In this article, Raghav Ajmera of Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College, Pune discusses how to become a law professor in India.
To know what to do and what to become in your life, the basic step is to know yourself. Knowing yourself will help you in determining your areas of interest. A person works throughout his/her life just to achieve his/her future goals or to have a stable and successful career. Career planning is just like a chess game where you have to think before moving. Each and every step is important. Career planning can guide you into what you want to do with your life and when you have planned about what to do then start preparing for it as soon as possible because more the knowledge more it gives benefits.
Career and Career Planning
When a person takes up an occupation or profession in his/her life for a significant period of time, with having opportunities for life. Career reflects yourself with respect to what your likes and dislikes are.
Career planning is the combination of organised planning and active management. Career planning is a four step planning process :
- Knowing yourself
The phrase knowing yourself means where you are now, where you want to be, what are your areas of interest. After learning this you would be able to know where you want yourself to be.
- Finding out
Once you have the idea about yourself that what are your areas of interest then you can easily find out what sort of occupational preferences you would be having.
- Making decisions
After assessing yourself and finding out what kind of occupations would be suitable to you, the next step come is decision making that is choosing the right option which is perfectly suitable to you.
- Taking decision
The next and final step of career planning is to take a final decision. After making all the decisions, make your plan put into action. Gather all the knowledge and skills you have regarding your interest and start preparing from the day itself.
Law as a career
A career in law may be challenging and personally fulfilling. In the earlier time law was a kind of family profession people have been following since generations in the same family but today the pattern is different. There are different perks of being a lawyer or choosing law as a profession. Teaching is a noble profession. Teaching the law field is not an easy job. To be a teacher in the subject of law you need to be very well versed with the constitution of India. The legal industry is expanding. Working in a law field requires attention to every small detail and hard work.
Law field doesn’t only mean doing litigation or being a judge. You can be a corporate lawyer, a law teacher or professor, high street solicitors. To succeed in the legal field you need to very logical, precise, descriptive, energetic, good oral skills and writing skills.
Teaching as a career
Being a teacher is not an easy task. Teacher is the person who teaches you what is good and what is bad. Like a candle in the absence of light gives us brightness the same way teacher in the career of a student shows them path. There are many qualities of a teacher which make them great and some of them are :
Shapes the lives of young people
Teacher is an important person in a student’s life. Whatever he does or he learns, he learns either from his parents or the teacher. Teacher has been an inspirational source to every human being. Every human being knows the value and importance of teacher. The main benefit of working as a teacher is that you are in the will to positively influence other’s mind in such a way that it will work accordingly to your positive mind. The person in the dominating position will follow you. This will help in shaping the lives of the youth.
Tradition and innovation
As a teacher you start to value both tradition and innovation. As a teacher you can innovate new things and possibilities and solve the issues around. The learning process is never ending.
Be a part of a challenging and rewarding profession
Seeing a student learning is not less than a reward and to make them understand about whatever you are teaching is not less than a challenge. Teacher throughout the world is shaping the students to become a bright one. A teacher’s teaching may make you a good human being and as every teacher says that there is no greater moment than seeing a student’s ‘Light Bulb Moment’.
Globally transferable and recognisable skills
The best thing any teacher has is their skills. The skills of teaching other people because teaching is an art as explaining someone something is not what anyone can do. It requires a good narrative skills and problem solving skills. The Australian teachers are in high demand across the globe. You cannot go and motivate anyone as easily as the teacher do.
A career in teaching law
Teaching law is not an easy object. Getting a job of a teacher to teach law is also not easy. To get a job as a teacher you need to be very brilliant, smart and bright. The law teaching is an attractive career with a handsome salary. May be this is because of getting good level of satisfaction as a teacher more than a lawyer. Teaching anyone is a good thing because to teach someone you yourself need to learn something and it makes your knowledge more stronger giving you more level of satisfaction. It also helps you in interaction with the new generation which will help you in learning new ways and techniques also the question raised by them which never occurred to you in the process of learning. A teacher plays an important part in spreading legal education in country.
How to find a good job?
Once every teacher was a student. To find a good job you need to find a big institution which may help you in recruiting. To get a good job you need to have a strong cv which one may make it strong in the college times by writing articles, editorials, participating in the moots, the debate competition, the seminars which will help in improving the speaking as well as the writing skills of any individual.
