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Sonika Choudhary, a fourth-year law student from ILS Law College, Pune, shares her internship experience at the chambers of K. K. Venugopal, Attorney General of India and Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India.
College, Year of Study
ILS Law College, Pune. 4th year (8th semester)
Name of the Organization/Lawyer and Address
Office of Mr K.K. Venugopal, Attorney General of India, Senior Advocate at Supreme Court of India, Delhi.
Duration of the internship
5th November 2018 – 5th December 2018
How big was the office? Team strength?
Mr. Venugopal has two offices, one in Neetibagh and the other one in Motilal Nehru Marg. Mostly we were to report to the office in Neeti Bagh after attending court proceedings but on weekends we were sometimes asked to go and report to the other office at Motilal Nehru Marg, where mostly conferences took place.
He has around four to five associates who are always eager to share their legal wisdom with interns. Apart from that, he has two Personal Secretaries and about 5-6 persons in his staff who will assist in day to day affairs at court and office.
Application procedure. Internship contact details
I applied directly through E-Mail – [email protected]. Reply to the same was received after a few months.
Accommodation: how, where, how was it?
I stayed in Noida, which is pretty far from the office. But there are many PG’s and flats in Neeti Bagh and Hauz Khas. The office is within walking distance if you are staying in Neeti Bagh and will take you a maximum of 10-15 minutes from Hauz Khas. So, accommodation shouldn’t be a problem.
First impression. The first day, formalities etc.
On my first day, I was asked to reach the office by 9 a.m. The Chamber is in the basement of a large residence in Neeti Bagh. The office staff greets you first up and I was shown around the premises. I was then introduced to the associates. And I also had a small conversation with K.K.Venugopal sir. The office staff arranges a letter for the interns to get an SC pass for the appropriate period. The Office also has a well-stocked library.
Interns were stationed at a round table for general research/reading type of tasks and there were a couple of computers at the far end for their use. The associates were seated close-by, separated by a wall of books.
From 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM interns were supposed to be at the Supreme Court and to were supposed to follow every case and to take proper notes of the same. After the court proceedings, at around 4 or 4:30, interns were expected to go to K. K. Venugopal Sir’s chambers.
At the office, associates would assign cases to be listed before courts either the next day or the day after that and interns were supposed to carefully go through the case files and prepare Case Notes. Case notes were to mandatorily consist of ‘list of dates’. This was a standard document that interns were expected to draft, whenever a case was assigned. The same had to be submitted to the concerned associate and the copy of the same was to be kept in the related file and also emailed to K. K. Venugopal Sir.
Interns were given full briefs on cases that were likely to be heard in a given week and were encouraged to learn the key facts and issues involved. The above exercise was particularly important while attending court proceedings and conferences.
Conferences were a key part of the experience and were generally held on weekends. We got to attend the conferences on the cases that we were working on and also contribute to such conferences. It was an inexplicably amazing experience to sit with K. K. Sir and his associates and discuss a particular case.
Mr. K.K. Venugopal not only encouraged interns to attend these conferences but also gave a patient hearing to any contribution to discussions by the interns on a given matter.
Every evening, interns were expected to pick up a copy of the cause list for matters scheduled for a hearing the following day. Interns assigned to a particular case were expected to attend proceedings of the same in court.
Work environment, people
The work environment was really healthy and positive. Working at the chambers of K. K. Venugopal can never be a boring affair. The Associates were significantly experienced and were impressive in their own ways. The associates made sure that all the interns worked under proper guidance and also personally engaged on one to one basis for discussion of the cases. They were all fair-minded and ensured that interns got due recognition for any good work presented.
The associates at the chambers were most humble and friendly, however, a little strict in the rarest of cases. Also, the Clerical staff at Mr. KK Venugopal’s office were wonderful. They made sure that the interns were sufficiently occupied with work. And also, they were very helpful in every manner possible.
The number of interns was generally restricted to four or five. They were all interesting and quite knowledgeable. All of us were from different law schools and colleges, which made it much more interesting for me to engage in a conversation with my co-interns. They made the experience all the more worthwhile.
Best things about the internship?
The associates were very helpful. They take excessive interest in your projects/tasks and make sure that you understand the task assigned completely. In addition, they teach you the relevant sections of the laws in question and make sure that you complete your tasks as they intended to.
Furthermore, the associates made sure that the interns read all the files of the cases and then attended the hearings/sessions in the court relating to the same matter – therefore, the clarity of the case and the practical experience of it in court was easier to understand and was thus, all the more interesting.
What did you do to chill? Co-interns, colleagues
There were four interns in the chambers of Mr. K. K. Venugopal – except me. They were all very helpful and hardworking.
Usually, we didn’t get much time to ‘chill’, however, we did go to Connaught Place on the days when the court sessions ended sooner than expected. Near the office, we often came out to grab a bite at the local street food stalls.
It was an incredible experience altogether, starting from the first day of the internship until the very end. It was amazing to watch Mr. K. K. Venugopal being so fit and hardworking and full of energy, even at this age. Enlightening, I must say, was the month-long internship at K. K. Sir’s chambers and working with his team and meeting him so many times during the entire course of the internship was like a dream come true.