Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, Hon’ble Judge, High Court of Delhi
I applied through personal contact who was kind enough to forward my CV however I had to comply with certain formal requirements. One can also apply through the High Court Registry. You are required to send your CV along with a covering letter by post.
The very thought of interning at the magnificent and ever vibrant Delhi High Court was exciting; my first impression therefore was quite positive. The office was impressive and I was immediately briefed about my work by the Law Clerks.
Furthermore I was also asked to strictly follow and maintain the protocol and complete the formalities for getting a monthly pass to the High Court (do not forget to carry your college ID & a photograph).
Contrary to my unconscious prejudice, Sir was very friendly, pleasant and accommodative. At the end of the day He would discuss the important matters with you and delegate work. He also gave patient hearing to all the quarries I had.
Duration of internship; office timings
01st Oct- 21st Oct
I interned there for a period of three weeks because I could not afford to miss college; however you can get it extended by personally making a request to Sir.
The official timings were 9:30 to 18:30. I usually would reach office by 9:30 AM as you are expected to be seated in the court before the day formally starts [entering the court after the Judges’ have arrived is against court etiquette]. Sundays were usually off.
Like any other internship, you would not know at the start of the day about when you will get to leave – it would generally depend on the matters listed for the next day and the work delegated to you.
There was a great variety of taxation matters. I was given complete access to all the online search engines and the Judge’s Library.
I read, drafted, researched and discussed. You’re expected to closely observe the day to day court proceedings and make your personal notes and briefs. If you’re good at your work he might also ask you to prepare notes for His assistance.
During my internship period Sir delivered quite a few judgments therefore I got constant research work, so that was an added bonus.
Work environment and people
The work environment was very favourable for my temperament. Everyone associated with his office was civil, friendly and always had a ready to help attitude.
The law clerks working with Sir were extremely friendly and also ensured that I learn and they constantly provided research tasks and appraisals.
You don’t really expect any stipend at such a place.
Apart from the usual things you learn in any internship this internship gave me an opportunity to learn varied skills of advocacy by observing some of the best advocates in the country argue. Besides, one also get to learn the art of reading bulky files in small time.
Most importantly, personal discussions with the Lordhship has helped me understand how to approach a case and has given me a judicial bent of mind.
As Sir has been on both bar and bench it was overall an enriching experience for someone like me who is looking to make a career in litigation.
During this internship I was exposed to various taxation matters and could see legal luminaries like Mr. Datar, Mr. Ganesh, Mr Vohra and the likes in action and that undoubtedly was an important take-away from the internship.
Observing real lawyers in a real courtroom really gave me a sense of what exactly I am getting myself into by going to law school, and I enjoyed that opportunity.
Also I got to attend few events hosted at the Delhi High Court premises.
Accommodation, Commuting & Food
During my internship I was staying at a relative’s place at Kalkaji. However, having been acquainted with the place there are lot of PGs around.
One can also easily find affordable and student friendly accommodation (including food) in nearby areas like Lajpat Nagar and Jungpura.
The Delhi High Court is centrally located and there are metro stations at walking distance. Also there are other means of transportation available like auto rickshaws and taxi cabs.
For lunch you have two canteens at the High Court. Also there are places around the High Court like Khan Market, CP, etc.
Few Tips before you join a judicial internship
A decision to intern under a sitting judge of the High Court should be well a informed one, as one may not necessarily enjoy the experience if you are not given to lot of reading and patient hearing.
It is advisable to pick a judge accruing to ones area of interest.
It is very important to know your basics, and here I mean to have a fair idea of the procedural codes, besides the substantive law. With the continued guidance I received from the law clerks there I did not have any such problem and I could easily sail through.
Judges are the sort of people who are always punctual so it is recommend that one should be on time.
As an intern you get access to the Judges’ library at the High Court therefore one should try and make optimum use of the free time available by catching up on the latest news, magazines, periodicals and other journals. After all you do not get such opportunities so often.
Strictly adhere to court etiquettes and dress code.
Judicial internships are valuable for many reasons. Perhaps one of the more obvious reasons for pursuing a judicial internship is the prestige and goodwill associated with working for a judge, so one should try to make the most of it.
As a concluding remark the kind of exposure that I gained as law student while working with Justice Sachdeva was remarkable and unparallel.
This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.