This article was written by Shresi Sinha from New Law College, Pune. If you want to share your law school story, share with [email protected]
Internships turn out to be an important aspect of any law student. Right from the application to the finishing touch, it’s a learning process throughout the journey. Examinations end and the hunt for good internships is on the go. Friends, seniors, contacts and most importantly internet comes to our rescue. The first step starts with the sorting out of the internship firms on several grounds like minimum internship period, the place, the timing, the brand name and so on. Updating our Curriculum Vitae is the next step, also any sort of covering letter or any other specifications mentioned is fulfilled and mailed. It is followed by reminder mails and calls for the internship opportunity. Following all such steps, I have had the opportunity to do as many as 6 internships in my 6 semesters. Though every bit of it has been an essential learning part, yet I would consider the following as my favorites: –
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, New Delhi.
The first and the foremost step towards any internship is the making of a CURRICULUM VITAE or a RESUME. It is a difficult task especially when you are in your first year of college. Now, first we need to understand as to what is a Curriculum Vitae or CV. The CV for any individual serves as a directory or an index of his qualification and achievements. There are so many versions of making the right CV, which I personally came across.
The length of the CV
The average length of the CV should be not more than 2- 3pages. It is because of the reason that the recruiting people just wants to get an idea of your qualification and are not into writing any sort of thesis on you. Yet it must also include all the essentials. So precision is what you learn here.
Format of the CV
Obviously there is no possibility that all the CVs would follow a similar format, but a general one has to be abided by, which needs to incorporate the essentials. These essentials include the 10th board result, 12th board result, any of your semester’s result and so on. Also, since first-year students are too young for completing any diploma, the enrollment can also be mentioned. Along with the diploma any sort of distance course or certificate course has to be incorporated in the CV
Contents of the CV
It is also an essential part to know what to include in a CV. Firstly, all your academic qualifications, any sort of competitions, winning or participatory on a national or state level, any publications available in the newspaper, magazines and so on. A CV should also include all sorts of co- curricular or extra-curricular activities you have been associated with. Do not include any qualification for which you don’t have a certificate. This should be complied with since it authenticates the CV
Once your CV is done, you are all set to apply it. For the National Human Rights Commission, I applied it via the email id which is given on the website along with the covering letter.
Very often, it is told by the firm to apply along with a covering letter.
The covering letter serves as a short bio of the individual, including the name, year of study, phone number and email id. It also includes the purpose of the internship in a paragraph. The purpose needs to convince the firm so that they finalize your internship. For example, if you are applying in a firm dealing with Patent Laws, you should definitely mention of any diploma or any other course you have done regarding the subject. Use of accurate words in the right manner is what is required in this.
Send an email attaching the CV and a covering letter. The body of the email should be very precise and should only contain your name, contact number and email id. If you had telephonic conversations prior to mailing in the CV do mention it.
After sending in an email, the next step is the follow up session. It is very rare that any of the organization or the firm you have applied in for internship sends an acknowledgment email for the same, so you need to call them to confirm, several times you need to send a reminder mail. I was lucky enough because the NHRC People had a quick response mechanism with their email system, followed by a small telephonic interview.
Since they had an elaborate internship mechanism, the list of the selected candidates was mailed to the applicants.
NHRC- Starting up of the Internship
NHRC, situated in Copernicus Marg, one of the posh areas of Delhi, is the highest National Authority that works for the safeguarding of Human Rights. The selected candidates for the internship came in groups at the allotted time. Punctuality is a must. Always be there before the allotted time, not only will that help you feel relax but will also give a very positive impression.
Since Human Rights is guaranteed to all, there were interns from all fields of education, most of them however were from the law background.
The first two days were the introductory session, where we were shown the place, and an overall timetable was made for the remaining period of internship. We were told to do a research article on any of the Human Rights issues, for which we were acquainted with the huge library and also with the entire database available there.
We were divided into small groups and given weekly work. A very differently interesting work was with the MADAD cell of NHRC. It was a one to one interaction with the public, where they enquired about the status of their case and we were to provide them with the same, also there were others who used to come to the office and file in the complaint, all the formalities and procedures were to be guided by us. This not only was a new experience, but it also gave us a sense of responsibility where we had to remain alert to perform our duties. The way we need to talk to a client or a victim was learnt in this process.
