Intern in a small practice in Negombo (5 lawyers), which means you'll gain experience across all areas of law. The variety will be greater than you would be exposed to in a big practice. There are 2 Courts in Negombo that conduct proceedings in English and you'll attend both, as well as assisting in other duties, such as drafting legal documents, in the office. You'll learn about the Sri Lankan Constitution and also gain an insight into the history and background of the Sri Lankan Legal System.

The practice offices are situated in an amazing location right next to the Negombo fishing beach – all the houses here are typical of Colonial Sri Lankan style, and the streets are lined with trees. It is very picturesque and brimming with atmosphere.


Hi, I'm Karen, Project Coordinator for Sri Lanka, and I'll be working with you to arrange your ultimate experience here, so if you've any questions, please contact me:
+44 (0)1903 502595,
or email: info@travellers
Price: £995 (approx. US$1200) for 2 weeks
£250 (US$320) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – You choose your start and finish dates. However, please note that the law firm will be closed in April for two weeks (10th to 20th) because of the new year. It is also closed in August for two weeks (15th to 30th) and again from 18th December to 3rd January.
Requirements: Minimum age 17. No qualifications required, but you should be intending to study Law and thus have a deep-seated interest in it.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at the nearest Airport and return transfer at the end of your placement
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your Project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas.
Who is this
Programme suitable for?
SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in working in the field of Law and gaining valuable intern experience overseas or study abroad, or an internship for university credit or requirement. Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad and learn about the practice of Law overseas.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


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The team on the Law internship in Sri Lanka
The team at this practice is fairly small and extremely friendly and welcoming!


Your Internship will be based at a small law practice situated in the middle of Negombo which is the first and only law firm in Negombo handling cases in all Judicial Courts and Tribunals. The head Partner is also an acting magistrate in Negombo. The lawyers you'll work alongside are very friendly and speak good English. The office is small but professional with air conditioning and a staff of five local lawyers. It is right next door to the courts and Negombo Beach. The town is also within walking distance.

Sri Lankan law is based upon two legal systems - 95% of Sri Lankan criminal law is based on the British Legal system, the other 5% of their criminal law is based upon South African law.

Some of the service the firm provide include:

  • Banking and finance
  • Criminal law
  • Employment
  • General Practice
  • Leisure
  • Family law
  • Immigration


As an intern you will be able to gain a first-hand experience of the day-to-day activities in a law firm and actively engage in various litigation works covering a wide array of fields in civil, criminal and commercial law. As you would expect with any internship programme, you will get out what you put in to this programme.

You'll learn about the Sri Lankan Constitution and also gain an insight into the history and background of the Sri Lankan Legal System. You'll have the opportunity to get involved in:

  • Legal research
  • Drafting of legal instruments
  • Visits to prisons, juvenile training centres and other rehabilitation centres for probationers
  • Court visits - There are 3 Courts in Negombo and proceedings in two of them are conducted in English. You'll have opportunity to attend both 'English-language' Courts
  • Participation in negotiations and client interviews.
  • The opportunity to compile your own article to be published in a law journal or national newspaper on a topic of interest, with the assistance of in house lawyers.

You may find it a little bit slow going at first. This is normal as it takes time to settle in. It will also take a little time for the firm to adjust to you and for them to learn your ability and interests etc. The longer you are with the firm the more your workload will grow and diversify.


The office opens at 08:00am, with your work hours generally being from 08:30am to 17:00pm Monday to Friday. A guide of what should be expected is:

The office day starts around 8am and interns will get to go to the Courts some days where they will sit on the bench and listen to the proceedings. You'll only attend Court when the proceedings take place in English. For ‘Court days’ you will be in court from 9-10 am and then again from around 2-3:30pm with a break for lunch in between. You will then work in the office again until 4.00pm.

On non-Court days you will stay in the office with the lawyers and help with writing deeds and day-to-day legal duties.

Exactly what your office work will involve will vary from day to day, case to case and intern to intern. You'll be able to help out with everything that goes on in the office and you will gain an extraordinary insight into the operations of law in Sri Lanka - a first-hand insight into international law.

