It was a matter of chance that I stumbled upon the opportunity to apply at Vinod Kothari Associates for an internship on an online platform. Being a wheelchair user, I needed a place that was specifically wheelchair accessible for an internship and involved legal work, which is my area of professional academia. Unfortunately, despite applying to a number of places in Kolkata, all of them ceased to reply once I mentioned that I was a wheelchair user. At that point in time, when I saw the available internship, I knew that I had nothing to lose. So, I went ahead and applied for it.
Like all my previous applications, I did not expect a proper response. However, within four weeks I was contacted by the recruiting agent Mr. Visheesh Kothari. Not only was he open to arranging an internship that would benefit my area of study, but he also understood my requirement for an accessible office and clearly mentioned that their office in Kolkata was wheelchair accessible. The real happiness came to me when I was exposed to their work and work culture. The interview that took place post-selection (the selection was based on a writing sample and CV) was more along the line of determining a common ground on which all of us could work on so as to make the internship worthwhile.
Right from the beginning, they identified work that would mutually benefit both of us and gave me legal research work as opposed to a very standard data collection that I was required to do for the previous internships. It almost felt like the work was tailored for a professional lawyer. The best part was that my work was valued and that they would be able to utilize in the future. I was designated to a project that involved creating an exhaustive commentary on the newly promulgated SEBI Listing Regulations, which was something I never had the opportunity to explore before. The amount of research I had to do, despite being time-consuming, was one of the best experiences and a test of my ability as an aspiring lawyer. Each moment involved identifying new areas of law for each aspect of the regulations. At the end of it, the commentary was published as a book and I was awarded credit for assisting them in their clause-by-clause commentary.
Mr. Vinod Kothari and Ms. Aditi Jhunjhunwala, the most senior people in the company, constantly offered me valuable advice on how to refine a commentary and shape it to give it a truly legal feel. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had with a company, and I could truly never be more grateful. The skills I learned were something that I could take back and constantly use to improve the quality of my work.
Courtesy: Internshala, and internships and trainings platform (internshala.com)
About the Author: Srivats Shanker, a law student from National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata, reminisces about his internship days at Vinod Kothari Associates Pvt. Ltd.