As law students, we have either heard our seniors dream about an internship or a job at a tier 1 firm, or we have come across webinars and workshops that talk about securing an internship at top-tier firms. Often we are told to apply to lower-tier firms during the initial years of law school to learn the practical aspects such as drafting and then gradually move upwards. But before you get into all that, you should know the different tier law firms to plan and decide internships, explore new areas of law, and network with the relevant people.
The following list is taken from the RSG Ranking of Top 50 Law Firms in India.
List of Tier-1 Law Firms
|2019 Rank||Firm||Total Score||Total no. lawyers|
|1||AZB & Partners||36.32||429|
|2||Khaitan & Co||35.82||636|
|3||Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.||34.96||584|
|4||Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas||34.24||760|
|6||J. Sagar Associates||28.42||338|
|7||L&L Partners (formerly Luthra & Luthra Law Offices)||28.36||330|
These are the top law firms in India. It’s a dream to work in any of these firms. These firms are full-service firms. Their practice areas include Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Corporate and Commercial, Corporate Governance, Corporate Restructuring, Data Privacy & Protection, Employment, Labour and Benefits, Intellectual Property, Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate, White Collar Crime, and many more. They handle litigation matters as well. These firms are mostly operating in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore among various other cities.
It is suggested that the appropriate time to apply to these places is in your 4th and 5th year of your 5 year course and the 3rd year of your 3 year course. Prior internships, publications, and moots in your preferred area would give your CV the boost it requires. Apply at least 3-4 months before your desired internship period. Try to stand out as these firms receive hundreds of applications each month.
List of Tier-2 Law Firms
|2019 Rank||Firm||Total no. lawyers|
|9||Anand and Anand||133|
|10||Economic Laws Practice||177|
|11||Kochhar & Co||204|
|12||Nishith Desai Associates||86|
|14||Link Legal – India Law Services||203|
|19||Talwar Thakore & Associates||47|
|21||Bharucha & Partners||82|
|22||Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan||381|
|25||Vaish Associates Advocates||100|
|26||Desai & Diwanji||214|
|27||Dhaval Vussonji & Associates||39|
|30||Majmudar & Partners||113|
The law firms in this tier are a mix of boutique law firms, full-service law firms, as well as law firms working in their niche or specialised areas. You can visit their website to understand their area of specialisation or their areas of practice and see if that aligns with your interests. Most of these are located in prime cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, etc. There are few firms like S&R Associates, Talwar Thakore and Associates, Desai & Diwanji, Nishith Desai Associates, Majmudar & Partners, Platinum Partners, Bharucha & Partners, and Argus Partners who pay as much or even more than the tier 1 law firms and are comparatively easier to get through.
List of Tier-3 Law Firms
|2019 Rank||Firm||Total no. lawyers|
|34||Singhania & Partners||60|
|38||JM + P||24|
|41||Spice Route Legal||14|
|42||Lawyers at Work LAW||4|
|43||Khaitan and Khaitan||33|
|44||Khurana & Khurana, Advocates, and IP Attorneys||95|
|45||Ahlawat & Associates||20|
|48||Krishnamurthy & Co (K Law)||104|
These law firms are a mix of full-service and boutique law firms. These are growing organisations where there is a wide range of work and cases to be dealt with. The law firms mentioned above are those which can help in getting hands-on experience for someone just starting and wants to experience the work culture and nature of the work at law firms. Interning in tier-3 firms helps in networking and building a close relationship with mentors as usually, people in tier 1 firms wouldn’t have the time to teach a lot. It will give you exposure as well as an opportunity to network with your co-interns.
In conclusion, the journey towards getting an internship at a tier 1 law firm should start by interning at lower-tier firms. This would enable you to learn the tricks of the trade during the lower-tier internship and can impress people with your performance in the top-tier internship which would naturally increase the odds of securing a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO). Imbibe the lessons and skills learnt in every internship, you’ll surely stand out.
So you are all set as to ‘where’ you have to apply. But do you know how to apply? If not, don’t worry! Let us teach you how to write an SOP and tips for Writing an Effective Internship Application.
Bonus: Get to Know everything about online internships in these COVID times by clicking here.
About the Author: Vismitha is from SASTRA University, Thanjavur. She is an avid reader with a flair for writing. She is a coffee-driven workaholic who is always ready to grab opportunities.