How did I get this Internship? Through a ‘Jugaad’ I earned
Bill is a Non NLU student with non legal background.
Bill’s college doesn’t arrange for internships.
Bill hates ‘jugaad’ and thinks that he can survive and succeed in this world only and only on his own , without building personal/professional relationships.
Bill thinks ‘jugaad’ comes only through ‘papa, chacha, mama’ etc.
Bill wants to just intern only and only in tier one firms by applying on his own.
DON’T BE LIKE BILL!
And if you are BILL, please mend your ways. Hard work is a must but success is always a combination of hard work plus your personal relations
I know hundreds of law students might read this. So before I begin, I would deal with THE BIG QUESTION i.e.- How did I get this internship. I got it through JACK or in simple language JUGAAD, SETTING 😛
But dear friends this Jugaad is not what most of you must be thinking it to be, because this JUGAAD OR JACK has got absolutely nothing to do with my dad’s friend’s son’s friend who works in a law firm or my friend’s father’s friend who is a big hot shot advocate! I earned this JUGAAD.
I got this tier one firm internship fixed through an associate in a tier three firm where I had interned last year. I had worked with that associate on several occasions and asked him to help me out in getting an internship fixed.
Well, I don’t want to misguide my fellow law students and hence I will be truthful. I am a non NLU student who has tried his hands at everything possible to augment his CV. Moots, papers, MUNs, what not.
I applied well in advance (6-7 months in advance), repeatedly emailed the HR, called them up to confirm my application, still I didn’t get any positive response.
I am not blaming them. It’s not their fault. It’s high time that law students and especially non NLU law students (who might not even have a college placement or internship cell) realise, that there are around 800 law colleges across India, just like their college.
You cannot crib about not getting an internship even after performing well in academics backed with good co-curriculars. Also, stop crying about about your non legal background.
I am assuring you that getting an internship fixed in a tier 2 or tier 3 firm on your own is difficult but it’s possible. So at least begin with something on your own and start building your contacts. There are good people everywhere who are happy to help budding talent. You just need to speak up.
Had I not spoken up, had I not built good relations with that associate of that tier 3 firm, I wouldn’t have got an opportunity to intern with Khaitan this January.
I failed to get this internship arranged by personally applying but you may try by sending your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephonic interview before the internship confirmation- speaking up helped again. Got the desired period for internship
Khaitan usually takes a telephonic or skype interview of students before confirming their internship. I wanted to intern in January with Khaitan but I got a call from the HR and I was told that the Delhi office had slots left for interns only from February onwards and that it would be very difficult to adjust me in January.
She asked me if I would still be interested in interning with the organisation and I was left with no other option but to agree.
My telephonic interview was conducted by one of the principal associate of the corporate department (Delhi Office).
The interview went for about 20-25 minutes and was mostly CV based. One thing that have learned from past experiences is that one must know his or her CV in and out.
It’s better not to write something fancy in CV and be blank when asked about it. At the end of my telephonic interview, I requested the principal associate to somehow get my internship rescheduled in January.
The request did help, the very next day I got the confirmation mail for my January internship from Khaitan. I was asked to bring my own laptop along with the charger for the internship.
Duration of the internship
January 04, 2016 to January 29, 2016
Location of the Office
Khaitan & Co operate from Ashoka Estate which is just outside exit number 1 of Barakhamba metro station, on the Blue line.
They have their office on the 10th, 11th and 12th floor of the building. The litigation team sits on the 10th floor, the other teams sit on the 11th floor and the 12th floor has conference rooms and a library.
I don’t think I need to even mention anything about the infrastructure considering that its one of the most reputed law firms in our country presently. It has been operating from more than 100 years now!
I stay in Delhi so I did not have any issues regarding accommodation.
There are many PGs in Laxminagar which is just 5 stations from Barakhamba road and is on the same metro line, i.e the blue line.
One can easily get decent rooms in 5000-7000 per month in Laxminagar.
First day of the internship
Around 10 other interns joined with me on the first day. We were made to wait in a conference room and were made to fill some basic details in a form provided to us by the HR. We were made to sign the confidentiality agreement and were asked to read the firm’s policy against sexual harassment.