The head partner of the firm is also the acting magistrate. This means he must attend post-mortems at the mortuary in cases where there is an ambiguous cause of death. If this is something you are interested in, you are welcome to attend (and please note, you do not have to attend - the lawyers in the practice are aware that some interns would find this distressing and would not wish to attend!) If you are interested, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to attend during your placement (as it is dependent on the number of post-mortems needed, which, for obvious reasons, we hope are kept to a minimum!) but on average Godfrey attends the mortuary approximately once a month.

You'll have your weekends free for sightseeing or simply relax.

Lunch times at work is definitely my favourite time as everyone shares food and the lawyers delight in trying to make you eat the spiciest food going! It's such a great laugh - the atmosphere is so relaxed. The Head Lawyer is such a friendly and accommodating man! He is extremely successful (he has published many papers concerning child rights and has worked for the UN) yet he remains humble! I have spent many nights eating with his family (which includes some of the lawyers from the firm - his nephew and his brother) who are great company. I have even been shopping with his daughters.

Overall it has been a wonderful experience and I am not at all ready to go home on Friday - I will miss them all very much indeed. Haley Smith

An intern on the Law internship in Sri Lanka
An intern at her desk at the Practice offices.
Interns plus law team on the Law internship in Sri Lanka
Group photo of interns and the practice team.
Interns plus lawyer on the Law internship in Sri Lanka
Two of the interns together with the head lawyer in his office. Being a small practice, the opportunities to learn are extensive!
Law Practice offices on the Law internship in Sri Lanka
The exterior of the Law offices in Negombo. The location is right next door to the courts and to Negombo Beach, which makes it very convenient and an attractive environment to work in.


Your accommodation during your internship has been specially organised to accommodate elective students on the programme. It is approximately 15 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the capital city of Colombo. One of the project members will warmly welcome you on your arrival at the airport and will show you around and introduce you to everyone.

You'll live in a very comfortable modern house with single rooms. Facilities include:

  • Fully furnished bed rooms
  • Kitchen (kettle, coffee, tea and milk provided)
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet facility
  • Study and research area
  • Launderette
  • Recreation garden area
  • Outdoor Tennis court
  • 24 hour on call assistance
  • Dining area
  • Board games

Wi-Fi / Internet: FREE Wi-Fi is available in the accommodation.

There are many outdoor and indoor entertainment activities around this area such as sandy beaches, zoo, parks, theatres, cinemas, restaurants (KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut in case you miss home food) , pubs and etc. The location is easy reach by means of trains, buses and taxis should you wish to go further afield during the weekend.

Three meals a day will be provided. The menus are designed specially with a wide range of Sri-Lankan, Asian and a mixture of Western food.

For vegetarians, you'll be happy to know that you'll be in a tropical destination that has number of vegetables and other dishes already in the cuisine. But if you have any other special dietary requirements, please let us know and will be happy to organize it for you if it is available to buy in Sri Lanka.

Accommodation on the internships in Sri Lanka
One of the bedrooms in the accommodation. All the Law and Veterinary interns are placed in the same accommodation in Negombo.
Accommodation on the internships in Sri Lanka
The exterior of the accommodation house in Negombo. There are lots of facilities and it is well placed for exploring - and it's only 20 minutes from the Capital, Colombo.


Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Your Arrival: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our Sri Lankan staff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.



Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

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Volunteer Paul White with elephant in Sri Lanka
Volunteer Paul White taking time out to get up close and personal with an elephant!
Volunteers on the beach, sitting in a palm tree in Sri Lanka
It's not all work - there's lots to do and see, like these volunteers spending some free time on one of Sri Lanka's glorious beaches.


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Body and Mind: Meditation and Yoga in Sri Lanka

Price: £495 for 1 week
£795 for 2 weeks
includes food and accommodation, transfers.

The Body and Mind week combines Yoga and Meditation with Ayurvedic treatments to work on a fitter, healthier and more positive you. Located in a beautifully set-up spa, Body and Mind Week will help you to gain psychological and physical well being, will help you to understand the basics of Yoga and Meditation and also educate you about the human body. In addition, you'll enjoy the luxury of Ayurvedic treatments which will deal with any physical aches and pains you may be experiencing at the time.

