Name

Abhiroop Saha, III year NLSIU

Name of Organisation, City

Phoenix Legal, New Delhi. Address – 2nd and 3rd Floor, 254, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi -110020

Duration and Timings

28 Days (4 Weeks). 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Mon-Fri.

While interns can generally leave office at the aforementioned time, one may have to stay back for a while longer (quite a while, in fact) if there is work required to be done urgently.

Location/ Team Size

The office was spread over two floors. Associates worked out of standard cubicles, with the partners having individual offices. The litigation team sits on the top floor while the other teams sit on the floor below. Work is assigned by all associates and even by partners at times.

Lodging and Directions

Lodging is available pretty easily in East of Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Amar Colony, Kalkaji and even Govindpuri. In terms of quality, finding something in the first three mentioned areas would be your best bet.

The nearest metro station is Govindpuri on the Violet Line. It’s a short 10-15 min walk/ 15 rupees share-auto ride from there.

Application Process

The application process is fairly straightforward. Apply to [email protected].

When I applied about three months before my internship break, they asked me to apply again a little closer to the dates I wanted.

You will get a reply from them within a reasonable period. If not, send them a reminder. Draft a good covering letter to go with your CV.

First Impression

I arrived a bit late on my first day because I wasn’t familiar with the commute. After letting me know that I had to arrive by atleast 9:45, the HR asked me to sit in the library, which is the designated place for interns to work.

This was my first internship at a corporate firm and the professional culture of the firm really appealed to me.

The decent library, the well-equipped pantry and my nice co-interns, all contributed to the good vibe of the place. After getting a few formalities sorted, I was soon handed work directly by a partner, which made me feel rather important.

Main Tasks

Work at Phoenix Legal primarily comprised research based work or various clerical tasks including due-diligence. None of the interns got any drafting work for the duration of my internship.

The firm practices on a variety of matters and in addition to the usual corporate work, a host of extremely niche topics are taken on by the firm.

Since interns get work from various associates, one ends up getting exposed to a range of topics, some of which I had never contemplated before. There were also a few high profile matters which made things a little more interesting.

Work Environment/ People

The work environment was formal and primarily revolved around, umm, work. My interactions with most associates were only on work related matters. The work culture was pleasant since associates were patient, encouraging and never lost their temper.

While I had to stay back beyond the stipulated time on quite a few occasions, the associates were fairly understanding and never asked me to stay back for too long. Another good thing about the work culture was how the associates giving interns work would often review the work or at least follow up on it and thus you manage to learn a fair bit in the process.

Pro Tips

Ask the associates to tell you a bit about the matter in general, so that you get some context. This will help you a lot in researching so that you can come up with an alternate course of action if you don’t find anything on whatever it is they’ve asked you to research.

Explore around a little for lunch options and don’t limit yourself to the shitty places very close to the office. While a long lunch break is frowned upon by the HR, it’s ultimately food and hence shouldn’t be compromised on.

Try to make friends with the HR (something I couldn’t manage myself) as she is the one who directly supervises matters pertaining to your internship.

Keep a record of the work given to you along with the associate who gave it in your notepad, as you need to get a work-sheet signed at the end of the internship.

Most importantly, learn to say ‘no’. The office has a lot of associates, most of whom require some work or the other to be done by interns. It would not make sense to take too much upon yourself and then end up faltering. Something of this sort happened to me.

Cons

Clerical work of various types is assigned very often. While admittedly interns everywhere are expected to perform menial tasks to a certain extent, the same was quite discouraging at times.

There is very little interaction with associates and other seniors apart from the work assigned. This is unfortunate since a firm like Phoenix Legal with all its excellent lawyers could really offer a lot to interns in terms of career guidance and general information.

There was no interaction with clients whatsoever and case files were rarely handed to interns (apart from work related to pagination). The most I knew of the different matters I worked on was only the propositions assigned to me for research.

This was slightly disappointing as I feel the aforementioned are essential aspects of a fulfilling internship.

Stipend

Sworn to secrecy by HR.

Conclusion

On the whole my experience at Phoenix Legal was an enriching one as I got to learn a lot and also get acquainted to the work culture of a proper law firm. There is a slight sense of regret though as I could have worked more during my time here and I have come to realize that you only enjoy an internship if you commit yourself properly to it.

I would recommend interning at Phoenix Legal to everyone since the pros far outweigh the cons and apparently call-backs are quite frequent if you put in a good amount of effort. It is also a nice place to start out with in terms of internships at corporate law firms.

 

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