Each intern was allotted a “mentor” who was either a senior associate or a principal associate. Unlike other firms, in Khaitan, even principal associates have separate cabins. I was introduced with my mentor who was the same principal associate who had taken my interview.
Every intern has to choose a topic after discussing with the mentor and the intern has to prepare a 5-6 page research project by the end of the internship on that topic. Each intern is allotted a separate work space.
The interns sit on the 11th floor mostly and some interns are made to sit on the 12th floor in the library also. Each intern is given a worksheet as well and the intern is expected to mention the work allotted and get it signed by the concerned person who allotted the work.
Getting work even before you have logged into your system! Even though I had reached the office by 10:00 am, it took me an hour to get over with the first day formalities. I was able to log into the system by 11:00 am.
To my utter surprise, I had already got work.! In most of the firms I have worked so far, I have never got much work on the first day.
Office Timings — Usually depends upon your sincerity
Interns are expected to report by 9:30 am in the morning and stay back till 6:30 pm. There is a separate attendance register maintained on the 12thfloor for the interns.
Interns aren’t supposed to come on weekends unless asked to do so. If you have got some urgent work you can stay beyond 6:30 and since there is no dearth of work for interns throughout the year, you must be ready to atleast stay back by 7:30 almost everyday.
It always depends on the sincerity of the intern. If you are least interested and you are there just for a certificate, no one will usually bother you.
You may idle and waste an entire month since there will always be some other enthusiastic intern who will be ready to work. While I was interning there were interns who would come late and even leave early.
At least 200-300 people might have applied to get an internship for the month you got through merit, jugaad etc. You should feel lucky of being there, among those 20 interns. Hence, if you are wasting your internship, only god knows what is going in your brain.
Even if you know that there is a hiring freeze in the firm and they might not hire you, still, please please pleaseeee be sincere!
What you learn in one internship helps you in the other internship which might ultimately help you. If an intern has to take a leave, he/she has to inform his mentor and the HR about the same and a proportionate amount is deducted from the stipend.
Type of work, work culture etc.
I was working with the corporate team. You are not expected to work with a specific corporate team and you can work with any team member of any corporate team even though your mentor isn’t from that team. The associates are mostly very friendly and co-operative if you are professional and ready to learn.
On one occasion I was asked to pull out certain public documents of a company from the website of ministry of corporate affairs. My ATM Card wasn’t working for some reason.
One of the associates was kind enough to make the payment on my behalf. The interns can claim whatever payment they make during internship while working on any matter.
I was mainly asked to do research work or find case laws on legal propositions pertaining to NBFCs, Companies Act 2013, RTI Act, SEBI Regulations, Master circulars of RBI, Participatory Notes etc.
I also proof read a number of shareholder agreements, subscription agreements, supplementary agreements and compiled details of a number of companies by pulling out their annual reports from the MCA Website.
How to Excel: Stop being shy, be sincere and ask questions
1. Ask if you don’t understand.
Pappu is an intern.
Pappu is called by an associate and given some legal proposition to research upon.
Pappu isnt 100%sure as to what he is expected to do.
Pappu still begins with the research by making assumptions.
Pappu will land up in trouble very soon 😛
DON’T BE LIKE PAPPU.
I have been like “pappu” during my initial years during my internships and I have learned from my mistake. There is absolutely nothing wrong in requesting an associate to explain the work to be allotted if you haven’t understood it properly. Never start working on anything or on a legal proposition with a doubt in your mind.
You are just a student and there its fine to just clarify your doubts in the beginning instead of being confused and doing nothing. Try to place yourself in the position on the person who has allotted you work. Suppose you give some work to someone. Wont you mind if you are asked to explain the work to be given once again? No.
2. Stop being shy and ask for work
I am not asking you to pester the associates after every 30 minutes. All I am saying is that one must be ready to work and learn and if you are not getting work at all, then you must ask for work.
In case of Khaitan, you can directly go to your mentor and ask him for work. My mentor ensured that I never sat idle. That is possible only if you reach out to your mentor or any other associate.