During the program, you will be taught the Surya Namaskar, commonly known as the Sun Salutation. This contains 12 consecutive postures or Asanas. It is essential for students to master this before moving on to the second stage of Yogasana.

Meditation is the art of focusing your mind, restraining your thoughts and looking deep within yourself. Practicing it can give you a better understanding of your purpose in life and of the Divine. It will also provide you with certain physical and mental health benefits.

PROGRAMME SCHEDULE - Monday to Friday:

  • Early Morning Yoga
  • Breakfast
  • Meditation
  • Head massage. These messages will change every day and include foot massage, back massage, front massage and full body massage.
  • Meditation - Walking meditation
  • Lunch and a relaxed afternoon

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Book Now

An Elephant Experience at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka

Price: £595 for 1 week
includes food and accommodation, plus transfer to and from the Elephant Orphanage.

The Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for over 80 retired, abused or orphaned elephants. Visitors from all over the world come to see these magnificent animals. At times, there are also some small babies who have been born into the herd. The daily highlight is the walk from the Orphanage to take the herd down to the river to bathe the elephants. It's amazing to watch an entire herd splashing around and rolling in the river, just a few feet in front of you!

This project is an elephant experience, rather than elephant conservation ... and it is an awesome experience! You'll have about 3 to 4 hours manual work each day and you'll also get to wash and hose down several Elephants. In the late morning or afternoon, you'll usually go down to the river and spend about 3 hours amongst the Elephants. You can watch them relaxing, play with them and sometimes help to bathe them. Your main duties will include:

  • Mucking out the elephant enclosures in the morning (this is hard, muddy work!)
  • Participating in bathing some of the smaller elephants.
  • While the mahouts are bathing the larger elephants, you will be able to relax by the river, chat to the mahouts and watch the elephants play and interact with humans and each other. This is an absolutely beautiful sight and being around these serene animals in such a beautiful setting can have a very calming effect!
  • You'll also have up to two opportunities per week to feed the beautiful baby elephants.
  • There may also be the opportunity to do other things around the orphanage, however this is subject the amount of work available at the orphanage at the time of your project.

Book Now

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




We cannot BEGIN to tell you how beautiful this paradise island is! Nor how cheap to live and get around. It is almost too good to be true! But it is true.

Towering Pagodas, Hindu temples and ancient fortresses to holy rivers and sacred mountains. The local people are very welcoming and friendly, especially in the rural areas. The tea plantations are a must, the lace making, monuments and architectural splendours, etc., but the most appealing is the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala. Not to be missed! It's an emotive sight that you'll never forget!

Sri Lanka has miles and miles of amazing beaches. Some of our favourites are:

MIRISSA: Perhaps a contender for the most beautiful beach in the world. Long, deserted and hot. You know you have got away from it all as you sit and watch the sunset over this horizon…The snorkelling is also incredible here.

NEGOMBO: To the north of Colombo lies Negombo, a busting fishing town with golden beaches and a pallet of colour provided by sails and boats against the deep blue of the ocean.

UNAWATUNA: A sleepy peaceful cove with deep still water and a temple overlooking the bay from the protecting cliffs.

HIKKADUWA: A long stretch of beach with plenty of hostels, restaurants and some nice bars, not forgetting the impromptu beach parties held on the beach front bars blaring Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeplin and many other classics! Sri Lanka is a conservative island brimming with culture and Hikkaduwa offers an exciting opportunity to holiday for the odd celebratory weekend! Many a volunteer birthday has been seen in over Hikkaduwa cocktails. You can also body board and even surf on this beach.

ARUGAM BAY: This tiny fishing village is Sri Lanka’s newest hot spot and hosts the best surfing and an easy going happy party atmosphere. With its wide sweeping beach in front of the village and year round gorgeous swimming it is no surprise that this bay has developed into a low budget travellers haunt.

White Water Rafting:
Sri Lanka’s boulder stream rivers are the ideal setting for white water rafting. This is the best way to see the stunning environment what this region has to offer. Many tours are available and many begin with days of action, rafting the white waters. This high adventure is suitable for fish time ‘go for it’ rafters and experts alike. Rafting has become a very popular exciting yet safe adventure sport option.

