July 16, 2024

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Internship Experience at SVS Attorneys, Delhi: Great Learning Opportunities

9 min read

Name of the Student

Tejaswini Rastogi.

College and Year of Study

JBSLS, Banasthali Vidyapith, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 5th Year.

Name and Address of the Organization

SVS Attorneys, Delhi.

Mode of Internship

HYBRID: Physical and Virtual (30-30 days each, Total 60 days).

Duration of Internship

September 15, 2023 – November 17, 2023 (Including Leaves).

How did you Apply?

I sent an email with my CV and Cover Letter to the email addresses: [email protected] & [email protected] and got a response shortly, after a formal discussion session, where I was informed about the upcoming internship requirements and commitments that I would have to make if I intend to undertake this internship. In addition, I received a ‘Riders & Disclaimers’ that included all the information about the intense work pressure and assignment load. Only if I consented to the ‘disclaimers’, was I supposed to intern.

First-Day Formalities, Infrastructure, First Impression

Before I joined the office, I received a comprehensive ‘Internship Toolkit’ that was a folder of multiple files and videos of various heads of information. These files, more than 10 in number, had minute instructions on how things functioned at the office. They were so minute that even font size, font type, line spacing, and others were specified that were standardized patterns in office drafting. At first blush, all this appeared to be quite unusual, extravagant but it was very helpful throughout the internship as I felt later.

Predetermined formats and mode of operation is one of the best ways to deliver a perfectly executed work. I was mandatorily asked to read and watch everything minutely and take down notes. ALAS! you will be sent on a forced leave if it’s found that you didn’t read the folder and its videos and docs carefully to grasp for the internship. This is completely unheard of; you get a comprehensive kit, which you have to read and understand and if you don’t, then the internship itself stands suspended. So much discipline is very rare.

The office is located at 14, Todarmal Road, Bengali Market, Mandi House, and the commutation is convenient enough as it is next door to Mandi House Metro Station. I joined the internship for the first 30 days physically and worked online for the rest 30 days.

I was also informed that late timings of the office are a norm especially when you are interning from 9.45 AM to 9.00 PM, I worked for 30 days consistently every day without leaves. Later, on the first day itself, I was warned by the associates working in the office about the pace of the office and that it could turn hectic as time passed by.

In my first interaction with Siddharth Sir, I realized that Sir has a tangible presence of mind and that he expects anyone interning with him to possess the same. He also pointed out one of the instances when I wasn’t paying attention and it made me become extra-aware of what was going on in the surroundings. For the first few days, I was only assigned to coordinate with associates & fellow interns on the ongoing assignments of landmark judgments of Constitutional Law, PMLA, and a few other academic assignments which Sir generally is into.

Main Tasks

During the tenure of my internship, I assisted and undertook various tasks including drafting (SLPs, Interlocutory Applications, Replies, and Rejoinder to name a few), researching, translations, interacting with the clients, and other non-legal errands.

I conducted an extensive study on a broad range of topics, including laws pertaining to excise, reservation, education laws, PMLA, contracts, arbitration, geographic indications (IPR), lokpal matters, criminal laws, family disputes, and many more.

I also attended the court proceedings of our cases physically as well as virtually. In this brief stint, I could lay my hands on more than 20 disciplines of law in both civil and criminal law fields. So much is the workload flowing in the office that keeps everybody busy.

Also, I have done significant legal translations of notices, sale deeds, certificates, statements, etc of the clients. I have been trusted with the maintenance and accumulation of the documents and other applications relating to the same case. A significant matter that I was involved in was a bunch of matters pertaining to the extension of admission deadlines in professional engineering courses in various States.

These all were instituted in the Supreme Court, where I found my efforts paid in getting results favorable to the clients. Siddharth Sir himself had argued all these matters as he’s more into counsel practice in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

There is a strict standing instruction for every intern that if anybody doesn’t have any work, then they have to notify in every 2 hours of their ‘emptiness’. However, it’s very very rare that any intern sits idle in the internship. There’s always something assigned, one or other with a close deadline to meet. If you are having nothing then it implies you are deliberately not offered to be a ‘misfit’.

The nature of work that you undertake during this internship is not even close to what you might have expected or undertaken in previous internships. It’s colossal and phenomenally different. The work I received was not limited to litigation and advocacy, it also included researching and even working on oral speeches, articles, and other academically oriented exercises.

Since during my internship, the office shifted to a bigger space, we all researched intensively and started a comprehensively structured Rent Agreement. This all gave me an altogether insight, especially working under his guidance. ‘Your learning is what you do with full dedication. Great people have learned the best from their struggles‘, this is a saying that I will always remember after working here.

Work Environment

The work environment in the office is fast-paced and demanding. One is expected to work with utmost dedication and presence because sir expects the intern to give their best. If I were to explain the work environment in one word, I would call it ‘rigorous’ as you would be required to be available at any time and deliver the ‘perfect work’ within rigid timelines.

