Interviews

Aonkan Ghosh, student, GNLU, on bagging high profile internships, application procedures, and how to convert them into jobs

Aonkan Ghosh graduated in law from GNLU, batch of 2009. He has had a series of successful internships during his time an an undergraduate.

In this interview we talk to him about:

  • Approaching the right firms for internship opportunities
  • Trying to get a versatile internship experience
  • Building contacts and converting internship opportunities into prospective jobs

 

What have been some of your internships so far?

Well, I have interned at JSA, Gurgaon, Luthra & Luthra, New Delhi, Kachwaha & partners, New Delhi and Wadia Ghandy, Bangalore.

 

What is the procedure to apply to these law firms?

In your junior years I would say, it’s more about luck and persistence but apart from that, I think you should apply to as many places as possible 4-6 months in advance, follow up in general by calling and sending them emails, so that they feel that you are really interested in interning with them and just hope to get an internship!

 

What was the kind of work allotted to you during your internships?

I have to say, these law firms have a lot of work and a bit of that chunk is allotted to interns. I have dealt with matters related to due diligence and private equity transactions. I was asked to make research notes and opinions on the aspects of company law. While interning in these top law firms, I even got exposed to indirect taxes and learnt a great deal about arbitration, especially at Kachwaha. I worked with the corporate team and the litigation team both, so I got a chance to experience both kinds of work. Through my internships I have developed a fondness for the subject!

 

How has your internship experience been?

The experience was really thrilling. I got to interact with a lot of people and I was lucky to learn a lot from the associates. In law school you read the law but while interning you get to apply it, so overall I got to learn more about law and its application from my internships.

What is the kind of work environment that you experienced in law firms?

The internships were an incredible experience. The partners and the associates were extremely hardworking. Interns are also given a lot of work which might not be interesting but at the same time you get to gather a lot of knowledge and I personally did not face much of a problem in working for long hours because a lot of us are used to pulling off all-nighters in law school.

 

What are the things an intern should keep in mind to get a call back?

Diligence at work is the most important thing. You can’t be afraid to take initiatives. As an intern you are allowed to make a few mistakes but at the same time you are expected not to repeat them. The conduct of an intern is expected to be highly professional because it is something which is strongly taken into consideration.

 

What do you think is important to convert a good internship into a job?

It usually takes more than an internship to secure a job at a particular law firm. For an intern it is extremely important to be patient and wait for the right time to come. Try getting exposed to as many practise areas as you can and not just one. Another important factor is that as an intern you have to be presentable. If you keep all these things in mind then I think you should keep your fingers crossed and hope for a job.

 

Which was the best law firm internship you have experienced?

Nothing in particular; as in I won’t single out any firm but I learnt a great deal from all my internships. The experience was very pleasing and I was amazed at the professional conduct of the law firms.

 

What do law firms consider the most while hiring?

The pre-requisites are usually display of good academic record, your ability to work hard, then… how well you can apply your mind to situations, your ability to grasp and your awareness of current legal issues.

 

Do the law firms usually provide the candidates with an option to work with the teams of their choice while recruiting?

Well… definitely they ask you about your preference but the final decision is with the firm. They hire as per their requirements. Usually the recruiters decide the department which they think would suit you the most, so that you can grow as a professional and succeed.

There is this general notion about AMSS being a GPA oriented firm. What is your take on that?

They do take your GPA into consideration like other law firms but apart from the GPA they take your resume into consideration as a whole. I personally think that this notion is misplaced because the interviews for the top law firms are very stringent and even your extra-curricular activities are taken into consideration!

What would be your advice to the law students who aspire to secure a job at top law firms?

I think that the aspirants should develop the habit of reading. It is very important to build a knowledge base because it helps a lot in the future and if it is done passionately, then you can push yourself to the limit. Hard work is something very important, whether it is an exam or an internship, so keeping these things in mind is essential to be best prepared for an opportunity.

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