3. Complete the work allotted or reach out to the person incase you have having some difficulties. Never get work and then just sleep over it. NEVER!
I have personally committed this mistake in my earlier internship and I have learned from it. It is never advisable to sit over any work allotted to you.
Even if you are unable to find anything relevant, it is always better to directly contact the person from whom you got the work.
4. What to do if you are working for someone and someone else approaches you for work?
Be polite and inform them about the work you have already been allotted and by whom it has been allotted. You can tell them by when you will be able to complete the present allotted work.
In case some associate has some urgent work, he/she can request that person who had earlier allotted you the work to allow you to complete the urgent work.
One of the interns in Khaitan took work from 2-3 associates without informing them about the work he has already been given. He couldn’t complete the work on time. This might not be appreciated by people you are working for.
You shouldn’t say NO to a work but you shouldn’t say YES to everything and end up doing NOTHING!
5. Be sure about what you are doing, be confident when you approach the concerned associate with your work
First and foremost , don’t be in a hurry to complete the work. Be diligent and make sure that you don’t have to check you work again and again.
In one instance I got 3 shareholders agreements (40 to 50 pages each) to proofread i.e look for typo errors, check if all the capital terms are defined, see whether all defined terms have been used in the agreement etc.
I was given a deadline of 4 hours for it. I was in such a hurry that I read through the agreements in 3 hours and in the end I felt that I was unsure about whether I had marked all the mistakes in the agreements.
I had to again go through the agreements which took me another 2 hours. Hence I took 5 hours to complete the work which I could have completed on time had I been more careful and patient. So avoid committing doing such a mistake.
Also, when have done a research or prepared a note and you are going to brief someone about it, be confident about it. Don’t sound unsure or confused.
6. Keep a track of the work you are doing or else you will be stuck while completing your worksheet
The interns are expected to fill their worksheets and get the individual work singed by the associates who allotted the work.
Most of the interns get the worksheet signed in the end on the last or second last day on their internship. If you don’t update your worksheet regularly, you might forget what work you have done and for whom.
Also, it is better to get star getting your worksheet signed 2 days before the end of your internship since some of the associates might not be there in the office on the last day.
BEST THINGS ABOUT THIS INTERNSHIP
1. Corporate learning session every Friday
There is a corporate learning session held every Friday for about an hour in any of the conference rooms on the 12th floor.
Recent developments in law, rules, regulations are presented by one or two associates and all the interns are compulsorily required to attend that session. It is indeed a very enriching session for interns.
2. No dearth of work if you are sincere
There may be days when you might not get work since the associates might not have such work which can be allotted to an intern. Other than that, if you are willing to learn and work, there won’t be an absolute dearth of work.
3. Internship feedback session on the last day of the internship
All the interns were called in a conference room and were asked to give feedback and share their internship experience.
Adding on to that, all the interns were also served pizza and coke! This gesture was indeed appreciated by all the interns.
There is nothing which I can complain about. Khaitan & Co is a perfect place to intern for any law student. The only thing which slightly created problem at times was the printing issue.
Interns cannot directly get a document printed and have to send it first to office staff who then gets its printed. This sometimes takes time if the office staff is busy.
Where to Chill
Connaught Place is just a minute away from the office building.
Subway, MC Donald’s, Pizza Hut and what Not! Lunch break is for 30 minutes and can be taken anytime so you can chill/ have lunch with the co-interns in Connaught place for this short duration if you want to.
The office also has a cafeteria on the 11th floor from where you can get packed veg thali, Maggie, pasta, samosa and other snacks at reasonable price.
Rs. 8,000 for 4 weeks. If you take a leave, the stipend is cut proportionately.
Interning with Khaitan & Co was a great opportunity for me to learn as well as to build contacts and I tried to make the best out of it.
For the others all I can suggest is that do try to build good relations with the associates you work with during your internship. Ask for help, favour if you need it.
Work hard, believe in yourself but always remember that there is a simple mantra for success in long run- “Hard Work + Personal Contacts”
This entry has been submitted for the LexisNexis-Lawctopus Internship Experience Writing Competition 2015-2016. iPleaders is the learning partner for this competition.