So, a new intern in office. Fancy stud from a National Law University. You say a hello, you guys get talking. You are a week old in the internship while he just joined that very morning. He asks you about the work. You tell him, like a boss! “They really do not care!”
Associates enter, Mr. Stud goes and talks to them, with an air of confidence and absolute comfort, while you slightly look up from your cubicle to see what’s happening. Just knowing he will be shunned away by the associates like you were.
He talks to them and the next thing you know, the associates are smiling, telling him to be comfortable and giving him work that actually makes sense.
On day one, Stud has got more work than you have been allotted for an entire week. After they are done talking, the stud gives you a look. Judged!
And found guilty to be a loser!
You want to turn red, you can not look at him. You are angry, you want to work and prove yourself. You feel shy to go and ask for work now.
Slowly as the time passes, you wait for the most friendly associate in the office to come. Probably, go and ask him for work. But you definitely do not know as much as the NLU guy does.
You Whatsapp your friend to vent out your frustration. And while you are just at texting you catch the attention of the associate. Hostile!
You use the F word some million times in your head!
Curse your luck!
Pray for this internship to get over as soon as possible!
Well, now after writing this, I fell a little better! Somehow how this is my idea of vengeance, when people read my blog and empathise with me maybe?
But my blogging guru told me, that people are not really interested to read your rants. So the second segment of this post is hopefully helpful to my patient readers!
1. Very cliched! But very important! TAKE EVERY INTERNSHIP SERIOUSLY!
At least for the first week, you will find out if the associates are serious or not! If they aren’t you can chill from the second week. But the first week! You have to be attentive!
2. First impression is not the last impression, but the first impression will definitely stick by you for really long.
So if you have a bad first impression for a very long time, you will be subject to hostile looks and no work.
Well, no work is fine acceptable as long as there is no other co-intern getting more work than you. Whereas, hostile looks are the worst!
Biggest blow to self-esteem! I am sure none of us want to be on the receiving end of whispers and looks! So!
3. When you do not understand something, ask!
Keep asking, at the cost of sounding really dim wit, ask everything you do not understand.
It is going to save you the trouble of looking really dumb later when you do not come out with results.
4. Do not act cocky, keep a low profile.
This rule is specifically for law losers like me, who are not very good at things, or just suffer from low self-esteem problem!
LET YOUR WORK SPEAK FOR YOU! While you keep shut!
5. Always while mailing your work, THIS IS A GOLDEN RULE!
I did not want to share it, but for the welfare of the public in general, here it is:
So, whenever you mail your work consisting say of relevant case laws or case notes, make sure you have a very concise yet descriptive email, with the attachment of the case laws.
Stating the brief facts of the case and whatever has been held. And end the mail by saying, “I have attached the relevant case law for your kind perusal. Hope it helps“.
6. Introduce yourself well.
This has just been taught to me by the Stud from my office.
Stud formally and very professionally introduces himself to all the associates.
And it looks very cool when he does that. I, on the contrary, had shy-ed away on my first! So it is important! Introduce yourself!
7. Do not act over friendly.
The 6th rule just says “introduce” do not act to clingy and pushy! Again! keep it low! 🙂 at least till the associates do not give a hint of that they like you.
8. Be nice to your co interns.
Do not try to act like you are the boss or you have been there from before so you can guide them around.
You do not know how an associate has treated you, he will treated the other intern the same way.
9. Be very work oriented and remember the RESULT VALIDATES THE DEED!
So no matter how dumb, clumsy or stupid you have acted while doing the research if you come out with the appropriate result, all the bad things get vitiated!
10. Every internship has one “blonde moment”.
It is pretty much inevitable but you can lessen the intensity of the embarrassment caused due to that blonde act of yours.
You ask how? Well, avoid doing obvious stupid things for starters, do not watch video on youtube, DO NOT DOWNLOAD MOVIES USING LAN, do not make fun of any associate while the office has a minimum of 5 people so on and so forth.
11. If you are doing a research internship, never for a moment should you think “the case law does not exist”.
THERE IS A CASE LAW FOR PRACTICALLY EVERY DAMN THING ! Unless and until you are looking at the wrong thing altogether.
You just need to know the correct keywords. If you can not figure out the correct keywords yourself. Just ask the associate. Trust me, it is a smart thing to do ask!
12. Last but not the least, this I advice I am risking my image on. Either I will look really dumb after this or a lot of are in this together. This is specifically for all those doing a Supreme Court internship.
Do you know what the Soli Sorabjee or Harish Salve or Venugopal or all the other cool lawyers look like?
If you do not, kindly do a google search and check them out. Scan them and save the image of the big dadies in your head.
You do not want to look past a senior advocate without greeting or smiling at him or you do not want to greet one senior advocate standing next to another senior advocate just because you do not know who! 🙂
Well, I have mentioned all the important points that any law loser should keep in mind during an internship, this is not an exhaustive list. But it is should help most of you in the most basic sense.
Editor’s Note: The post was published on 28th January 2014.