Stu was part of an international team that traveled to Zambia to teach a week-long course on legal writing and analysis to undergraduate students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) School of Law. During the week, Stu’s gregarious manner was a key factor in establishing a good rapport with the students and encouraging a lively, interactive exchange of ideas. This is the fourth year New Perimeter has delivered the course at the law school in collaboration with our affiliate firm, Chibesakunda & Co. Advocates, and firm client Boehringer Ingelheim (BI).
What was the most fulfilling aspect of the work?
Direct, animated engagement with the students. On Day One, we had barely a handful of volunteers respond to questions; by the end of the week, almost everyone in class had "found their voice", to at least some degree, unafraid to ask questions, debating the policy rationale behind a specific piece of legislation or the Court's reasoning behind a particular decision. Nothing signals attentiveness and intellectual curiosity better to a lecturer than to be challenged by the audience.
I greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to work and speak directly with so many of the students, in class and over our lunch breaks. All of our faculty members commented on the students' depth of preparation for class, their gratitude and enthusiasm at participating in these lectures. Very few have had the opportunity to travel very far from home, let alone outside Zambia; given the chance to talk with people from overseas, many students were delighted to talk about the world and life outside Africa, their personal hopes and ambitions, and their hopes for the advancement of business and society in Zambia. It was a wonderful privilege for the few of us selected to make this trip, to interact with some of the brightest young minds in the country. It is exciting to think that, whatever use they may choose to make of their training, the intellectual rigors of the study of law and the power of reasoning are such that at least some of our UNZA students are destined to be leaders someday, in Zambian business, government or the judiciary.
What inspired you during the project?
My week at UNZA was punctuated by many inspiring moments, most memorably in the form of an address given at the Closing Ceremony by Doris Tembwe, a graduate of UNZA Law and now Head of Legal and Company Secretary with Stanbic Bank, one of Africa’s largest multinational banking groups. Growing up without the benefit of wealth or privilege, Doris became self-reliant at an early age, taking advantage of every opportunity to advance her life and that of her family, through education and years of conscientious work in every role she was given. Confident, outspoken and uproariously funny, she exuded the pure joy that only personal and professional fulfillment can provide. Doris’ irrepressible spirit, lively delivery and message on the power of self-determination made a lasting impression on everyone in the room; her voyage and encouragement of the students were the perfect, uplifting note on which to close the week.
One word to describe your New Perimeter trip?
We all knew before going that, for all of our months of preparation and excitement, it would be over much too quickly. From the moment we first met our fellow faculty members at the hotel, to the winding-up ceremony and farewells at the University six days later, our time flew by. Our lectures were invariably well attended, the students reliably on time, and still alert at the end of our long days in the classroom.
Despite it being over so very quickly, the memories of my exchanges with the students and our faculty members, and my gratitude to New Perimeter for the opportunity to participate in this program, will remain with me always. Given the chance to return someday, I would be there, in-a-flash!
It was a wonderful privilege for the few of us selected to make this trip, to interact with some of the brightest young minds in the country. It is exciting to think that, whatever use they may choose to make of their training, the intellectual rigors of the study of law and the power of reasoning are such that at least some of our UNZA students are destined to be leaders someday, in Zambian business, government or the judiciary.”
Sound Legal Institutions
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Project NameTeaching at the University of Zambia School of Law