But this environment is not unusual in a field like litigation where a lawyer is required to work 24×7 for 365 days without stopping. Anyone who intends to establish their footing in litigation has to be aware of the determination and hard work it would require.

Initially, I sat comfortably in the office reading through the toolkit or any other applications. but gradually, as I adapted to the atmosphere, the workload increased and there were days when I had to work even for 14 hours a day.

I was expected to be present at the office before 09:25 AM and could leave the office only by 09:00 PM. However, the work did not end only at the time of departure, I would have to take the residuary work at home where I worked at times till 01:00 AM and report again to the office the next day by 09:25 AM.

Siddharth Sir is very strict with timings and doesn’t prefer a casual attitude while handling official work. Every intern and employee is provided sufficient time to accommodate the work and environment. However, a persistent lacking attitude is intolerable and any person who is not able to keep up with the pace of the office or is unable to deliver the work perfectly, is asked to take a leave to rest and reflect upon what the mistake was and to come back prepared to work efficiently.

Good Things

Although the whole internship period was full of learnings through which I have come a long way from where I was before I had undertaken this internship, there were a few things that gave me the will to continue and excel. This internship will make you test your limits, moreso will make you able to expand your stamina and you will realize that you have underestimated your potential to work and achieve. In addition, unlike other internships and employers, Siddharth sir does not believe in free labor and pays a hefty stipend to worthy interns who have delivered work up to the standards of the office.

I had reasons to believe that Siddharth Sir had a special soft corner and partiality for students from NLUs when it comes to his selection of people, however, it proved completely wrong. He once shared with me that 80% of the lot today coming out of NLUs is good for nothing, being afflicted with diseases of self-pride, over-assessment, and arrogance.

So he prefers hard-working people from non-NLU’s as they always have the yearning and aspiration to learn. Though I was utterly surprised to hear this from him, however, I understood why he said so shortly, when almost 7 interns from NLU left midway after starting an internship with him. 2 were working but were as good as nonexistent for the office.

The best thing among others that I have personally experienced was, that an intern is not treated like one, you have to work and act like an associate in the office. The responsibilities that are delegated are to be fulfilled with utmost dedication and fortitude.

This, among other things, makes you competent in the real world. Siddharth sir also imparted valuable lessons once in a while, for instance, he once mentioned that if I wanted to be successful in life then I had to ‘work like a horse and live like a hermit anonymously’ and that ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’, thus all I had to do was work on myself and shine bright among others.

Sir is a conscientious man who takes his duties very seriously. He has a very disciplined and balanced life in which he avoids any type of junk and sugary foods and advised me to do the same. Contrary to the strict and professional attitude that sir possessed, he also was concerned about our health and often offered fruits and salad while having lunch and evening snacks.

In addition, he is careful about the atmosphere and safety of female employees and interns, thus wouldn’t make them work any later than 09:00 PM keeping in mind the atmosphere in Delhi. In the new office, which is very spacious, he has taken special care that his female employees and associates do not face any problems.

Bad Things

A few things that surprised me were that the firm works 7 days a week and that there were no leaves provided on the part of the firm except for ‘Holi’ and ‘Diwali’. However, the firm accepts any request for leave easily enough if informed beforehand and if there aren’t any urgent engagements involving the person taking a leave.

Also, the minimum internship period that one has to undertake is 60 days (excluding any leaves), in which it is mandatory for the intern to be present physically at the office for at least 30 days. The attrition rate of interns dropping out of the internship is very high for this reason. However, for reasons best known to the management, they stick to their conditions and believe there is always a lot that is willing to work on these less suitable conditions.

The internship was full of valuable lessons and experiences, so I wouldn’t say there was any bad thing. However, working without leaves may take a toll on your health so taking care of your immunity is also important.

Stipend

Rs. 18,000/- was the stipend offered to me. However, this is purely subject to performance. Some were not even paid a penny despite asking themselves repeatedly from the front for the release of a suitable stipend. One of them is from a premier NLU of the country.

Anything Else?

One thing I learned in this internship is that the world never stops for anybody and it is upon you to keep up with that, either you may chase and work hard enough or else you are out of the race instantly. This whole tenure of the internship included not only valuable experiences in litigation but also taught me the wisdom of life.

Contact Details

If you would like to know more about the internship and the firm, you can reach out to me at [email protected]

Click here to apply for the role of Senior Associate & Associate at SVS Attorneys.

Disclaimer: Internship Experiences are opinions shared by individual law students and tend to be personal and subjective in nature. The internship experiences shared on Lawctopus are NOT Lawctopus’ official views on the internship. We also do not edit internship experiences (except to ensure readability) to ensure that the intern’s voice remains intact.

Disclaimer: Organisations should not influence interns to write internship experiences on Lawctopus. Neither should they make writing an internship experience on Lawctopus mandatory for the intern to get a certificate. Indulging in such practices will lead to the organization getting blacklisted from Lawctopus. In case of any such instance, interns are requested to inform at [email protected]

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