When One Teaches, Two Learn

There is a Zen proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Law students at the Zambia Institute For Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) were more than ready when a baker’s dozen lawyers from DLA Piper and General Electric (GE) arrived for a week-long seminar in February in legal drafting. I was privileged to be one of those visiting teachers: a familiar role given my years of teaching as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

There are 239 students studying for the bar at ZIALE. For a week our team taught six-hour courses each day as the student body rotated through a sophisticated curriculum: Principles of Effective Writing and Drafting; Negotiating and Drafting Dispute Resolution Clauses; Drafting African LMA Loan Documents; Drafting Sale and Purchase Agreements; and Drafting Joint Venture Agreements.

Rowan Aspinwall of DLA Piper’s London office described the students’ enthusiastic reaction perfectly when he commented, “Crikey, I feel like a rock star.”

These students are world class, not only in their intensity, enthusiasm and readiness to learn, but also in their talent.

New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s global pro bono initiative, organized and orchestrated this matching of ZIALE students with lawyers from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Torino, Johannesburg, Chicago, and Los Angeles because  “when one teaches, two learn.”