In this piece of writing, I’m sharing some extracts of my diary from the year 2017 and few experiences when I came back to Delhi (my hometown) from the city of my love (Udaipur) for Internship.
(flashback ) 3 year which is the final year of our Law course, One month to go back at home, summer break is coming, Batchmates sitting together at tea stall (Deepak ki thadi; our all-time favourite place) under the dense bushes and tall tree, with a cup of tea in our hand and we all are discussing the internship. Variety of suggestions come up like to join NGO, Legal Firms, Courts and so on..or to enjoy the break; Some of them have already decided there ways and rest of us still wondering ( including me) the only thing I have decided is to Intern in Delhi Courts and somewhere I know this will going to be tough for me.
Now, the first issue came up before me to Join which court? Thoughts are running which, where, whom? suddenly I realised “I’m going to be a first-generation Lawyer and no one in my family ever deal with them before” Who will go to approach me? What I will do now? The night passed with such thoughts and I decided to talk with my father as he is the one who could suggest me or approach me somewhere. The next morning before I could say something to him: he asked me about my final year internship and suggested me to apply legal firms in Delhi or anywhere wherever I want too ( provided condition; corporate sector only). Well, interning or joining the firm was never my choice: but somehow I convince myself and mail my resume in almost the legal firms in Delhi without expecting any stipend in return as I know this would happen only in rarest case. I chose Delhi; as this is once a year chance for me to live at home from a hostel. I did everything at my part for applying internship emails, calls, etc..but most of the firms only recruited enrolled lawyer as a fresh one and some of them recruit only NLU students and other factors/ requirements vary. Days passed; no such replies came up, I was sitting and wondering ” What Next Now”? Some of my batchmates got a call from Mumbai, Bangalore, some of them decided to intern in Udaipur itself and I was just trying to find the answers. I don’t know; what I’m waiting for.
15 days passed and I’m still not answerable to anyone “Where I’m going to be?”Everyone decided their plans, schedules, and I was just listening. Suddenly my phone ring and it was my Dad on the other side who told me that some of his relative approached my name in one of South Delhi Firm. I called up and fixed the meeting. My batchmates were happy but deep inside I was not feeling the same. Maybe, because this was not a part of my choice. Maybe I never thought about this.
On next afternoon I was in Library and my phone ring up, this time it was a call from another Firm in Patel Nagar Delhi; one of them I applied for, meeting get fixed with them too.
My batchmates were surprised for me because according to them I got a choice to select place now, And I kept asking me “Am I Happy? Is this what I want?” Why I’m doing this?” Is it just an internship for me or a platform to learn the basics of this field? One more night passes with such thoughts to find the answers of “Why?”￼
Next morning I called the firm and cancelled my meetings and decided to join Courts, not any another one I decided to join ” Tiz Hazari Courts” Those thoughts of the nights helped me in finding the answers of that ” Why”? I always heard about Tiz Hazari court that ” A struggle begins here ” One of the largest and oldest courts among others. I always believe the concept of ” Yes to Learn and No to fame” So, I decided to intern myself in Tiz Hazari Courts and start from ” Zero Level”
But Life never goes according to the expectations and complication arose, My decision become an arguments session for them now; few days are left: different kind of suggestions and conditions started imposing on me with Dos and Don’ts. Every day, most of the time, we only left with one discussion ” find some another option”. And I keep thinking Why not this? This what I always wanted since I chose law as my career and I’m not going to give up now, Convincing-Arguing; the part continued till a week and at last the argument decided in my favour. ( A little bit of Stubborn)
This was actually a funniest or a stupiest thing I have done; without knowing with whom I’m going to be an intern? What I will do when I reach Delhi? last three days to go and this time it was not a call, It was WhatsApp message from my dad having one of the advocate number who practices in Tiz Hazari Courts ( Arun Sharma Sir) Without wasting any single minute, I called him and I must say “the first impression is always the last impression ” his polite words just hit me; without asking anything about me he said ” Beta Kabhi Bhi ajao” The man who doesn’t even know me, neither saw me before make my existence feel, it was not because he practises in Tiz Hazari, I felt that because he didn’t judge me at that point of time. I always want to learn under the guidance of someone who helps me, motivate me, support me and he was one of them. (I’m blessed) finally, I decided to join him and told my batchmates the same. They all were a little surprised; according to them I lose a good opportunity: but for me, this was the best decision. ( Maybe this is in my nature, I always find happiness in small things, bigger things never make me happy ).
At last, the day finally arrived, With a lot of excitement I came back to home; from the next day, my journey for internship begins.
On 24.04.2017, sharp at 9:30 am; wearing a white suit and dupatta, a bag in hand, bindi on my forehead, a little bit of nervous and happy as well: I reached court with Dad, He dropped me there, as I never went before neither I travelled much. We met with Arun Sir outside the courtroom no 33. I touch his feet ( I don’t believe in a superstitious thing that girl never touches feet, same applies in a culture of Udaipur) he blessed me and the first day of my internship begins.
I entered the courtroom, the first time I saw that ( except the visits during college time) standing right beside him and he told me to sit and watch. On the next moment, he told me to go along with other associates to another court as we had matter there too, meanwhile the matter called up here. The whole day I was just running from here and there, writing things on my notebook, I didn’t even know whom to be called stenographer, how to address the court, how the court works, the day just full of observations with lots of queries in my mind. The day passed and we got a lunch break for half an hour, we went to our seat; Sir introduce me with all the other associates and all other advocates around us: that moment I felt like I’m a new member of the family ( Sharma and Associates) The day ends up with a lot of observations in my mind but I was afraid to ask any query so I just write it down. One of the thing that day realises me ” How difficult is to earn” when I came back home I just lay on the bed and slept off.