Right time to apply for law teaching job
Individuals who try to apply for the law teaching job having experience as a judicial clerkship are usually successful in getting the job. However people usually prefer to choose a law teaching job when they are done with paying their loan of law school. Getting a teaching job is not easy as it seems. Take an experience of 2 or 3 years of practice which is valuable but not more than that. Experience is a must thing to get any job.
How to become a law teacher
In order to be a law teacher you need to become a graduate first by enrolling yourself in an undergraduate course which may be a bachelor of art B.A. or bachelor of science B.sc. After which you should complete accredited law school program and earn a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree. Also during the law school you must participate in the several programs and activities which will help you in enhancing your skills. Next step is to pass the bar examination in whichever state you need to practice law. After which you’ll be appointed. Also a law teacher is a mentor which helps the law students how to excel in their career.
To become a law professor you need to enroll in an undergraduate degree program. To be enrolled in the program the basic need is to have a proper education.
Choosing the course of study
While attending the college you must specialise a subject according to your area of interest. Choosing your course will help you in the future to become a teacher.
Teaching at government school
Students teaching internship program are very necessary for the student who is planning to have a career in teaching.The program of student teaching internship is for an entire school year. The intern is employed as a full time teacher who receives a salary plus benefits, and a mentor teacher from the school is provided to help observe, coach, and evaluate the intern. Students who are selected in the program gets a benefit of learning the skills of teacher so that it would help in future.
Teaching at law centers like Career launcher
This will help a lot to any person who is planning to have a career in teaching. This would be an addition to the CV. Teaching and teaching will give you lot and lot of experience.
LLM – Where to pursue from?
If you are planning to study LLM then you may get confused from where to pursue it both India and abroad is a good option. As we all know India is famous for its education program and its quality. India has following institution which can help you in doing LLM :
- National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore
- Acharya Nagarjuna University, Mumbai
- ILS Law College – Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Pune
- University of Mumbai – Department of Law, Mumbai
- Sharda University, Greater Noida
If planning to do it from abroad, it will cost you very much as it would be very expensive. Some of the good abroad institution are as follows :
- Harvard Law school
- Oxford University
- University of cambridge
- Yale Law school
- Melbourne Law school
- University of Chicago Law school
How should one plan for cracking the UGC NET, Ph.D.
Know yourself and the study material
- Note down your syllabus
- Refer good books
- Prepare notes
- Try to teach someone
- Time management (Before exams and during exams)
Criteria for recruitment as a law teacher in private institution
To be a law teacher you need to be eligible enough to be recruited. Every post has a eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria to be appointed for the post of law professor are as follows :
Assistant professor of (Law) – The academic record of the candidate should be good with atleast 55% marks in the LL.M. Degree. The national eligibility test (NET) is mandatory to be cleared. The test is conducted by the CSIR, UGC.
The candidates who have been awarded the Ph.D. degree is exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET. For the direct appointment of professors a Ph.D. degree is a mandatory qualification.
Requirement in NLUs
Professor of law
- A scholar with a Ph.D. degree concerning the law subject to teach.
- A minimum of 10 year teaching experience in universities/College.
- A minimum score in Academic Performance Indicator based Performance Based Appraisal System (PBAS) of UGC.
Associate professor of law
- A scholar with a Ph.D. degree in the concerned subject of law
- A master degree in law with atleast 55% from any recognised university.
- A minimum of 8 years of experience as an assistant professor in any university/college.
- Contribution to educational innovation, design of new courses and curriculum.
Assistant professor of law
- A master degree in law with at least 55% from any Indian university or an equivalent foreign university.
- Minimum 4 years experience as an assistant professor with a Ph.D. degree.
Should law teachers be allowed to practice?
This has been a debatable question from years and yet no remarkable statement has been made regarding the same. There are several arguments which oppose and support the statement. The one group argues that the teacher practicing with teaching would not be able to teach perfectly as they would not be comfortable and the other groups says in support that they should be allowed to practice as they will provide qualitative and practical knowledge to the students. It is also mentioned that if the law teachers are not allowed to practice then they should be allowed to open a legal clinic or become a legal advisor to carry out some other work with the teaching.