By Tanuj Kalia

First published on December 11, 2010.

When I first heard of ‘library internships’, I was a little befuddled. Bemused. Bed-ridden. (Rolling on the bed laughing, you know).

Law library internships? Strangely, many first years of newly established law schools are doing these internships. Surely, they must be helpful; but well, how?

These are some reasons I could chalk out:

1. Library internships help you in developing legal research skills by making you better in findindg books. (Read that again in a slow deep voice). S.L.O.W. and Deep.

A-quick-shrill response will be “DUH”.

What the hell do you do in your own library?

2. You want to be a law school librarian. Cool. Stay put at the library for your second year and beyond. You can even do an ‘international’ library internship. Or an internship in the ‘library’ of a law firm; and a ‘library’ of an NGO etc. (You are meant to laugh at that).

3. You have never visited your own library and want the feel of the environs of a library.

That’s a good, solid reason! Go ahead!

4. Your girlfriend/boyfriend has turned into a nerd and now resides in that library where you are interning. Reason number four. Next.

5. The library like the NUJS library
is open 24 hours a day. For investigative purposes, you want to check if books increase their thickness as the day passes (just like a man increases his height). Possible?

6. Your own law schools doesn’t have a library. Poor you.

7. You want to see first hand and soak yourself in the great, intellectual and famed library of the National Law School Of India University’s (NLSIU)!

I quit. Be my consultant.

Please tell me how how a ‘library’ internship helps you.

In your first year, intern with an NGO. Not in a LIBRARY.

Whatever you have to learn by sitting, reading and researching in a library can be done in your own law school’s library.

Internships are meant to give you a taste of the work environment, and no library offers that.

If you have anything to say to defend law library internships or my views on that; please put in a comment.

Also, do see this LegallyIndia forum discussion.

I am the Admin of Lawctopus. I am for law students, of law students and by law students. I am Torts and Contracts and moots and internships. I am your boyfriend! And your girlfriend too! Mentor. Friend. Junior. Senior. I am the footnote in your research paper. Foreword in your life. The jugaad for your internship. The side gig which earns you bucks. I am Maggi. Pocket money too.


  1. The above post is based on a misunderstanding of what a library internship really is. A library internship is one that enables a student to pursue a topic of research in an environment conducive to learning – it is NOT as the author portrays, an internship with a librarian. I would strongly recommend library internships because:
    1) Not all law schools have great libraries – something the author, coming from presumably a law school with a good library would not understand.
    2) A lot of first year law students do not know the basics of research and are consequently of little use to NGOs. A good library internship, could enable you to learn how to use legal databases and use SCC and High Court reports. This could help improve research skills.
    3) As a library intern at the NLS library or at any another well endowed law school library, you will have opportunities to meet with professors, visiting scholars and other students and discuss problems of law that are unclear to you. You will also build networks that can actually help you in your career.

  2. Library internships can prove to be very useful if you spend one month or 25 days sitting in the library researching on a topic and then write an article and then publish it. This would any day add more to your CV than an internship at an NGO.

    • I dont understand though; how is that a library internship ? You are writing a paper sitting in a library; what is your interaction with the running of the library or the library as an organization. Going by that logic every internship at Amarchand should be an “Express Towers” internship :p

  3. its vry intresting………n d most intresting line is “Well, riding on a horse’s back can be useful; elephants and buffaloes too do a good job in giving you a lift. But dogs? It would be silly to ride one; right?………..thanx a lot.

  4. Dear Intern Smith

    Its nice to see that you converted the reply to a question into an insightful (sarcasm) piece. Even I was a little befuddled. Bemused. Bed-ridden. Rolling on the bed laughing, you know!!!

    Its kind of a revelation to read such questions. Really.

    Slash further such questions in similar manner.



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