Internship Opportunity at Sama

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Are you a law student or lawyer looking for an opportunity that is new and exciting? How about understanding the workings of how an offline Lok Adalat can be brought online. Witness real-life dispute resolution experience and hands-on case management experience in a leadership position while working with Sama and the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority to ensure access to justice.

Opportunities like these are tough to come by, so if you are interested, sign up!

Background

Justice at your doorstep!

With courts getting shut & only urgent matters being listed, the state of access to justice in India is being heavily compromised. Lok Adalats, known as one of the most effective Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, have resolved 78.5 lakh pending disputes in 2019 providing relief to distressed litigants across the country. However, in light of the pandemic, Lok Adalat is either getting canceled or rescheduled.

Sama has previously worked with Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat & Bihar State Legal Services Authority and helped parties to resolve their dispute amicably using the Sama Platform.

The COVID-19 pandemic unquestionably presents an era-defining challenge to public health and the global economy. People and businesses won’t have the power/time to fight while they are trying to survive. With the majority of the offline services being limited, online services have become crucial. With no time to waste or large amounts of money to be spent, Online-collaborative Dispute Resolution (ODR) is playing the most important role in keeping the wheels of justice rolling. In order to ensure that access to justice continues, Sama is providing its Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform to the Government of Maharashtra to conduct the first-ever Online Lok Adalat of Maharashtra. It will provide a safe, online space where litigants can raise their concerns and get them resolved, without stepping outside their homes. The following disputes will be covered; loan matters, family disputes, MACT issues, S-138 cheque bounce, etc.

Mode of Internship

Online

Timeline for the Online Lok Adalat

  1. Till 16 September-  Sama Training for Case Managers; Training will consist of a 60-minute session where case managers will be provided a demonstration on the technical working of the platform, basics of a Lok Adalat, and how to coordinate with the parties to the dispute.
  2. 17th-24th September- Sending Invitations and recording consents; Each case manager will be allocated a specific number of cases for which invitations have to be sent, and if required, parties need to be sensitized about the Lok Adalat.
  3. Till 24th September Pre-Counselling Sessions, 10 AM – 5 PM
  4. Date of Lok Adalat -25th September.
  5. 26th September- Final Report Published with number of  cases resolved in the Online Lok Adalat
  6. 26th to 2nd October- Feedback surveys will be conducted with the assistance of De Jure World Bank (as Official knowledge Partner of SAMA), of litigants, enterprises etc. who Participated in the Online Lok Adalat.

Responsibilities of a Case Manager

  1. Each case manager will be allocated one specific district where he/she will be managing the cases.
  2. Each case manager will be provided with case leads (Nature of dispute, Name of the parties- Claimant & Respondent, Contact Details) by MSLSA in his/her case management (CM) system on Sama, which can be accessed using your credentials which will be provided by Sama.
  3. Managing the cases involves-
    1. Sending the invitation to the respondent to participate in the Lok Adalat on email, message & WhatsApp. ( CM System will have the details)
    2. If the respondent does not provide consent over email/message/whatsapp, the Case Manager will call the respondent and explain to him/her the benefits of taking part in the Online Lok Adalat. For this purpose, a specific calling script will also be provided to case managers by Sama.
    3. If the other party consents, the case manager has to record the consent on the CM System.
    4. On the basis of consents received, MSLSA will prepare a cause list of pre-counselling sessions- which will contain the case number, date, and time. On the basis of the Cause list issued by MSLSA, Sama will appoint each case manager to a specific set of cases.
    5. Once the case is allocated to the Case Manager, it will become an active dispute & will be visible in the CM system. The Case Manager will be responsible for end-to-end coordination.
    6. On the day of the specific case, the case manager will give a minimum of 2 reminders to each party that their matter is scheduled for that specific day.
    7. Pre-Counselling Session- Generate the Sama Video Conferencing (VC) Link through which parties can communicate with each other, or if VC is not possible, take all parties on a conference call. These sessions are generally for 30 minutes. Case Managers will be provided with a technical session by Sama, on how to use the user-friendly Sama VC feature
    8. Shadow the judge during the discussion, and make notes. Ensure you do not interfere with the discussion and speak only if required.
    9. If the parties reach an agreement during the pre-counselling session, the Judge will record it in the Lok Adalat Award and upload it on the Sama platform which you can access from your CM system.
    10. The case manager will trigger an e-signature. Once the parties e-sign the document, the final signed award needs to be uploaded on the CM system.
    11. Share feedback forms with the parties where they will provide a rating on the scale of 1 to 5 to the online Lok Adalat covering the process, satisfaction with the settlement agreement, and the Case Manager.

Rewards

  1. A brilliant opportunity to shadow Lok Adalat judges and Sama Mediators in order to gain first-hand experience of how settlements happen in different matters such as divorce, loan, consumer, etc.
  2. Each case manager will be provided with a certificate of internship for being the Case Manager for the Online Lok Adalat organized by Sama and Maharashtra State Legal Services, Authority, Government of Maharashtra (MSLSA), DE JURE (Data and Evidence for justice reform, part of the World Bank Group ) and enabling access to justice during the pandemic.
  3. The top 3 case managers will be rewarded with a sum of Rs. 5000, Rs. 3000, Rs. 2000 respectively.
  4. The top 2 case managers will become a part of the National Working Group for coordinating any future online Lok adalats in association with Sama across the country with the National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa). The working group will consist of Retired Judges, Senior Advocates, and Technologists.

(Note: Case Managers will not be provided with a remuneration)

Eligibility Criteria

Law Students, who have access to the internet and can commit for a period of 3 weeks.

Click here to apply – https://forms.gle/pAGsZfY5F28JNsWT7

Want to know more about Online Lok Adalat – https://www.sama.live/lokadalat.php

For any queries, please reach out to Divyesh ( 9670789928 ) or Ajitesh (9135687335). (Whatsapp/Calls).

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