Experts & Views
Law schools are producing law firm associates, corporate lawyers, litigating lawyers, social workers and what not. There are so many fields that are now open to law students. Sometimes I wonder if the reason for low recruitment figures in some of the good colleges is because people over estimate themselves and do not take up jobs that don't pay as much as they think they are worth. Well, that's a different thing.
One thing that I don't understand is why does no one want to become a law school faculty?!
Go to any law school's first year classroom. Ask them what do they want to become when they leave law school. If you are lucky then one student per class will say he/she wants to join academics. That is a very low percentage of students willing to mentor future law students.
We always complain about how the teachers in a lot of law schools are 'incompetent'. It is similar to us blaming politicians of being bad. If good people don't want to join the field, bad people will. It's as simple as that. You can't complain about something that you are not doing anything to improve.
Why not become a faculty?
There is decent salary. Pretty long vacations. Normal working hours and job security. What more can you ask for?
Nowadays, a lot of universities have stopped the system of directing the faculties on how to conduct their classes. There is a lot of freedom in terms of deciding the course and teaching methodology. There is so much scope for creativity. Teaching is not a monotonous job. It is definitely not easy. I have taken a few classes in my University and I know that it takes a lot of time and energy to prepare for a single class.
It is a very exciting profession but is still not popular. Why?
Have teachers stopped commanding respect due to the advent of technology and the easier availability of information? Is the freedom given to a teacher a myth? Has it become just about money?
I have seen a lot of informal teaching done by a lot of students. I have been taught by my batch mates before exams. They also learn new things when we ask questions. Also, the feeling you get when someone comes up to you and tells you that the things you taught him/her helped him/her is something amazing.
If you encounter a problem, do something about it. Stop cribbing about teachers when no one wants to become one. Stop complaining about the quality of teaching. It's not an easy thing to do. Try it once and you'll realize it.
P.S. : This is more of a rant than a blog. Bear with me.
P.P.S: If you are looking for a place where you can start, do check out the Teach for India Fellowship