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I’m sure all of you are quite familiar with various posts where lawyers have ranted about their lives (yes, their only means of escape is writing blogs under pseudonyms and finding solace in the comments section). There have been some particularly intriguing pieces of literature giving insights of the hierarchy in the legal system. I do admit, I have taken a certain degree of inspiration from these ‘rants’. However, as a debutant blogger, I wanted to write about something that was very close to my heart (more or less just another rant). Yes, today I write about the one specimen in the legal structure that is often forgotten about. This individual comes and goes. When the office secretaries are busy with the latest gossip about the partner’s personal life, this is the one person you give that ‘urgent’ copy-type work to. When the legal research website crashes (well there really is only one unless you count Eastlaw or Bharatkanoon), you can casually tell this individual to go through all the company law journals since 1957 (thank God for Ramaiya). You don’t need to feel the least bit of remorse or guilt while assigning any work to this person. After all, its part of the learning process (more importantly, who cares ? the person will be gone in three weeks and so you really don’t need to bother about being nice). Yes, I am talking about the Chinese Sweatshop worker of law, the Intern. For many of you who are already a couple of years into the profession,  the combination of 1 a.m. weekdays and subsequent alcohol riddled saturday nights have caused irreparable harm to your, inter alia, Temporal Lobe. So the memories of your college life and the time when you were trying to score a summer internship at the same place you now despise may be a bit fuzzy. Your batch would have included a variety of bright-eyed kids (some due to the drugs), each falling under one of these stereotypes:



The Robot

The Robot is an essential part of all law firms. It can be programmed into doing any sort of procedural work you can think of. While research may not be its forte, its virtue of being from a law college does makes it more reliable than the secretaries. The Robot will usually be seen doing work like preparing a list of dates and events, proof-reading, arranging papers, taking prints, pulling out information from websites, etc. etc. Once in a while after all the ‘bit*h work’ (as one of my colleagues had once fondly called it) its put through, the Robot snaps. The Robot is like a Tata Nano in some sense. Make it run long enough, and it bursts into flames. Although I’ve rarely seen it lash out at anyone (that would have been fun), the Robot will often express its distress humbly, in the form of a ‘sick leave’.   


The Novice

He’s still just in the second year of law school. But hey, he should at least be able to make a table on Excel, right ? Well, sometimes he screws that up as well. The Particulars of Claim you have been working on since three hours look like a minesweeper battlefield thanks to him (Yes, it does take you three hours to prepare a single paged PoC). Hence the poor Novice is the kid whom no one wants to play with. He sits and stares blankly at the Google home screen on all day, bidding his time and wondering why he didn’t go to Goa with his school friends instead.


The Hotbod 

It was the first day of her first litigation internship. She walked into chambers wearing the latest fall-autumn collection of white CK denim with a swanky black top to match. She was confused for a full two hours because the senior advocate was giving her the looks. Finally, one of the juniors had to gently tell her what a ‘black and white’ dress code really meant. So when I tell you that she thought FEMA was another designer shoe brand, I speak the truth. In the interest of sanity, let’s not go into her thoughts on SARFAESI. When she tried to explain the concepts of ‘Offer‘ and ‘Acceptance’ to me, I thought Lord Denning would be turning in his grave. The Hotbod takes coffee breaks in between her coffee breaks. She doesn’t get blamed for messing up work. At the end of the day, you have to give her credit. She knows what her best ‘assets’ are. Sure, she’s going to be flirtatious. But thats where she draws the line (sorry, guys).  


The Hollow Man

In at 12:30 p.m. Out at 7:01 p.m. Hollow Man comes. Hollow Man goes. No one really knows his name. Instead, he is referred to as the ‘intern who sits next to ____’. Don’t get me wrong. Unlike the Novice, Hollow Man knows what’s what. He despises the system. He’s afraid of being another brick in the wall. Well, frankly, he’s just plain lazy. Hollow Man will show up wearing a round-neck and jeans on a Wednesday. His silent disapproval of everything around him will subsequently lead to him being labelled as the ‘weird guy’. The irony comes only when you look 10 years down the road. Hollow man is the next Zuckerburg. You’re doing your best to pay rent while keeping the wife and kids happy and trying (still) to make partner (ouch!). 


The Partner’s Son

He’s the partner’s son. You cant really get mad at the guy. After all, you’d like to keep your job, wont you? He knows all the office personnel and clerical staff since the time they were changing his diapers. The Partner’s Son isn’t evil per se. Infact having him around can be quite the comic relief required in an intense work environment. His interest in everything apart from law and the fact that he sends emails when inebriated to makes him quite entertaining. Hell, he’ll even come with you for a cigarette break. You bond with him a bit and he’ll even get you entry at the most happening clubs in town. One day the partner’s son doesn't show up at work. Apparently, he over dosed on a cocktail of a bad batch of this and a little bit of that. Daddy gets mad. Your friend is alive, but grounded. Ahh... it was good while it lasted. The partner calls you to his cabin. Now its time to be worried about those 17 outgoing calls he made to you last night.    


The Hire Me Already!!

Like a peacock flaunting its feathers during mating season to stand out of the crowd, the Hire Me Already!! is a typical 5th year. Clean shaven. Pressed shirt. Polished shoes. He knows that he has only one shot at getting a job and that he cannot blow it. As a direct consequence of this, the Hire Me Already!! will take all and any sort of work without complaining. He will stay till 3 a.m. and will be in office 2 minutes before you. Surely, in his head, he’s cursing you in multiple languages but behind that perfect smile, you don’t know that, do you? The Hire Me Already!! does, eventually get hired. The joy is only temporary as he realises that the grass is infact, not greener on the other side. 


While the intent of this post wasn’t to insult or hurt anyone’s feelings, I did, sub-consciously  want to get a message across. I have seen too many interns being taken for granted, over worked and even blamed for mistakes that they haven’t made. So, the next time an intern spends his/her Sunday doing research for you, make sure you pat him/her on the back and say “well done” or “thanks buddy”. It matters much more than a nice lunch or a hefty stipend. After all, you should know. You were an intern once as well.

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