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering:
Mountaineering is an adventure sport that requires skills and levels of fitness that few other adventure sports can match. The mountain ranges in Sri Lanka offer breath taking, enthralling, climbing routes. Climbing is all about discovering the natural world around and with you.

Hiking and Trekking:
There’s no better way to explore the natural scenic beauty of this island with diverse climatic zones. Trekking is an excellent way to explore a country, people, their traditions and beliefs. Paths and campsites have been set up to give nature lovers the experience of a lifetime. All possible steps are taken to ensure local community benefit and nature conservation in keeping with all international camping guidelines.

Canoeing & Kayaking:
This relatively new sport is rated as the most adventurous of all adventure sports. It involves descending a stream as it drops over waterfalls and boulders. In Sri Lanka they have low waterfalls for beginners and some as high as 700 feet for the very experienced - all surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

The driest and best seasons are from December to March on the west and south coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September on the east coast. December to March is also the time when most foreign tourists come, the majority of them escaping the European winter.

The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. The Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Then there are the ruins, ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy any archaeologist.


Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

King coconuts being sold from a stand in Sri Lanka
King coconuts are for sale everywhere in Sri Lanka. They're supposed to quench all thirst. Hmmm. I prefer their pineapples. The best in the world. Seriously!
Tuk tuks are the main form of quick and easy public transport when you're dashing around the local areas. They're lots of fun!
Volunteers taking in the views in Sri Lanka
Volunteers taking in an incredible view in peaceful serenity. Wish I was there :-)

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

From the moment I landed in Sri Lanka, I was warmly welcomed by Godfrey himself and his wife Annette at the airport with a garland (a tradition whereby people are greeted in Sri Lanka) On arrival, Godfrey kindly showed me around his house and introduced me to his sons and one of his daughters, all of which were very approachable, down to earth and evidently hardworking and successful.

The accommodation for the interns was located just a stone’s throw away from Godfrey’s Residence which is equipped with modern facilities and which I found very comfortable and convenient to stay in. Never did I feel like my safety was undermined because of the 24/hr on site security available.

Every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner I was served food of outstanding quality which was all freshly and kindly prepared by Annette. It was a delight to have something new and tasty every day including the various exotic fruits I had that only became known to me once I came to Sri Lanka.

With regards to the work schedule, I found that it was very disciplined and organised. Godfrey would personally take me to the office every morning and would take me back home too. There wasn’t really a “typical day at work” I could describe since the firm is so busy and deals with a huge caseload. However that did not affect the considerable experience I gained.

This internship allowed me to learn about the Sri Lankan Constitution and highlight comparisons between that and the UK constitutional system and in the same way I learned about the Court structure and systems too. In addition to that, I was allowed the opportunity to visit the Magistrates Court, District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. This provided me with a great insight into the practical workings of the courtroom in Sri Lanka and it was very interesting to see how quickly the hearings would go by.

Further to that, I was introduced to intellectual property law, the law of affidavits, I was able to draft a constitution for the Association of Licensed Bunker Operators of Sri Lanka and learn about Arbitration also and I also applied my contract law knowledge to a real case the practice were dealing with to form my opinions on possible defences the client may have available to them.

It was an honour to shadow Godfrey and his workings which was highly enlightening and indicative of his passion for law and field of research. To round off my internship, I was given the opportunity to conduct my own research and write an article on the barriers of access to justice in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom which was published in the national newspaper. I was made to feel a part of the team at [the Law Firm] and my colleagues were very nice to work with. They were highly sociable, intelligible and disciplined also.

Aside from the hard work in the office and elsewhere, it was nice to see that Godfrey’s professionalism extended to sports too since he was very skilled at Tennis along with his son who is recognised as a national champion for consecutive years. Thus to unwind after work, it was an honour to play tennis with Godfrey and also learn from him.

All in all, I will be bringing back a wealth of experience and knowledge to the UK which will stay with me and act as paramount to my successes in the future, thus I highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in entering the legal profession. Kush Chauhan – Second Year LLB Law Student.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

What experience do you feel you are gaining? Insight into the daily operations of a law firm with the unique opportunity of working in a close knit firm that deals with an array of criminal and civil matters. It is very interesting to see the courts in action and at the weekend I visited elephants at the Pinnawala orphanage.