Another weekly task was regarding the discussions of police atrocities and the defiance of human rights. Several documentaries and case studies were shown which were truly shocking. It was very sad to see that the public authorities have been exploiting their powers in such a heinous manner. We were made aware of the hard reality of the process of post-mortem through various videos which were so differently conceived by me.
Another impacting experience was a visit to the Dasna Jail. It is the largest jail in Uttar Pradesh and is spread in an area as large as 36 acres and serving as many as 1700 prisoners. The reform and rehabilitation policy prevalent in our system was clearly seen there. Special impetus to education and other fruitful activities was given. Many were also enrolled with IGNOU for their distance course. There were separate cells for men, women and the LGBT community, while the hardened criminals were given a comparatively strict punishment. Children below the age of 6 years were allowed to stay with their mothers and special day care centers and schools were provided to them. A separate legal aid facility was also given to the prisoners so that they weren’t denied of the rights which they possessed and were also made acquainted with the same. All in all, the jail visit was a fruitful and a one of a kind experience. It made us shed off the preconceived notions of the jail authorities portrayed to us in the reel life.
Through all these weekly experiences, we were to submit our research articles at the end of the internship. My topic was ENGENDERING RELIGION; WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO HINDUISM. Writing a research article was one of the most thorough and lasting experience. Choosing the correct topic and being able to express your views, backed with facts and figures is something I learned during this process.
National Human Rights Commission proved to play a very pivotal role in my learning process. It provided me with new experiences and opportunities. I would definitely recommend this internship to all the pupils and law students especially to go in for an internship with the same.
MULLA & MULLA & CRAIGIE BLUNT & CAROE(Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries), Mumbai.
I also had the opportunity to work with Mulla and Mulla, one of the leading law firms situated in Mumbai. The firm is a huge one with many partners and several associates. A hardcore legal firm, it helped me gauge the actual scenario of the legal expert. The workload is tremendous, dealing in different aspect of law, but the lawyers had a unique way of solving the same.
We were initially given the files for the cases for which we were going to attend the hearing. The files contained all the necessary information and every possible document annexed. I was made aware of how the entire system works, from the very scratch.
Client dealing and counseling was another aspect I witnessed. The court visits further enhanced my knowledge of the profession I had already chosen. The court discipline has to be maintained and it is definitely different from the moot courts we are so accustomed to.
The firm dealt with cases of top notch clients ranging from the film stars to the politicians. These were really interesting to study.
The firm also had a huge library which was open to the all the associates for reference. The use of law and applicability of the same in a particular situation was learned during the internship.
A healthy working culture was encouraged in the firm, and the associates were extremely helpful and offered a guiding light whenever needed.
The interns were given ample work and were always checked upon. This not only enabled us to be updated with our assigned work but also gave us a sense of responsibility.
One thing which greatly influenced me was the learning attitude which everyone possessed. Always being updated and ready for learning, from the co-interns to the partners, everyone believed in the idea of giving and receiving knowledge.
MANUPATRA, Information Solutions Private Limited, New Delhi
Everyone who is associated with Law is acquainted with Manupatra. It serves as one of the largest online legal database.
More than the work, I came to know about the work culture at Manupatra. Starting from the biometric to no use of cell phones and other restrictions came in the rules and regulations of the organization. It helped me gauge the corporate culture.
Time management, accuracy and effectiveness were the key points which had to be taken into consideration while working at Manupatra.
The work was duly assigned and was checked upon at regular intervals; also the employees were always ready to explain any doubts over and over again.
The remuneration and the free lunch which was provided acted as incentives which further motivated us to work.
The lunch breaks turned out to be a discussing platform where students from different colleges and areas shared their views and interests.
Also the work allotted to us like the finding of the assessment years for the various tax cases was uploaded within a week, this served as a great motivation.
The interns were given all the amenities, to ensure that quality work was received. This gave a sense of belongingness towards the organization.
It can be rightfully summarized that the process of learning is an unending one and cannot, rather should not, be stopped under any circumstances. Also, the field of law is dynamic in nature, where laws keep changing, suiting the circumstances and needs of the society. As an important element of the society, we need to understand our specific roles and work towards its fulfillment. This can only be done by adapting to the “learning instinct” which is essential at this point of the hour.