Priyanka Saraswat. Government Law College. (Currently in 3rd Year. I did this internship around a year back)
Name of the Organization. City.
Oasis Counsel and Advisory (Haresh Jagtiani and Associates), Mumbai
Duration of the Internship.
One month. From 1st June to 30th June.
How big was the office? Team Strength?
The office was big and spacious and in total there were around 25-30 associates and paralegals. The corporate team was smaller in ratio. While I worked on the litigation team which had the strength of around 18 associates.
Application procedure. Internship Contact Detail.
I got the number of the Senior Counsel who heads the firm, Mr Haresh Jagtiani from a senior in my college. I gave him a call post court hours and he told me to mail him my CV.
The actual task was finding his email address because there are around three-four random email addresses mentioned online, neither of which is the correct one.
Duration in weeks. No. of days/week. Timings.
Since half of my internship duration was during court vacations, the first half was pretty lenient with 5 days a week, but once the court resumed the office worked Mon-Sat (however we interns were only asked to come on the Saturdays when the court was working).
The timings were 10.30am to 05.30pm, but it was pretty much flexible if you got late or you had to finish some work before you left.
Accommodation: how, where, how was it?
I am a resident of Mumbai so I did not need to look for accommodation.
First Impression. First Day, formalities etc.
On the first day we were led to small chamber which was nicknamed “The Interns’ Room”. The room was basically a library with numerous LAN ports since each intern got their own laptops to work on.
In case you didn’t have one, you were assigned any of the currently inactive workstations.
Mr Jagtiani welcomed us personally and introduced us to the team that we would be in direct contact with.
The average intern strength in a given time in that office can be as high as 15-20. However during my tenure it was 10-12.
The interns amongst themselves had divided territory and the girls had occupied the interns’ conference table in the main hall while the boys took the Interns’ room.
The formalities were quick and short. We had an on the spot group interview with Mr Jagtiani and were told to leave our contact information on the front desk. We began working within an hour of arriving.
Main Tasks (in detail)
The firm is divided into the Litigation Team and the Corporate Team, and both teams have their separate set of interns. The work does not overlap.
However even in the litigation department the research work we were handed varied from topics like IPR to Municipal Laws. The basic works was to search for precedents and understand the law in detail to find important judgments. The work was a lot like Moot Research.
However that was not the only thing. At times we were told to research on certain advisory related matters that had come up. And once, I was even privileged to be a part of the call between the Associate and the Client (it was my first internship, so yes, that day was one of my best ones there).
Apart from the usual research work, we were paired up in teams of three and given an internship assignment of creating a PowerPoint presentation and a paper on a legal topic.
Though we were given the liberty of choosing our own topics, we had to get the approval of our in charge, in case the topic had been previously taken up.
Work Environment, people
The work environment and the people at the firm were so warm and welcoming that we often joked that the internship had pampered us and raised hopes sky high.
Due to two weeks of very less work, at times we ended up sitting with the associates and chatting for a couple of hours like old buddies catching up over coffee.
Coffee reminds me… The helping staff of the firm consisted of three endearing elderly men who spoilt us with warm delicious cups of coffee three times in the day.
Anything that took our attention away from the judgment we would be reading, was like an invitation to talk, be it asking Vinod Kaka about her daughter’s imminent engineering admissions while he got us the coffee, or joking around with associates when they dropped in to check on our progress.
In the latter part of the internship, the work increased and became more urgent. At times deadline would be just a few hours. However the associates made sure we were never stressing out about the research if it wasn’t coming across fine.
We were often asked to accompany the associates and Mr Jagtiani to court if we wished to. It was a very informal thing in office and you didn’t need prior permission or anything. You could just go to an associate and asked them when they were appearing in the court next.
Along with the date and time, they always ended with a quip, “Just get your blazer and you’ll be set.” That was the only mandatory restriction in regarding to going to court with the associates.
The best thing had to be the people. The environment of the place was so friendly that you never stressed out over your performance. They were always going out of their way to explain issues to you and give you more than enough time that you would need.
Considering it was my first internship, there was hardly any previous experience to compare it to. However the experience was kind of like too much candy giving you a toothache as it made me nonchalant about my next internship and I was whipped into seriousness there.
What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues?
There was a lunchroom where everyone who got their food from home ate. You could ask the helping staff to order something for you in the morning.
I interned with two of my close friends so we spent almost all the lunch hours outside going around the Fort and Ballard Estate area and checking out the eateries. There are quite a few brilliant ones in the vicinity.
The interns in the Litigation team were each awarded Rs. 2500/month.
The greatest lesson that I learnt there was that if you don’t get something or are confused, ask.
Getting something clarified again and again doesn’t make you come across as idiot but makes the work easier in the long run.
(Considering I had just finished with my first year then, I really need that lesson grilled into me.)