NAME OF THE INTERN
Subhaprada Mohanty, RGNUL Patiala
NAME OF ORGANISATION, LOCATION & TEAM STRENGTH
Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
The office is situated at Jangpura. The nearest metro station is the Jangpura metro station which is around 1km walking distance from the office.
During the months of April and May when I was interning at Vidhi there were 6 people in the office including the director of VCLP, Arghya Sengupta and five senior resident fellows.
In April there were no interns but soon interns started coming in during the month of May.
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I applied for the internship in two months advance. I got a confirmation reply within a week. Rukmini Das, one of the senior resident fellows handled all my internship queries.
She’s quite considerate and helped me in adjusting my dates for the internship. Now here are some tips to remember while applying for the internship.
Send your application at least two months in advance. Don’t make the folly of sending your application at the last minute, say before one week or two weeks. Such applications are frowned upon and never entertained.
Make your CV looks simpler and short. Don’t go on adding pages to your CV based on the misconception that longer your CV higher your potential and better is the chance to bag the internship. It’s better to highlight your research skills in your CV as you will mostly get research type of work
DURATION OF INTERNSHIP
1st April-31st May, 2014.
TIMINGS: 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
DAYS PER WEEK: Monday to Friday. If there’s work (rarely happens) you will be called on Saturday.
Initially my internship period was for one month but later I got extended it for another month. If they like the quality of your work you can request for extension. Office timings are strictly followed.
FIRST IMPRESSION & FIRST DAY FORMALITIES
On first day I reached the office an hour late. Finding the office is not so easy. My internship coordinator introduced me to all fellows in the office. Later she explained me all the current work happening in Vidhi.
During that time they were working with Law Commission of India to prepare a report on state of tribunals in India. I was straightaway given a task to prepare a list of cases disposed of by TDSAT.
Work at Vidhi (atleast for me) can be broadbased into four categories:
1. List of cases on important point points of law: I was given to compile a list of important cases on retrospective amendment of tax laws. A similar list of cases I prepared (on excel sheet) pertaining to all PIL cases relating to corruption filed in Supreme Court by NGOs.
2. Case Analysis/Case Brief: This is was the most interesting type of task. Vidhi has recently started a blog named SCOI blog. The blog reports latest cases decided by Supreme Court of India.
It is modelled on the lines of SCOTUS blog that covers important judgments of Supreme Court of USA. The readers can access to the case brief section in the SCOI blog to read a summary (maximum 2 pages) of important judgments.
We interns had to make these case briefs after reading the entire judgment. The briefs have to be short and succinct but should cover important points of law covered in the judgment.
3. Concept of Law in different jurisdictions: Another interesting kind of work. I had to prepare a brief report on the legality of Net Neutrality in different jurisdictions of the world. Another brief report report I prepared on carbon credits and its status in white papers of different countries.
4. List of cases for different tribunals: Now this was the most tedious kind of work. I had to prepare a list of cases disposed off by various tribunals in each year. This is the only kind of task which makes you realize that you are just an intern.
WORK ENVIRONMENT & PEOPLE
Honestly speaking, interning at Vidhi will be working with the best kind of people in public policy sector. All the fellows are very humble and helpful in nature.
They will guide you and explain all your doubts. Moreover they give useful career tips to all the interns.
Once I was invited to their sumptuous buffet lunch thrown by Bengali fellows in celebration of Bengali New Year. In a nutshell the whole Vidhi Team is quite chilled out and fun to hang out with.
The best thing working at Vidhi is that you will be proficient in making research reports. Making case briefs is a skill that every law student should be imbibed with.
You will learn a lot and make some useful contacts if you want to carve out a niche in the public policy field. This is the best starting point. Moreover they provide good stipend to the interns.
Sitting and working all hours inside the office before the laptop becomes monotonous.
I am of personal opinion that there should be some kind of field research for the interns. Although I won’t recommend it during the scorching summers.
That’s the only bad thing I found during the internship.
I was provided a very good remuneration of Rs. 7,500 as stipend for each month. I didn’t discuss with other interns how much they got.
PLACES TO CHILL
Eateries like Barbeque Nation and McDonalds are nearby. If you have deep pockets to burn you can have food there everyday.
Otherwise for cheap options there are roadside food stalls. There’s also the Eros Multiplex adjacent to McDonalds for movie buffs.
For law students out there who want to work in public policy field Vidhi is the best place to start with.
First of all it’s the only think tank that works exclusively in the legal domain.
Secondly, it gives a ringside view of the law making aspect that is rarely taught in law schools.
We know what is law but we hardly know how the law is made depending on the pressing needs of the society. The evolution of law from committee reports to introduction of bill and finally its passage into an Act can be gauged while working at Vidhi.
Vidhi prepare reports on different bills by taking inputs from various stakeholders like civil society, eminent jurists, experts from different countries and many more.
The drafting of the bill has to be done by taking board all the aforementioned stakeholders.
And thirdly, all the fellows out there have singular expertise in different areas of law like Corporate Laws (Debanshu Mukherjee), Internet laws(Ketan Paul), Public International Law(Rukmini Das), Social Welfare laws(Srijoni Sen), Constitutional Law (Alok Prasana Kumar) and Administrative Law (Arghya Sengupta).
So options are galore for law students to pick and choose work depending on their areas of interest.
I know my experience is very detailed and long. But that’s how public policy wonks write.
The Vidhi’ website is here.
The Facebook page is here.
This entry was a part of the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.