The Maddening, Vicious Cycle of Law Internships and the 8 Point Story My Resume Tells

internship
By Rupam Gupta. Campus Journalist at MSRCL

WARNING: The readers of this article may completely lose interest in their law course. They might feel sad, depressed and lonely and curse god for their miserable existence. I refuse to take any liability for the above mentioned mishaps. But seriously, you have to read this.

To really enjoy this piece, read the write-up in 3 parts; separated by photos.

So I have just completed making a list of all the law firms I wish to apply for this summer. It was not an easy task; I had to take a lot of factors into consideration before I started making my list.

Let’s take a walk together of how it came to be. The main concern for me was to analyze what I wish to gain or achieve from this internship.

My objective goes like this –I am seeking an internship position with a well established law firm where my legal skills will be implemented and enhanced. This will prove to be very helpful for me in the long run”. 

Sounds nice and elegant! I am sure many law firms will send me a confirmation mail immediately after reading this objective.

So I got to work and started making the list. A quick search in RSG India and I had made my choice – Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB Partners, JSA these law firms went no.1 in my list. How hard can it be to get an internship in their office?

Once I impress them with my resume, they will surely give me an internship.

I mean, if Mike Ross from Suits, (a potential drug dealer without any law degree) can get recruited, I am sure I can too.

After I get the internship, I am going to dazzle them with my brilliance and legal knowledge. They will get so impressed that they will have to make me an offer I can’t refuse and give me a job. Then, I am on my way to legal stardom. Not to be boastful or anything, but my future looks definitely bright.

I have already decided where I am going to intern this summer. Now it’s time to update my resume. If Lawctopus has taught me anything, it is that “your resume should tell a story”.

Great, I am very good at writing stories. Score one for myself! Anyway, I have an awesome story line lined up:

1. Work Experience : I have plenty. Last summer I worked atI Scratch your back & You scratch mine Legal Associates“. It was super awesome. I was asked to wear the black coat and everything; I learnt legal stuff, got free coffee, free lunch and met the other interns (some were smoking hot).

The only part I didn’t like was that I had to go court everyday to see my firm’s proceedings (face palm!) At the end of the internship, I was given my certificate. However, I wonder as to why I was the only intern not being offered to continue my internship.

2. Sports : Counter Strike, Assassins Creed, FIFA and NFS – these are the games in which I am unbeatable. They are challenging and test ones analytical and perceptive skills all at once.

They are the sole reason behind my amazing eye-hand coordination, which let’s be honest is very important for a legal career! This will be the point where the recruiters are absolutely getting convinced that I am the right candidate for the Internship position.

3. Competitions : I was the lead singer in my metal band “The Burning Bazaar”. Though we didn’t win anything, I could tell people loved our performances; they would start clapping and would not stop until we leave the stage. Thank you guys for all your support!

4. Publications : I don’t wanna brag but, you know those yahoo answers when you do a quick google search? I have made tons of publications there.

There was this guy who had some problem in his love life, I totally helped him out. I am very modest, but let’s face it… I am a Hero. I also maintain my own blog, www.hubba-hubba.com.

5. Achievements : On September 27th, 2011 at 2.45 am, I Got 350+ likes for my display picture in Facebook (proudest moment of my life).

6Areas of Interest : I love Hilly areas, I also like beaches but there is something about Hilly areas that I just can’t resist.

7. Education : I have decided not to include this on my resume (little bit embarrassing). In fact, its not even needed – who cares about marks ! By the time they reach this section of the resume, they will be already amazed at the talents I possess.

8. Reference : My Uncle who lives in Darjeeling, is the owner of a tea plantation. I also have my far cousin somewhere in USA, he says he is in speaking terms with Johny Depp, so you can say I know Johny Depp.

life of a law intern, legal internship, law student life
easy work

Everything was going smoothly, until my friend Anirban gives me a call and tells me about this firm he has applied for through their online application form. He mentioned it was very easy to fill in, he had to choose most options from drop boxes. It took him only 5 minutes to fill up the form and submit it.