The next morning again at sharp 9:30 am I reached to seat, Sir was already there and that day he was having a hectic schedule and he needs a Passover in one of the cases due to the clash of time so he told me to go. My god! Me?????? My heartbeat fastened up, but somehow I show the courage and took the file; ask the details; what to say how to say and went to the courtroom. That was a session court, A room full of police officials, Advocates, accused from custody. I entered, standing at the corner, the judge was looking at me I was so scared but pretended to be fine, one of the policemen asked me ” Are you new”? I said, “Yes Sir”. Eventually, my matter called up, I didn’t even know the side I have to stand, but the judge was polite enough and asked ” Mam, Your main counsel?” I was not aware how to address the court so I said: ” Sir I’m seeking Passover for half an hour; my main counsel is in another court ” (with a little bit nervous voice) He smiled and said ” Ok ” He keeps it as pending matter. I stepped out from the room and took a long breath. That one minute in court, My god!
Seeking Passover and adjournment; when you are new is not always be easy. Even standing before the court needs confidence and courage. Even you are a confident person, the very first time you always feel a little bit of nervous, it’s just some showed up, some hide it. I was always a confident and active girl during my college, the one who always ready to fight, argue, debate, but in court that day I found myself to be a different lot. Fortunate enough I got a polite judge for my first appearance and this was the first thing which didn’t let me feel demotivated and even boosted up the confidence which was hidden within me. I realised that I can. I came back downstairs and told to sir, he appreciates me and also encouraged me with his words of wisdom.
The courtroom is just not about someplace. Each courtroom has different stories and experiences. It is a place of learning which ensures you that you learn all the ways and procedures of court in a better way. Now, seeking Passover and adjournments become little easier for me without any fear, I learned to address the court with confidence. But one can learn much better when it becomes challenging for you. Mistakes are one of them, you learn something every time when you make a mistake.
One of the lessons I learnt that always read the file before enter in the courtroom. I went to court to submit the counterclaim in a civil suit. I entered there and found judge was a little strict, that day he was not entertaining any intern/ junior. My god! Here my thoughts suddenly running again I started looking here and there, found many advocates and public inside the courtroom. One of the thought suddenly strike “What If he yeiled at me? Are they all going to laugh at me?” I was not aware of any single facts of the case and on which grounds Iam submiting counterclaim. I was thinking ” What to do now?” And I started to google the meaning, turning the pages of the file, try to read and understand, walking In-Out from the courtroom: and the suddenly matter called up, I gave my appearance; submitted my counterclaim, just about to breathe and within a second, the judge asked me to read the prayer clause. “Prayer clause????? What was that???? I opened up the file check the index and started reading prayer clause ( word to word) There was a pin drop silence in the courtroom. The judge didn’t interrupt me that moment, I kept on reading, once I done, I looked up and he told me in a polite manner with a little smile on his face” ( I doubt that smile) Mam, you don’t need to read every sentence, the court only needs to know the relief you are seeking for. That day he taught me how to read the prayer clause and the moment realises me to read once before stepping in (One of my favourite Court)
I realised that every learning in a courtroom is a self-learning as you are not spoon-fed by anyone. One must prepare himself and read the file once, immaterial you are an intern or an Advocate. It helps in assisting the court and saves the time of the court as well. When you stand in a court, You hold the responsibility of your client, the feeling of standing not only brings learning, it brings joy and energy as well.
Every day I learnt new things, I realised either you must learn or must fail, as there is no other option/ choice. Every life day in a court is in front of you to fight little battles and come out as the winner. Learn maximum, work hard maximum, work smart maximum as there is no room for any complacency and compromise. Shed and get rid of all the phobias and limitations as these are the creation of our mind and in fact, nowhere exist in real life. And I keep walking with the positive outlook, I did mistakes, I got yielded many times in court, I fight, I learn to be patient, But I stood determined. Some of the courts taught me how to file the income affidavit along with other documents under Domestic Violence Act case, another one taught me about the basics of suit for permanent and mandatory injunction, the arguments on the charge, reading orders and judgements and so on…A lot of adventures and amazing experiences.
Life of litigation is a continuous learning process where mistakes are the terror teachers. From learning the filing of files to read a file in the courtroom, from reading the orders to searching authorities, from miscellaneous works to seek adjournments, From submitting miscellaneous applications to draft an exemption, each and every little thing I learned during my internship days. There should be no shame or hitch to learn. It helps you in grow, to fill you up and to help you become more of you who were you created to be. It developed your own perspective in a better way. Some of the few things I learned; Read more, learn more, Never afraid to ask, You may win or lose; never lose hope, be confident, have patience, keep your eyes and ears open, be prepared and so on…Those internship days brought a lot of change in myself; A changing phase of my life.
“This struggle is beautiful, Litigation is Love”
The time arrived; the three months internship comes to an end; holding a certificate in hand, emotional moment in office, with the blessings of Sir, lots of memories and adventures experience, I went back to Udaipur to complete my final year.
(A journey which was started from courtroom no 33: ends in the same courtroom)
The Journey of Being an Advocate begins on the same date with a different year 24.04.2018.
*To be continued…..
~Adv Ankita Wadhwa