By Amit Agrawal, IMS School of Law, Dehradun.
Internships, the first thing we strive to do in order to know the practical aspects of our legal field, to fulfill the mandate of our Law schools and also to improve our curriculum vitae.
This article is, in particular, with respect to my experience of internship with an advocate and at Law firms and I think the readers can benefit more or less from the below mentioned experiences. Moreover, I think these are certain things which should be shared in a profound way so that others can benefit from it. I hope you derive help from this article and enrich your thought process.
I am sure that all the readers over here are studying in some or the other law colleges. Let’s be a part of the same sphere of influence and work towards uplifting ourselves.
In order to compete with the world at large, we have to get uncomfortable at times, give ourselves time to progress regularly. I think Internships play a major role in developing our inner thoughts and articulate it for the betterment of ourselves, if taken seriously. We should never forget the importance of an internship. We should wisely choose it and make the best from it. If we are confident enough and think in a positive way, I am sure we can cross any impediment.
Here are some things (do’s) which I have learned, observed, realized over time and which I think should be kept in mind while engaging in any sort of work at law firms, with an advocate or may be at other such places:
Things to do:
- Always ask for work, if you don’t have any.
- Be confident and firstly try to understand the facts of any research you take.
- Follow the ideal rule of research, starting from Acts- Rules- Notifications/circulars- then to Case Laws.
- If you do not understand things related to your research, always ask things, never hesitate. Be respectful and humble.
- Learn the art of sending emails; it is very much necessary with respect to the business communications. Always explain case laws in brief and highlight relevant Paragraphs of the case laws of your research and then send it to the person concerned. It helps in understanding things in a better way and enhances your email skills as well.
- Learn to use e-database efficiently (Manupatra, SCCOnline, Westlaw India etc.)
- Be frank in terms of explaining the outcomes of the designated work. Try to understand and then explain things to the point, try to avoid unnecessary details.
- Do not feel like you are not learning something and that the internship was a waste of time. Mr. Siddharth, an advocate practicing in New Delhi once told me and I quote ‘Every learning experience is a good experience’ .Whatever you learn, howsoever little, should be appreciated and taken in a positive way.
- Try to draft your research in a logical way and give only whatever you find relevant to the supervisor.
- Learn to present things in your email, draft in simple English.
- Practice will make your work efficient.
- You would make mistakes and would not feel like doing anything at times. This happens often (at least this happened with me); just never lose your confidence and patience.
- Take internships seriously.
- Learn to work on Microsoft word, power point, excel etc. efficiently.
- Always ask for feedback at the end of Internship if possible.
- Be Presentable.
- Not just do the work, try to understand the work you’ve been asked to do.
- Never try to run away from situations.
- Try to avoid making grammatical mistakes in your email and presentation.
- Keep the track of all the work you do at Internships. Doing this will definitely help you in the longer run.
Things not to do:
- Never ever leave office before taking permission.
- If you are taking any leave, please inform the person in authority of yours.
- Try to reach on time.
These are a few things that must be kept in mind when starting your internships. The thing mentioned above is solely with respect to my personal experience and not at all exhaustive. I am sure that there are many more things that you have or will learn. You just have to keep looking for it. If you work hard things would definitely come along and someday you would find yourself cherishing your little eureka moments.
Communicate with your teachers, college seniors, person concerned, learn, read, have fun and most importantly be sincere in whatever you do. I hope this article helps the readers in their future activities. At last, I would like to quote a short verse mentioned by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in his book ‘Wings on Fire’ which I think would further enhance the purpose behind writing this article:
“Don’t worry and fret,
The chances have just begun
For the best jobs haven’t been started,
The best work hasn’t been done”.
Knowledge is the most important tangible asset and, quite often, the most important tool in your work. So keep engaging yourself in challenges and never give up.
Keep up the good spirit.
The places I’ve interned subject to this article are mentioned below:
Mr. Siddharth, an advocate practicing in New Delhi
VERUS Advocates, Corporate Law firm, Kailash Colony, New Delhi
PDS Legal, Taxation Law Firm, Barahkhamba Road, New Delhi
PS: Any other inputs or suggestions are most welcome. Please feel free to comment.