Report No. 184
Adjunct Teachers from the Bar & Bench
7. One of the important recommendations of the Mac Crate Report relates to the need not only for permanent full time faculty but also to "make appropriate use of skilled and experienced practicing lawyers and Judges in professional skills", and receive guidance, from part-time adjunct teachers drawn from practicing lawyers and retired Judges.
7.1 The Report also refers to 'apprentice programmes'. From the time-old method of 'lectures', the Langdel's 'case method', and Prof Llewellyn and Judge Jerome Frank's 'problem method', we have now reached the new method of training the students in various 'skills and values' with the help of faculty and the 'adjunct faculty' of practicing lawyers and judges, as advocated in the Mac Crate Report.
7.2 Andre Thomas Starkis and others refer in 'Meeting the Mac Crate objectives (affordably): Massachusetts Law School: (Vol. 48) Journal of Legal Education (1998) at p. 231 to a combination of faculty, lawyers and judges, as follows: (p. 231)
"The Mac Crate Report challenged the traditionalist's view of legal education because it proceeded from the premises that preparing law students to practice law is the business of law schools....
Massachusetts Law School (MSL) has accomplished this. The keys have been a heavy reliance on practitioners and judges to teach, a small full time faculty that not only teaches but mentors a permanent group of adjuncts, a shared commitment to teaching."
and at p. 232:
"With the exception of faculty members who founded MSL some ten years ago, all but one of the full time faculty were recruited from the ranks of the schools' adjuncts. At present nearly half of all course hours each year are taught by adjuncts drawn from the ranks of working lawyers and judges."
7.3 The reason why lawyers and judges are actively involved in so far as the teaching of law schools is stated as follows:
"The school's view is that, although teaching involves a different
(but not entirely distinct) set of skills from lawyering or adjudication, those with relevant experience are far better teachers on the whole than those whose knowledge is largely academic."
7.4 The Massachusetts view is that 'reliance on adjuncts provides depth and benefit to the curriculum at a relatively low cost. To hire full time faculty with as much knowledge and experience (as lawyers and judges) would be very expensive. They say that
"And there is no need to fit square-peg faculty into round-hole courses."
7.5 In several laws schools in US, between 20% to 40% of the credit hours are allocated to the adjuncts, that is the practising lawyers and judges.
Prof. Jonathan Rose of Arizona University in his article 'The Mac Crate Reports' Restatement of Legal Education (Vol. 44) (1994) Journal of Legal Education 548 says (at p. 559):
"The report does recognize that law schools cannot produce mastery (of skills) without some help from the bar"
He again says at p. 564:
"Many academics lack the interest, even if they have the competence, to devote a large portion of their professional life to skills training. Part of the Explanation lies in traditional academic hiring standards and promotion and tenure culture."
7.6 Donald J. Weidmen in his article "The Crisis of Legal Education, a wake-up call for faculty" (Vol. 47) (1997) Journal of Legal Education p. 92 says:
"There are equally important questions about the appropriate admixture of faculty scholarship and whether too much of it is directed only towards often academics."
and refers to Graham C. Lilly "Law Schools without Lawyers? Winds of change in Legal Education" 81 Va L Rev p 1921 (1995) and to Harry T. Edward's article "The Growing Disjunction between Legal Education and the Legal Profession" 91 Mich. L Rev 34 (1992) and says at p. 103
"Because of the tremendous gap between academic lawyers and practicing lawyers, an affirmative action program to integrate law faculties into the profession will be required. Most schools bring in a significant number of Judges and practicing attorneys as adjunct teachers, guest lecturers, and advisers to students. The problem at many law schools is that the faculty don't get out enough. Schools should work with bench, the bar and government agencies to have professors in residence, faculty as speakers, faculty team teaching with the bench and the bar, and so forth."
and laments that there is far little communication between legal academics and members of the practising bar. He thinks it is imperative that more faculty take interest with the bench and bar.
7.7 Prof. Eleanor W. Myers in her "Teaching Good and Teaching Well: Integrating Values with Theory and Practice" (Vol. 47) (1997) Journal of Legal Education p. 401 (at p. 407) says:
"The adjunct teachers teach the skills aspects of the simulations and provide feedback on the weekly written work. We choose the adjunct faculty from a variety of practice setting.- urban, suburban, outside and inside counsel,.
Our adjunct faculty are indispensable. They provide a 'realness' to the program by bringing fresh and concrete examples from their practice. They lend credibility to the problems when they tell the students that these things actually happen and lawyers actually deal with them. Their presence, in an explicit and articulated partnership with us faculty, bridges the so called "gap" or "disjunction" between the law school and practice more effectively than any other model we have encountered.
The adjunct teachers follow the prescribed curriculum, which includes assigned readings as skills development and weekly written assignments. They spend most of their classroom time commenting on students' performance and giving practical advice. We arrange for the adjuncts to be trained in the National Institute of Trial Advocacy method of giving feedbac.- a four-part formul.- that focuses on one aspect of the performance and gives examples of ways to improve it....
The full-time teachers regularly observe the skill sections, to monitor both the students' and the adjuncts' performance. Every semester, all the students evaluate the adjunct faculty, using a form specifically designed for adjuncts teaching skills courses."
7.8 Prof. Deborah Jones Merrit in her article "New Course Offering in the Upper Level Curriculum: Report of an AALS Survey (Vol. 47) (1997) Journal of Legal Education p. 524 (at p. 546) says:
"Adjuncts taught a significantly higher percentage of litigatio.- related courses (42.2 %) , the new courses (31.1 %).... Tenure-track faculty seemed to teach a somewhat smaller percentage of litigation classes (48.6 %) than other new courses (55.9 %)."
and at p. 550
"Adjuncts taught a particularly high percentage (53.2%) of lawyers courses. Tenure-track faculty, on the other hand, were significantly less likely to teach lawyers courses (43%) than other new offerings (56%)."
7.9 From the above views expressed by leading academicians, it is clear that if various types of 'legal skills' programs are proposed to be introduced into the curriculum, it becomes necessary to introduce an 'adjunct faculty' consisting of "lawyers and Judges" on the teaching side into the faculty on a part time basis.
7.10 As at present, there does not appear to be such a system. In the last several decades, there was the system of leading lawyers taking up classes part-time in the evening or morning Law colleges or even day time regular classes. In fact, very distinguished lawyers who later became Judges of the 75 High Court or Supreme Court or became senior counsel in the High Courts or Supreme Court, have rendered yeoman service as part-time lecturers. That system has practically been discontinued with the abolition of morning or evening colleges or part-time courses.
7.11 Taking into account the experience in USA and also the reality that will obtain in law schools once the 'legal skills' subjects are proposed to be introduced in the curriculum, it becomes necessary for the Bar Council of India to seriously consider this option and have a rethinking in the matter of permitting lawyers and retired judges to become part of an 'adjunct faculty' so far as the teaching of legal skills is concerned. The Commission is of the view that there is an overwhelming need to reintroduce lawyers and retired Judges to take up classes in the 'practical skills' as part of the curriculum.
7.12 We, therefore, recommend amendment of clause (h) in section 7(1) enabling the Bar Council of India to lay down procedure and conditions for appointment of Adjunct teachers who are to be appointed from among members of the Bar and the retired Judges. This has to be done in consultation with the State Bar Councils and the Legal Education Committee of the Bar Council of India and the Legal Education Committee of the UGC.