I started working as a Legal Intern from my 2nd Semester and continued with the same Boutique Law Firm for 2 years post getting my Sanad. Around 10 years ago it was normal for law students to get into a Law Firm and work under a lawyer for around 6 months minimum, as it did take us a few months to learn the basics of litigation. Litigation is challenging but extremely rewarding but one needs an extreme amount of patience and willpower. If you want to be a litigation lawyer, you also need to be a jack of all and master of none.
So, generally talking about Offline Physical Internships, generally, students have to join an Organisation or a Lawyer under whom they can Intern. It is not mandatory that only if you join a Tier 1 Law Firm you will be successful in life. Even Trial Lawyers are successful in real life. Every domain of law comes with its own set of challenges. If you are a Criminal Lawyer, you may have to work on a Sunday Afternoon, or can your weekend plan because your client needs an urgent bail order? If you are a Corporate Lawyer, you may end you staying late most days because a document needs to be vetted by different departments before you can make the final changes.
When you join a Law School, most of the students are at least 18 years old, which means they have the right to Vote. If an Individual can be given a prime responsibility to appoint the democratic head of the Country then, they are definitely capable of doing their own research and carving their path.
I came across this concept of a one-month internship and multiple internships, only when I started hiring interns for research. In this, the students, work online for one month to help the Advocates with the legal research mostly to help us build our Websites. The Students gain by adding maximum Certificates to their CV. but despite this not many have been able to secure good well paying jobs post their graduation.
One of the biggest flaws of One month Internship is limited exposure. Most of the scope of work for Interns working online is for Legal Research.
Perks of working long- term in a chamber
When you work for a longer duration in a physical internship, your scope of work revolves around litigation. While working as an Intern you will be required to go to courts along with your senior, follow up with the Court Departments mostly, and sometimes, wait in the Court till your matter is called. Draft basic applications and other documents, and Assist your senior in research.
When you are hired as an Intern you are not expected to know the law but you can always have an inquisitive mind which will help the Lawyer give a fresh perspective to the case. A law student can always learn the facts of the case and find the missing link, you do not need to know the law for the same at least initially. You cannot learn to be a good lawyer merely by attending Court for two days. It will take you at least 5 years of good exposure to be a good lawyer.
Join the Office of the Government Pleader or Public Prosecutor
Not many students fancy going to Court and working under a government lawyer is something that they look beyond their paygrade. A good lawyer may not pay you but if you really want to learn the ropes of litigation, this is the best place. They have extremely burdened so the chances of them allowing you to draft a petition as an Intern are very high. That is the best place to learn Trial work and to build the best contacts.
Concentrate on skill sets and then on branding.
Most students think that interning with a fancy law firm will get them a good job post their graduation. What they forget is that only a good Lawyer who can get results for the Company or the Client gets the job. As lawyers, just as Doctors, even work to save lives. One small mistake from us may sometimes cost the client heavily. So an intern tries and work at a place, where they can learn and take up responsibility.
I am a First Generation Lawyer
May a times, I have received CV’s which feel the need to highlight this point. This point will not get you a job but will definitely reduce your value as it reflects as someone who is looking for sympathy. If you have chosen the field of law then you have to be a Tiger and fight for your clients. You can fight for your clients only when you can stand up for yourself. So stop damaging your image right now.
Working for Student Run Organisation
A lot of students choose to intern under Student Run Organisation. For short term as your first job it is ok to gain some experience but in the long run, it will really not help you much because of lack of credibility and limited scope of learning.
The students either overestimate themselves or underestimate themselves which is one of the reason why they are misguided. As future lawyers, you have to be confident about yourself and try and make a stand for yourself. Try and be patient and stick with an organization for atleast a year only then they will try and consider you seriously.
The students enter the internship with the mindset to stick there only for a month and therefore most of them are not retained by any organisation.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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