Interview with P. S. Seema, Asst. Professor, School of Legal Studies, CUSAT
Asst. Prof. P.S. Seema shares her own background, her thoughts about the institution and her career as a teacher and also gives us insight on one of the major problem with the present generation students.
- Thank you madam, for taking the time to answer my questions. Tell me a few words about yourself.
I received my LL.B. from Govt. Law College, Ernakulam and LL.M from SLS, Cusat. I joined here as Asst. Professor in the year 2000. Back then I used to teach the LL.M students Human Rights and now I teach Criminal law as well.
- Why did you choose this profession? Are you Satisfied with your career?
I always wanted to be a teacher though I was not particular that I should teach law. Teaching was my ambition and I am indeed satisfied with my career probably because my students never caused me any trouble. They were all loving and perhaps they liked me more than I did.
- Please share your teaching experience in SLS. Did you face any difficulties?
It has been 15 years since I started teaching in SLS. When I joined here I had to teach HR which I was not thorough with, giving me a tough time. But then I had a great batch of 10 students who were all intelligent. And I had to work hard in order to answer their questions. In the coming batches I introduced different innovative teaching methods. I made them to do drama on ‘History of International and Humanitarian Law’ which is supposed to be one of the most monotonous subjects. They gave it a new dimension and surprised me.
Most of my students still keep in touch. Every year they surprise me with presents and I give them farewell parties. I never had a tough time with them. May be they had.
- Who is your role model in life and in your career?
In life as well as in career my role model is Osho. He is a voracious reader and a teacher as well. As a law teacher, I follow Prof. K. N. Chandrasekharan Pillai. He used to be harsh and was never lenient and now I realize why he used to pressurize us because students never use their full potential unless they are under pressure.
- So do you think professors should be friendly with the students? Where do you draw the line?
Of course, students should free to speak out even when the teacher is wrong. They should be able to share a personal problem they are having but the idea is not to create an impression that this teacher can be played with. At the same time a teacher must be accessible.
- Do you think practical experience as a lawyer will help law faculties?
Yes, but many of us lack that. Even one or two years of practicing won’t help. While teaching provisions especially of C.P.C., Cr.P.C., Evidence etc, if the teacher is practically experienced, it will help the students get a real picture of what happens inside the court.
- What do you say about the success level of Post Graduates from SLS?
Post graduates from SLS excelled in their field say 10 years back. But over the years I have seen a decline in the success levels. Back then the student’s intention were to get in depth knowledge in the subject. They used to research thoroughly. Nowadays their intention is to pass out with a degree certificate. As years passed by, I saw a decline in their enthusiasm. There were instances of copy pasting even for their assigned subjects. However, we are trying to bring the glory back.
- Do SLS create more Professors than Lawyers?
The current trend shows that students from SLS are more into LPO’s, though some of them come back as teachers. Only a very few percentage has came out as lawyers. If we take the PG students of SLS, above 90% of them are girls. This could be the probable reason behind this.
- What message would you like to give to the law students?
It is our duty to be true to the role we play. As law students you should do justice and for that you have to be a devoted student of law. It requires thorough research. As I said, the students in my first batch did that and had independent answers. They read the originals. They never copied from the internet. So dear students, never go for shortcuts. Be true to yourself and develop this quality and it will help you in all spheres of life.
Interviewed By: Anila Umesh, Campus Associate Legal Desire
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