Name of Organisation, City
Phoenix Legal, New Delhi. Address – 2nd and 3rd Floor, 254, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi -110020
Duration and Timings
28 Days (4 Weeks). 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Mon-Fri.
You’ll be asked to stay back if the work allotted to you is required to be done on an urgent basis. Even so, many of stayed back till 8 on most days, to finish whatever we’d been allotted.
Location/ Team Size
The office was spread over two floors. Associates worked out of standard cubicles, with the partners having individual studies.
Nicely equipped conference rooms and pantry. The library though, felt a bit lacking.
6 partners and 18 associates. A lot of the associates had joined less than a year ago and were therefore pretty easygoing and helpful.
Special, well deserved mention here, to the office staff, who were an amazing, polite and helpful bunch.
Lodging and Directions
Lodging is available pretty easily in East of Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Amar Colony, Kalkaji and even Govindpuri. In terms of quality, finding something in the first three mentioned areas would be your best bet.
The nearest metro station is Govindpuri on Violet Line. It’s a short 10-15 min walk/ 25-30 Rupees auto ride from there. You can also get cycle rickshaws from the metro station for a lesser amount, although I never did that. The nearest bus station is Modi Mill. It’s a 5-10 min walk from there.
Application process is fairly simple. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will get a reply from them within a reasonable period. If not, send them a reminder. Although, if you can get an associate to put a word in for you, nothing like it.
I saw a few people get callbacks when an associate specifically asked the HR to accommodate them again even after she’d initially told them all the slots were full. Mention the period when you want to intern in the subject line.
Draft a good covering letter to go with your CV, but nothing too long, that nobody will bother reading.
I had arrived a bit early on my first day because I wasn’t sure how long the commute would take. None of the associates or partners were in at that time.
The office staff was very polite and situated me in the library. I was given a Phoenix Legal notepad and a razor sharp pencil (extra cred).
The interiors were modern and smart and what you’d expect from a firm like Phoenix. The clock ticked on. A few co-interns started arriving close to 10.
I was expecting the HR to introduce me to a few of the associates or a partner, some sort of a mentor system or assign me a team, but no such thing happened. The other interns told me to just go up to associates and start asking for work. I didn’t.
Just before lunch the HR lady walked into the lib and seemed taken aback to see me. She’d forgotten that I was joining on that particular day.
After getting a few formalities sorted, I was introduced to one associate who gave me some research work.
Work was mostly research based. None of the interns got any drafting work while I was there.
If you want pure cap marks work or anything in that vein, this place isn’t for you. But, if you enjoy researching on a wide variety of laws, this will be an interesting internship.
I got research work related to arbitration, parliamentary processes, CLB proceedings, company law, contracts law, injunctions (and a whole other load of civil procedure fundamentals), tenancy laws, compliance checks and more arbitration laws among others.
What was good was that some of the research that was given was related to topics that I had not even heard of (defence procurement policy and other such stuff), and though the research pertaining to these topics wasn’t very detailed and significant, I read up quite a bit about these things in my free time after being exposed to them.
Due-diligence can’t be avoided, although there are only 2-3 associates who’ll hand you all their due diligence work. Proofreading, sorting through thick case files, cross-referencing and other menial work is part of the job description.
One thing that I would like to mention here is that sometimes the research given was so specific that it was nigh on impossible to satisfy the associates with your research.
The factual matrix that they would be looking for would be so precise, that hours of research would come up with nothing.
Work Environment/ People
Work environment was formal. There wasn’t any joking around with the associates. The interns had a good time among themselves in the library though.
Associates would follow up to see if you had made any progress on the work allotted.
All the associates were encouraging and patient. Asking for clarifications wasn’t looked down upon. Interns were rarely asked to stay back past 8, although a few associates always stayed back.
Some of them were especially good to the interns, having just joined the firm. A couple of people though, left you wishing you had avoided them to begin with.
In case you were asked to stay back, food could be ordered, the cost of which would be reimbursed the next day. Cab-fare was also provided.
Ask the associates to tell you a bit about the matter in general, so that you get some context. This will help you in researching a lot so that you can come up with an alternate course of action if you don’t find anything on whatever it is they’ve asked you to research.
Where you sit is also pretty important during the course of this internship. Interns sit on the 2nd floor. You could be allotted the library or the cubicles where the associates sit. My advice would be to sit with the associates on the 2nd floor for the first 3-4 days and then shift to the library.
That way, you get some work from these associates initially and establish a good rapport with them. When you move to the library, you get access to work given by the associates sitting on the other floor. The library has a phone and people sitting on the other floor will call the library to allot work.
And if you manage to turn some good work in during your first few days, the people on your floor will call you on the phone to give you work or come to the library personally. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
Keep a record of the work given to you along with the associate who gave it in your notepad, as you need to get a work-sheet signed at the end of the internship.
The firm is pretty big on callbacks. Write a mail to the HR after 3-4 days saying that you enjoyed working there and would love to intern again. Or ask the associate with whom you have a good rapport to put in a word with the HR. This usually works.
Take the smartcard with you when you go out for lunch or the obligatory smoke break. They don’t like it if you need to be buzzed in by someone or if you ring the bell.
Get your laptop connected to the wireless printer early. Talk to the admin head for this.
There needs to be some sort of an orientation on the first day so that the interns settle in nicely.
Interns weren’t briefed on the entire matter and only given very specific points of research, which at times led to very frustrating research.
Interaction with clients would also have been much appreciated along with some drafting work.
Rs 5000/- for 4 weeks for all interns. Changes if you intern for a lesser or longer period.
All in all, a pretty good internship. Lots to learn and time to hone your researching skills.
The pros far outweigh the cons. The three dhabas nearby served good food. Try Dal Makhani and Chilli Garlic Noodles for sure.
The added advantage of easy conversion to callbacks and possibly job offers is the icing on the cake.
This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.