High quality of work (but) poor stipends: Law Student Survey findings

The second Law Student Survey has thrown up interesting findings on internships
High quality of work (but) poor stipends: Law Student Survey findings

Earlier this month, we launched the second law student survey to try and understand how Indian law students go about finding internships, as well as their thoughts on the internship experience itself. Nearly three hundred law students took some time out to participate in the survey. And this is what they had to say.

But first, a few words on just who took the survey. When it comes to year of study, the largest groups were those studying in the third and fourth year of the undergraduate law degree.

Combined, these groups represented nearly 60% of the total participants; the rest were spread across the years. When it came to those in the three-year LLB degree, they formed only 10% of the total participants. As for their place of study, participants came from a wide range of public and private institutions spread across the country.

How did you secure internship?

The two most popular methods used here were “online research” (43.7%) and “personal network of alumni and peers” (42.3%). The campus placement cell was effective for only 7.8% of the internships.

Where did they intern and length of internship?

The students surveyed interned in a broad mix of law firms, litigation counsel, non-governmental organisations, and judicial clerkships. Month-long internships seem to be the norm here, with a few students taking up long month (3-months or longer) internships. There were also a few students who had been interning for more than twelve months.

How much they got paid?

Perhaps one of the most contentious aspects involves the stipend that such internships come along with. Unfortunately, only 80 respondents shared the stipend amount out of which 36 said they did not receive any stipend at all. This ties in to an earlier piece on stipends and internships.

For those who did share numbers, the average stipend worked out to be roughly Rs. 2,500 per month.

Also Read
The menace of unpaid legal internships: A statistical analysis

Quality of Internships:

This was probably one of the most interesting aspects of the survey, where students were asked to rank the internships on a number of factors, with 1 being the lowest rank and 5 being the highest.

This is what they said:

a) Learnings made:

Roughly 65% of all participants ranked the learnings made during the internship as 4 or higher

Learnings made
Learnings made

b) Quality of seniors and colleagues:

Again, the vast majority (70%) ranked the quality of seniors and colleagues as 4 or higher.

Quality of seniors
Quality of seniors

c) Quality of work

Here too, the majority of respondents (60%) gave a rank of 4 or higher. ranked as 5/5

Quality of Work
Quality of Work

d) Stipend received

As mentioned earlier in the piece, this was one of the most poorly ranked factors, with nearly 80% giving the stipend section the lowest rank possible.

Stipend received
Stipend received

(The author is the co-founder of Amicus Partners)

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