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Law School Insights: The Faculty Special (Who has the best faculty?)
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Law School Insights: The Faculty Special (Who has the best faculty?)

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“We need better faculty”

If there were one sentiment that was expressed in every single law school visited, this would be it. In fact, Most law students treat this as a truism.

But is it true? Is there any factual basis on which this statement rests? Or has it become the truth by mere repetition? The answer to this may be found in this Law School Insights report. 

Started last year, LSI pieces analyse certain, specific aspects of Indian law schools. Our first piece focused on recruitments from nine institutes in 2014, then we did an analysis of the recruitments from five institutes over a 3-year period.

This one is on faculty profiles at twenty-one law schools across the country. We hope to follow it up with reports on the physical infrastructure, evaluation methods and other facets of these “islands of excellence”.

So, what are the parameters we have used to rate a particular institute’s faculty?

Well, there are four of them – the number of PhD’s, the number of Professors, the student-teacher ratio, and the gender ratio within the faculty of a particular institute. And for each of these parameters we have stated the equivalent number or ratio for Harvard Law School. The idea behind this was to guage how close these “Harvards of the East” are to the real deal.

Before getting into the contents of the report, there are two important things that need to be pointed out. One, there is a definite lack of data. Right from work experience to publications, and even educational qualifications, the inconsistent data renders an accurate analysis impossible. At best, the data allows for an approximation. Two, and this is vital, the fact of the matter is that age, degrees and publications may have little to do with how “good” a teacher is.  The “best” teachers may very well lack fancy degrees, or years of teaching behind them.

Nonetheless, the LSI report is a step in, what we believe to be, the right direction.

The following institutes have been included in this report, with data sourced from the particular institute’s website.

– CNLU, Patna

– DSNLU, Vizag

– HNLU, Raipur

– JGLS, Sonipat

– KLS, Bhubaneshwar

– NALSAR, Hyderabad

– NIRMA Institute of Law, Ahmedabad

– NLIU, Bhopal

– NLSIU, Bangalore

– NLU, Delhi

– NLU, Jodhpur

– NLUJAA, Guwahati

– NUJS, Kolkata

– NUSRL, Ranchi

– RGNUL, Patiala

– TNNLS, Trichy

– VMS, Panjim

Excerpts from the report below:

Percentage of faculty with PhD’s

A whopping 85% of CNLU Patna’s teachers are PhD holders. Another surprise is NUSRL Ranchi in third, with 12 of their 19-strong faculty holding PhDs. Of course, this has to be seen in context with the faculty size. Nirma University’s Institute of Law has the least percentage of PhD holders among their faculty, with only 11 of their 38 teachers being doctorate holders. NLUJA Assam and VM Salgaocar are in the list mostly because of the low number of their faculty strength of nine each.  The name that stands out, of course, is NUJS, with only 10 PhD holders out of 29 teachers.

Gender Ratio

RGNUL has the best faculty gender ratio, with more female teachers than male. The faculty at HNLU and JGLS maintain a healthy balance, nearing the 50% mark, while both KLS and NLU-J are equally close to achieving gender parity.

At the very bottom of the list is CNLU Patna, a law university that has only 2 women teachers out of 20; definitely something to consider. What is also interesting about this table is the fact that the 4 oldest national law universities all make it to the list. Of course, Harvard Law School with 3.44 male teachers to every female one, would slot in just above CNLU Patna in this list, so perhaps this is something that is an inherent part of legal academia. 

It is a statistic that screams out for more research. Like the legal profession, are there any specific reasons behind these low numbers? 

The full report may be purchased here. All premium subscribers will be receiving a complimentary copy of the report. In case you have not received your copy by March 26, 2015 please write to us at info@barandbench.com

We would like to thank Apurva Vishwanath for her assistance in data compilation and analysis.