About the Author: Apurva Mittal, a student at Jindal Global Law School, interned at Trilegal, Bangalore. She shares with us her internship journey, and how she was finally able to clear her misconceptions about big law firms.
“Big firms don’t trust interns with their work, and provide a poor work experience.” The first two and a half years of my law school went by listening to these dialogues from my seniors. Because I hadn’t interned in a big law firm till then, I too had developed a similar perception. However, this perception was completely shattered when I got an opportunity to intern at Trilegal, Bangalore, in January 2017.
Trilegal has an easily accessible website on which anyone can fill their form which requires potential candidate’s basic information – name, year of college, college name, CV, phone number, email ID, desired period of internship, and the two preferences of their offices. After submitting the form, I was required to complete a minimum of five legal assessments conducted by Higher Knowledge.
I filled the online form five months in advance and received the email for assessments in two days. It is a good idea to fill the form and complete the assessments at a time when you are relatively free, so that, you can complete the assessments devoting full concentration and efforts. Generally, the assessments are related to Labour and Employment Law, or Litigation, or a Corporate issue wherein you will be required not only to research on the given topic, statute, and related case laws but also to give your opinions on the possible outcome.
Thereafter, you can expect feedbacks on your assignment with relevant remarks from the mentors, followed by a telephonic interview which will be scheduled one month before your desired period of internship. The interview from Trilegal does not pop up suddenly out of the blue. The internship coordinator calls the selected candidates and asks them for a suitable time when they are available for the interview, and only then, one can expect a call from the interviewer. The interview is very subjective; some can ask you general things while others can grill you on your legal knowledge. What’s important to clear your way through is to sound confident, and thoroughly know your CV and past internship work.
My interview was taken by the Senior Counsel of Trilegal, Bangalore, and she began by asking basic questions about me, i.e., my name, my college, graduating year, current year of study, and my plans after graduation. In reply to the last question, I wanted to say that I wished to work with a prestigious firm like Trilegal just to impress her, but I decided to stick to reality; I told her that I wasn’t sure, and I was merely exploring all the possible areas of law. I think she liked my honesty. Next, she asked about the kind of work I had done in my past internships, and what all subjects I had studied till date. These questions were easy to answer because I had read and re-read my CV to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything. She wished me good luck and asked me to wait for the final result. Next week, I received a confirmation for the internship in my inbox, and my heart jumped with joy. The confirmation email informed in detail about the working hours, office address, dress code, etc.
The first impression of the office was amazing. It was a professional environment, where we were welcomed by our internship coordinator and then, given a short lecture on how interns are supposed to work, followed by an office tour, and an introduction to everyone. I had chosen to work with the Labour and Employment Team. However, this didn’t mean that the work was restricted only to that department. In fact, I was bombarded with work from all the directions, and that was what changed my perception about the big law firms. The work was predominantly research based, and very little of drafting or proof reading was required.
When I started interning, I hadn’t studied about company law, and so, I was scared that I would not get quality work like other interns who were senior to me. However, to my surprise, I was given the maximum amount of work amongst all the interns. What made me sail through corporate law related research was the way the associates and the others would explain the tasks. They would not only leave us with the legal question but also tell us about the sources to look at, and the books to refer to from the library. Overall, the work was great, everyone was understanding, and they happily explained the work twice, or even thrice, and gave an attainable deadline to submit the work. From research to drafting legal notices, and making summary reports, to tasks as small as proofreading, I did all of it. I would recommend every law student to give Trilegal a shot. Those in their final years can even land up with a PPO if they work hard and show enough dedication.
P.S.- The stipend makes this internship even more attractive i.e. Rs. 15000, and for all those like me who love coffee, they serve it twice a day here, and it’s as good as CCD’s!
Break barriers and clear misconceptions. Try out these incredible law internships.
Editor’s note – If you also have an interesting story to share, you can now participate in Your Internship Story Contest 2017 and win cash prizes and goodies worth INR 1 Lac!