Does ‘law’ run in your family like, say, diabetes or hypertension? If your answer is yes then you need not read further. You are the blessed one.
But if your fate has conspired to put you in a family where law is an alien word, then you must be familiar with a seasonal malaise striking law students twice a year. It is when we start applying for an internship at the top law firms that we realise what we are up against.
We do all the right things – apply on time, check and re-check your CV and application and then wait. Endlessly and more often than not, foolishly it seems!
It is an ailment with no known cure. All I have tried is to give a lowdown to combat this fever! This is a collective wisdom of many a battle scarred soul, so ignore them at your own peril.
1. Don’t expect a level-playing field. Those who know people with right connections will almost always bag all the prestigious internships. Better equip yourself with well connected uncles and cousins or fall through the cracks.
2. Don’t ever imagine that your C.V. with real or imagined qualifications will cut much ice. Rather a word or two whispered by the right people to the right ears will do the trick.
3. Don’t ever vow that you will not ask for any kind of favour from anybody. Come internship season and you will be searching your phone-book for those well connected souls. And then you will discover the true meaning of haves and have nots, us and them.
Those who have important ‘connections’ in the legal fraternity and those who are ‘legal orphans’. Most of your colleagues will have bagged top internships long before your applications have reached the right shores.
Coming to applications, well that is another story altogether. You apply 6 months prior to your intended stint and you find that someone else has already beaten you to it. Now what? Applying for internships even before joining law school, I guess!
4. Don’t let the ‘N-word’ rule your entire life. Those who have got into an NLU have done so by dint of their hard work. But the lesser mortals need not despair. One entrance examination cannot decide your entire future.
Sound legal knowledge, good oratorial skill, right amount of chutzpah and positive body language – these are the skills ANYBODY can acquire. And these are the attributes which last long after you have finally come out of the gates of law schools.