I see a lot of practicing seniors in my profession supporting no pay for internships. I have seen people saying that internships are for Learning and not for Earning.
I remember this quote from the Book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” authored by Robert Kiyosaki where he says that “people should first work for learning and then for earning”.
I have no problem with this idea but what we are missing here is that apart from learning, the intern is spending his time in your office. It is debatable whether that intern is there only for the certificate or for genuinely Learning. I’ll talk about the latter.
The intern is there and you give him some work. Let’s say you give him some simple drafting work or some research on a proposition related to the case you are working on. What that intern is doing in return is saving your time. I believe that there is nothing more precious than time.
Now he completes the draft or finds you a relevant case law by which your precious time is saved and you are able utilize that time for something useful.
Should that intern be compensated for that time or not?
Another argument which would be thrown at me is that in return that intern got to learn something. I am not denying that but aren’t we all learning throughout life, especially in litigation. I have seen many professionals saying that first you take the work and if you Don’t know about that work, then learn it and then deliver it. I believe Advocates, Doctors, etc. learn throughout life.
By this, my sole purpose is to highlight the plight of the students who cannot afford such practice.
Are we all not depriving poor student from a learning opportunity?
Are we all not depriving that poor student from this noble profession?
Can all law students afford interning for free? Or
Do all students have supportive parents? Or
Are we saying that Litigation is only for people who are having supportive/wealthy parents.
Why do I say all this? It is because I have studied in Delhi University and I saw students from all stratas of society. On one hand there were students who used to come in Mercedez and on the other hand there were students who wished to get a grant of annual Law School fees. Yearly fees of the Law Faculty of University of Delhi is merely around eight to ten thousand.