Would you recommend this placement to anyone else? Definitely, it's a good placement to do for someone who is thinking about doing law as well as for someone like me who has studied it-it's a good comparison and further experience with a wider range of cases.

What type of person do you think this placement would suit? Someone that is hard working, whilst also laid back as it is a different lifestyle and culture so takes some adjustment.

Can you describe a typical day? Breakfast is prepared for me for 7:30, Mr Cooray comes for about 8ish and we then leave for the office. In the morning I will either go to court and observe with some reading (lower courts aren't in English) and then come back and eat prepared lunch with Mr Cooray. Afternoon would then either be completing a task such as summarising the case witnessed that morning, or researching a topic given to me. Sometimes it is the other way round with court in the afternoon.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

So it has now been one week that I have been in Sri Lanka and I am enjoying my time very much. I'm becoming a bit more accustomed to the weather, though I doubt I'll ever be fully used to it!

So far I have become familiar with the home and office environment and yesterday I had my first visit to the court complex in Negombo. I have also been exposed to various areas of the law; namely penal code, drugs ordinance, IP law and some family law. I have also been working on research project that looks at comparing the constitutions of Australia and Sri Lanka.

At the weekend I had some time to chill out and relax a little. I also attended birthday celebrations of Godfrey- lovely of the family to invite me to an intimate family event. During last week I took a trip down south to attend a Buddhist funeral with them.

This weekend I am planning on taking a trip to the mountain region around Kandy and Ella. So all in all I have done quite a bit in just the week I have been here and I am doing well.

Most Memorable Moment: There were a number of things I will always remember. It's hard to select just one. From working with Godfrey (as well as the other lawyers) and sharing their knowledge and experience, to being involved with the family and their life to travelling throughout Sri Lanka a bit. For me, these are all equal that cumulatively gave me an outstanding experience.

Biggest Achievement: Completing and having published my article, "Comparison of Executive Powers Between Sri Lanka and Australia."

Information Improvements: The information was detailed and comprehensive. It would help though to have some of it updated.

Project Improvements: I don't think so. It was well run. Also when in Rome, be Roman! It's good to go with the flow of a different culture to see where it takes you.


What experience do you feel you are gaining?
For me this answer is two-fold. There is first the legal experience and then there is the Sri Lanka experience. So far I have gained an insight into the real workings of a law firm in Sri Lanka. From the cases, to the clients, to the work environment and the dynamics between colleagues. On another level I have also been exposed to actual law and its similarities and differences it shares with other jurisdictions. This is both from a historical perspective (English common law and Roman-Dutch law) and a contemporary perspective (for example the Companies Act based on NZ law).

The Sri Lanka experience has been a mash of living like a local in a residential area (Kandana) during the week and then travelling around the island taking in a few of the tourist hotspots during weekends. Both have been wonderful experiences. The gain has been in learning the ways of another culture and what they value and appreciate.

What is the best thing about your placement so far?
I honestly can’t point to a best thing as yet. There have been lots of highlights; being invited to and attending birthday celebrations, attending court and travelling to Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Galle have been some of them. Sometimes simple things can also be a highlight; tasting a new fruit and meeting some wonderful people.

Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?
Yes, definitely.

What type of person do you think this placement would suit?
Someone interested in law/legal environment and who loves to travel. An open mind and a sense of adventure is also essential to get the most out of the internship.

What, if any, improvements could be made to the placement?
I think a lot of work has gone into making this a great programme already. Perhaps the only thing is that some of the pre-departure information. This was only minor but consistency does help.

Was there anything that you weren’t told before your departure that you think future interns should know?
Maybe worthwhile being told it is possible to get a SIM card at the airport, that way you have one before getting to the city and are able to be in communication both locally when being picked up and back home to let family know you have arrived. Ultimately though this is a new country/culture for most and learning differences comes with a bit of time.

Can you describe a typical day?
Wake at about 6.00 am where I usually talk/communicate to family back in Australia as is mid-morning for them. Get ready for work at the interns’ house. Leave interns’ house at 7:30am to go walk across the main house for breakfast. Leave for work by car between 8am and 8:30. Arrive at the office by 9am.

