I was intimidated by the kind of clients they worked with, but they always had some funny, interesting stories about even the biggest of clients which put me at ease.
Name of the organisation. City. Office Address. How was the office?
Neolegal Associates, Global Legal & IP Consultants, Mumbai. World Trade Centre, 12th Floor – 4c, Centre-1, Mumbai – 400005, India.
Team Strength: 3 lawyers, 1 Patent Expert
Duration of internship
June 10- June 30
Application procedure? Internship Contact Details
The application procedure was fairly direct. I was interested in working at an IP firm because everything I had studied about it seemed so exciting. So after speaking with my Professor (who recommended this place) I went ahead and emailed them at [email protected]. You can alternatively send them your application at [email protected].
In fact, they are ranked on miphandbook.com, which should be the mantra to gauge the who’s who of the IP world. Unfortunately, they do not have a profile on miphandbook.com, unlike the other firms, so I called them to find out who I can mail my application to.
Both Bhavna Shinde and Ravina Rajpal are 2 of the 3 Senior Associates at the firm, and they will get back in touch with you via email and/or telephone, as soon as they receive your application. This is followed by an Interview with the firm’s partner, Xerxes Ranina.
I was fairly nervous about the interview, but Mr. Ranina just wanted to find out where my interests lay and what dates would be most comfortable for me. I intended to work for an entirety of 4 weeks, but he recommended that I start a week late because the Courts were shut in the first week of June.
The firm has just 4 people, 3 lawyers and one Patent expert. The strength of the firm would seem absurd, especially since they handle major clients all the time, yet, their organization, work culture and ability to deliver within deadlines is impecable.
Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings
Days of work per week: 5 (Saturdays, only if there is an urgent matter that needs to be attended to. In fact, in such situations, they encourage you to work from home, unless your presence is of absolute requirement at the office).
Timings: 10:30 a.m. to 6: 30 p.m. (The timings can extend slightly, in case some work needs to be done, but I have never had to stay beyond 8 p.m.)
First impression, first day, formalities
Formalities: Neolegal Associates, as a firm is fairly informal, especially with regard to dressing, but that is no reason to go to work in a pair of jeans. Also, it would be advisable to carry a formal jacket, in case you have to sit in at a cleint meeting or go to court.
The Partner is extremely encouraging, and wants to help you learn. Therefore, even though it is almost unheard of interns sitting in at client meetings, he encourages that whole-heartedly.
First day, first impression: The office is small, but once you’re settled in, you realise that that’s all the space you need. All the associates are warm and welcoming, and you never feel out of place. I was intimidated by the kind of clients they worked with, but they always had some funny, interesting stories about even the biggest of clients which put me at ease.
I was at the office well before reporting time on my first day, and after speaking with the Partner, I was assigned some work. They encourage you to ask questions and think for yourself. My opinion was asked with regard to various legal matters, which helped me really apply my mind and think as a practical lawyer.
I had a variety of tasks at Neolegal, from proof- reading to drafting, to forming legal opinions etc. My work was the same as every other associate’s. I was assigned work on various current matters and I could ask for help at any point that I needed some.
The attitude of the people at the firm makes you sit up and realise that there really is no big or small work. The Senior Associates themselves would proof read with me, and even ask for my interpretation on matters.
Work environment, people
The work environment is one of the best that I have come across so far. Everyone is encouraging and accommodating. I wanted to stay back and work because I felt that encouraged and inspired. There is an unlimited supply of tea and coffee that gets you through the day.
The best things AND the bad things
Bad things: Working for ONLY 3 weeks.
Best things: The work environment at Neolegal Associates was just what you want it to be. There is a lot of work, but you never feel the pressure because you learn to pace yourself like everyone else at the office. Also, the Partner is very particular about the smallest of details, even with regard to sending out emails to Clients.
Every document goes through 4 pairs of eyes, and as many drafts as it takes, to ensure that the work is of top notch quality. Moreover, they handle huge clients, and are associated with the seniormost counsels at the Bombay High Court like Mr. Feroz Palkhiwala and Mr. Tulzapurkar, and just interacting with the esteemed and the best, is an experience in itself.
Lastly, I cannot emphazize enough as to how warm and friendly they are.
Accommodation etc. What did you to do chill in and around the office and the place of stay?
I stay in Bombay, so the stay was barely an issue, though I did have to commute quite a bit, given that I live on the other side of town. For people looking for PGs, there are a host of them available in and around Colaba, which is approximately 5 mins (by taxi).
For those living in the suburbs, there are plenty of PGs available in and around Bandra. The trains are the fastest to get to Churchgate, and then you can take one of the sharing cabs (right outside Churchgate station) which drop you to the Office gate.
For those who prefer a more comfortable, though time consuming mode of transportation, there are AC buses which drop you right outside the office too. I took Bus No: AS-4 to work.
Since the area is Cuffe Parade, there are plenty of places to go for lunch, or after work. There is not much around the office, though there are a few small restaurants, but if you can get to Colaba Causeway (5 mins away) there are restaurants that serve every cuisine. For after work, there are plenty of bars too.
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