned, which if you may do, would be of great convenience while making your worksheet at the end of three/four weeks.

Tip: Worksheet must be very carefully drafted for in case you are recommended for a PPO, the interview is mostly based on what you have “written” in the worksheet.

Therefore, do not mention something you tried your hands on but could not do well or something which you did not altogether do.

A long worksheet isn’t the best one always.

Work Environment

The Best thing about JSA, Mumbai is their Work Environment, which you may also find Mr. Shariff referring to in the induction session and trust me, what all he tells you in the induction session, you would actually see it happening (more importantly those who have previously interned in firms before.)

Though there is a system of reporting and accountability, but rarely would you see the Associates complaining about meeting the deadline or skipping your Lunch/Breakfast.

Never would you come across anyone shouting at you or compelling you to work beyond stipulated hours.

The timings are supposed to be adhered to, but they would not mind if you are later for some obvious reasons.

Prior intimation is the best alternative. For interns who have stayed long previous night (later than 11 or 12 may be), may not be compelled to adhere to the timings and are flexible according to the situations.

You can order food from outside and the staff would be happily serving it for you in the Canteen Area and yes, there are no restrictions on taking breaks in between office timings.

The Associates are very friendly and amiable, who would be explaining you your job/task/proposition and with great patience, which inevitably gives the intern good room to raise doubts and work peacefully.

I ran out of cash one or two times after ordering food and the Associates have extended their help, every time.

There is no ‘Sir/Ma’am’ culture in JSA, Mumbai which though I do not, but most of the interns felt great comfort with. Nobody including the Partners are addressed by Sir/Ma’am in the office.

I also had a chance to meet Mr. Somasekhar Sundaresan, Partner Securities Law, but only for a while, which it in itself a big deal (for those who know Mr. Somasekhar is would understand.)

Like him, all the other Senior People in the Firm were always willing to have a conversation and chit-chat during free times.

For the interns who are seated on the Third Floor, would never get bored due to the presence of a few Senior Associates (I wish I could name them) working there, who are very sharp and have an brilliant sense of humor. Absolutely.

Best Things

I never sat idle on all my working days in the firm and was always assisting the team with one or the other tasks, which made me feel satisfied after the time span of three weeks (though it almost felt like four having taken into account two full weekends.)

Despite having worked for the first time with Cap. Marks, I was made comfortable at all small stages of my work/task that were given and even after one or two mistakes (or blunders), I wasn’t scolded at all, which I am grateful to the firm for.

National Hindu Restaurant, is also amongst the best things to happen during your JSA, Mumbai internship, for it is accompanied by your 1100 Rs. meal passes.

All South Indian food fan lovers will find this place a paradise.

It may seem to be a little expensive of you compare the prices with such restaurants, but given the proximity with the firm and the hygiene factor, it it far far better than the pantry food you would get in firms otherwise.

You can also order ‘Bombay Food’ including Sandwiches, Bhel Puri etc, from the Cafeteria and it would be delivered at the Office within 20 mins. or so.

The Office is close to Marine Drive and almost equidistant from Seva Niketan, where you can spend a lot of free time.

JSA, Mumbai and all other offices (I guess), have the policy of Rs. 1500/week stipend, which they give to all interns, irrespective of the whether he/she has come through Campus Placement Committee/Direct Application/Reference.

In case you are asked to stay back after 9 or 9:30 p.m, you can avail a Taxi Service to travel back home and can place order for food to be delivered at the Office, which would be reimbursed to you the very next day, after filling up of a small form.

Tip: Keep those bills safe.

Bad Things

Given that I and a close friend from ILS, Pune were assisting the Capital Markets team then, were never left out of work, but there were interns from my own college and interns during the same internship slot, who did not have much work.

As is everywhere, since we are accustomed to quicker and efficient Laptops, their desktops will seem very slow and hard to operate. That’s all.

Accommodation

I stayed at Seva Niketan, Byculla, which I guess is a decent place for the interns with their offices in Fort or Ballard Estate or Lower Parel or nearby areas to stay at. Rooms are affordable, clean and adequately spaced to provide for a decent accommodation.

During May-July; December-January, Seva Niketan is flooded with law school interns staying there. Seva Niketan has a CCD and Dominoes within a distance of 200 meters, which is an add-on.

For breakfast, you can have Chai-Biscuit, Sandwich and Idli/Vada Chatni, right next to the Seva Niketan building.

Taxis and Buses can be boarded right outside the main gate.

There are no in-timings at Seva Niketan, therefore feel free to stay back late.

Avoid taking the road coming from Nagpada , while you are travelling to Seva Niketan after 11 p.m. or so, as the Area is not very developed and prone to illegal activities.

Take the JJ Bridge flyover road only.

There is no pre-booking system and therefore the day your DD reaches them or the day you deposit cash, only then will you be allocated a Bed.

Here are the Contact details to know the exact amount you may have to deposit- 022-23092934.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi very well written would you please mind helping me out with a sample cover letter of yours even i want to apply here.

    • Hi Siddhesh. Thanks!
      By a good cover letter, other than what Lawctopus’ cover letter tells us, I meant these:

      1. If you are applying at a firm’s specific team, say IPR, then the experiences of having worked in IPR firms, firms with IPR team or with IPR specialist lawyers could be useful. In case you are applying at the same firm but different location or applying at the same firm same location (again), then you could specify the people & team you had worked with. This may help the HR expedite in asking for your recommendation.

      2. Similar to past experience, a mention of the moot achievements and research papers published in IPR could also be beneficial.

      3. If you are among the toppers of your batch, then do not hesitate in mentioning (nobody does really hesitate :p) your class rank and cumulative CGPA/PPI. The chances of conversion almost doubles if you have a high credit score in law school. PS- I did not have.

      PPS- I haven’t had the opportunity of interning at many firms and have mostly done repeated internships at places, therefore you can consult your seniors who have, who may help in you in an even better letter. But mostly keeping it precise with major achievements and internship experiences is enough according to me. Applying 4-5 months in advance is the most crucial element in conversion of internship.

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