Days can vary but usually the lawyers are in court at least for the morning. Interns either go to court with them or remain in the office and work (usually work either on a research or article piece as assigned). Lunch (prepared by Mrs Cooray) is had around 1 – 1:30pm. Eaten with other interns and lawyers.

Afternoon can involve a “lecture” (chat about the law) with one of the lawyers, further research and sometimes may involve an outing (e.g. we went to Gampaha last week to do a stamp duty transaction). Work day usually finishes by 4:30/5pm.

Travel back to Kandana; where afternoon tea is had around 5 or 5:30pm. Some free time/leisure time. The family is tennis-mad so plays every afternoon. Interns invited to play however I have not as I don’t know the first thing about tennis. Dinner is then at the main house about 7:30/8pm. Sometimes we will also have a chat with whoever might be around. Then evening bedtime. Overall the work environment (and Sri Lanka in general) is quite flexible and relaxed. Nothing is too strenuous and some things are open to change or negotiation.

Any other comments? (This will help us to maintain or improve the standard of our placements).
I found the placement to be very rewarding so far and I think it is well implemented. There is nothing glaringly obvious that should be changed. The family and lawyers are generous and easy to talk with (as are Sri Lankans in general) so there’s not really much that cannot be discussed as it arises.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

A legal internship in a world-renowned firm in Sri Lanka - an experience that will never be forgotten.

At the beginning, I learnt about the Sri Lankan constitution, history of the law, penal code and criminal procedure, among many other interesting aspects of their law. Although the law is relatively similar to the UK in most aspects, (Sri Lankan law is based on Roman Dutch Law since its independence from Portugal and the Dutch in 1948), the actual court scene is very different. I read somewhere the courts were like those described in the well known book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, and I agree. My visits to the bustling, humid and constant murmuring of the District Courts, Magistrates and High courts was highly intriguing, despite not understanding anything that was said as it was spoken in Sinhala! However, from what I saw and learnt, the settlement process of cheating and criminal misappropriation cases in the Magistrates Court is far quicker and more efficient than in England. During the hearing, a vast number of claimants and defendants stand in the courtroom and the judge calls each individual up, and the defendant hands over the compensation money there and then, and then the claim is settled. As a LLB Law graduate at Cardiff University, the long and costly delays of every court process were constantly shown as an increasing problem for access to justice.

During my second week, I had the rare opportunity of visiting the Supreme Court in Colombo, and met the Honorable Mohan Peiris Chief Justice. I also attended other courts elsewhere around Negombo. The Court of Appeal and Supreme Court here is all spoken in English, and evidently much more formal and quiet than the lower courts and more similar to the UK.

I enjoyed every aspect of this experience - from helping out within the firm, to learning about the history of the Sri Lankan law and systems...

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

As a non-law student planning to enter into a career in law after finishing university and gaining the relevant qualifications, the opportunity to undertake work experience at a law firm in Sri Lanka was a doubly enlightening experience. It allowed me to both gain a greater understanding of a career in law and working in a law office, and the specific laws that Sri Lanka itself is governed by.

From day one ... I was immersed in the Sri Lankan legal system. I was given copies of the Constitution, the Penal Code, and an overall breakdown of the structure of the legal system soon after arriving. As I progressed into my placement I was able to visit some of the various legal courts of Sri Lanka. These included the Magistrates Court, the District Court, and the High Court in Negombo. The visits were accompanied by some relevant literature on the criminal system and the courts, which broadened my understanding of what I was witnessing in the court rooms. As the court proceedings were in Singhalese, I relied upon this research and non-verbal cues in order to understand the events occurring before me. One aspect of these proceedings that I noticed was the speed at which each case was heard. Thus I was able to learn about how the law was enacted in both a law office and a court of law.

Throughout my time at the office, I was able to shadow the lawyers that worked there as they conducted their daily work, and work on law related projects of my own. One such project was an article I wrote comparing the environmental problems and policies of Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. This enabled me to research and write about issues that had come to my attention whilst in Sri Lanka. After a few days in Sri Lanka, I noticed an abundance of two things. The first was the amount of black smoke emanating from passing vehicles. The second were the various ‘Vehicle Emission (Eco Test)’ signs that were dotted along the main roads. After a brief discussion with the head lawyer at the firm ... regarding the environmental differences between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, it consolidated my interest in comparing the environmental issues of the two countries. Furthermore, I was provided with literature and research materials relating to my chosen project. This included the relevant Environmental Acts and Public Nuisance law.