I was like, great, now I don’t have to write a bogus cover letter and mail them personally. I asked him for the link and I opened their website. It really looked impressive and I thought to myself I just have to intern here. So I went to the Internship section and started filing in the form. That is when something really, really bad happened.

In the college section there was a drop box, I kept on scrolling down, kept on scrolling down till I reached China, but I could not find my college name. My college was not part of the list!! The firm was so strict about their intake of interns that they restricted students from our college to even apply for an internship. 

The more I went down the list, shock and tremendous fear ran through my spine. They had a section for marks which was a drop box and had limited options – 1st option : Top 2% in class, 2nd option : Top 5%, 3rd option : Top 10%. There was no 4th option.

Then they were sections for Top 3 internship experiences, Top 3 moot court experiences, Top 3 Publications. This was too big a shock to intake. I shut down my laptop and went for a walk. Perhaps the most important walk I ever took in my life.

“I am Jack’s Broken heart”..

That Internship application made me realize the criteria in which these top law firms recruit interns. The level of competition is crazy and it is impossible for any non NLS student without any legal contacts to flourish in an environment like this.

We take up a long 5 year course and go to law school and after going though all the trouble, there exists a high probability that we might end up unemployed. Even worse, even if we are employed, we will get peanuts as salary.

patience in applying for internships
patience. that’s what became of the kid above

Generally, recruiters for Internships prefer students with prior experience. To gain prior experience we need internships. It is a vicious circle. I agree people in the Top 10% in class have earned their rights to at least go forward and try. But what about the other 90%? They don’t even get a signal to go ahead. Patience is the key, they say.

Maybe it is true. But you should communicate this to our bank authorities from whom we have taken student loans.

Nowadays, we spend most of our time doing things which will help us build our resume. We sign up for any course or event accompanied by a certificate. Do we ever stop to ask ourselves what is it actually about? Are we genuinely interested?

At the end of the day, logic takes over and we resign to the fact that we will get another bullet point in our resume. Nothing to lose, but hey, at least I am filling out my CV!

We spend hours, days, months building our resume and it only takes a few seconds for the recruiters to reject them. Can’t blame them, can’t blame us, no wonder everybody is so pissed off. “Life is a Train, its eventually gonna hit you, so either you start running from a far distance, or else you can sit down, crack open a beer and watch it coming”.

In the end it does not matter what college you went to or what courses you have done. What matters is how much money you have in your wallet earned through legal means. Anyway, I have got the best solution to solve my problems .

I have broadened my search from the 3 best law firms in India (according to the web search I made earlier in RSG INDIA) to all the law firms in India. I’m tired of listening to people saying that we should select only 5-6 firms, make custom cover letter and follow up. What a bunch of whiners.

I will make only one cover letter, go to Lawctopus, get all the internship contacts and am going to mail the same cover letter along with my super awesome resume to all the law firms in India. At least one of them will surely follow up. [Editor: No, they won’t]

I am also going to update my resume with minor alterations. Now I know you guys have been thinking I missed out so many important and genuine points from my resume but don’t worry, the same has come to my notice.

Firstly, I will add my photo, to make the recruiters notice and appreciate the fact that I look similar to beloved SRK. Then I am going to add some of the more adventurous and dangerous sports such as football and cricket to my resume.

The only sad angle is that I have done too many spectacular things in my life, I just can’t try and fit everything in 2 pages. Nothing is enough!

I hereby declare that all the statements above are true and to the best of my knowledge. This is not just me writing this article because I am here bored and all alone in my lonely little room. 

-The Man.

Rupam Gupta is the Campus Journalist at MSRCL. He is an utter disgrace to the legal community. Good for Nothing. Lazy, Slow and unproductive, writes crappy articles and pisses people off. Claims to be a huge music fanatic, he can’t even differentiate between Metallica and Megadeth.

Images from here and here.

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