At the office, there was a good combination of a ‘hands on-hands off’ approach with regards to my work experience there. I was given all the support that I needed, and various aspects of Sri Lankan law were personally explained to me by different staff members. I was also given the chance to conduct my own independent research of the law, and of course the law surrounding my aforementioned project. This allowed me to investigate areas of the law that I desired to learn more about after hearing mentions of them by the firm’s lawyers during our discussions. The office itself was a fun place to complete my placement at. It was constantly busy and exuded the constancy of work that would be expected of a successful law office. Thus, it gave me a good opportunity to witness the firm’s staff in action.

Overall I had a wonderful experience, which was improved by the friendly and helpful staff ... and by a broad and interesting itinerary during my time there.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

What experience do you feel you are gaining? As someone who didn't have experience in law before this has been really useful. I've learnt about Sri Lankan law but also compared it to English law and learnt many aspects which apply in the UK too. I have been to court most days too.

What is the best thing about your placement so far? The people are friendly - everyone at the law firm, and Sri Lankans in general.

Would you recommend this placement to anyone else? Yes.

What type of person do you think this placement would suit? Someone who is happy to adapt to living here for a while - it is nothing like the UK and you have to embrace it. Someone who is looking to travel after the placement as it is perfect location.

Can you describe a typical day? Start work at 8.30-8.45am, morning spent in court, lunch at the firm whenever I want to take it, afternoon I am usually given an area of law to read and research on or I am working on my newspaper article for the firm, leave around 4-4.30pm.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

I took part in the Law Placement in Sri Lanka, Negombo. I originally took part in the placement to help build up my CV and decided to go to Sri Lanka as all the places I applied to in the UK were not taking on students due to the recession.

I'm glad I did it as I loved every minute of the placement and would recommend it to others.

During the placement we would be taken to Court every morning for a few hours and have a real insight into Sri Lanka law. The Court cases were mostly in Sinhalese but the lawyers we worked with did often speak to the judge in English so we could understand what was going on.

When we were in the office, the lawyers all spoke in English and when the clients came in we would be invited to join them and the conversations between the client and lawyers would be in English. Throughout the afternoon we would be given Sri Lankan law books to read and study and compare to the English law we had already learnt. One of the lawyers would also sit with us and go through any Sri Lankan laws we were interested in and teach us the basics.

Throughout our placement we were given letters or documents to type up and on a few occasions we were taught how to draft a will and lease and then we were shown what the original should look like.

The placement was very helpful and made me realise that I want to further my career in law after my final year at University. For anyone who wants to go into a career in law and is looking for experience this is a good idea.

The placement also allows you to blend in with the culture in Sri Lanka. The staff there will organise any trips you want to go on and will do their very best to make sure you have the best time and experience the country. Sri Lanka is a very beautiful country and full of culture and lots of activities to do.

We went for 6 weeks and didn't get all the activities we planned in as there is just so much to do. We have made friends for life, both with other volunteers and the staff and will be returning hopefully next year.

This placement definitely exceeded my expectations, I can't recommend it highly enough, its been a life changing experience.

Law Work Experience Internship in Negombo

I had an amazing 8 weeks in Sri Lanka doing the Law Internship project and the Elephant Orphanage project. I met some incredible people both from Travellers and from the law firm who I will definitely stay in contact with.

I am even hoping to go travelling with someone I met in Sri Lanka next Summer. The law placement was extremely interesting, if a bit shocking at some points, I got a taste of the 'real' Sri Lanka from especially the lawyers who took me under their wing and invited me over for dinner, drinks and even a wedding!

It certainly wasn't always easy, there were interesting dishes served, mornings that I'd wake up with 30 new mosquito bites, 7 or 8 hour hot and stuffy van journeys, but in the end, all of these experience added together to make what was the best trip of my life! Thank you Travellers!