Interview by Yash Panchal
Mr. Subramanya Sirish Tamvada is currently serving as the Dean at IFIM Law College. After enrolling at the Bar Council of Delhi as a lawyer, Mr. Tamvada pursued his Masters in Global Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and University of Vienna, Austria as a recipient of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. His Master thesis on the role of the Security Council for protection of human rights was published in Germany.
Following this, Mr. Tamvada was awarded International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) Alumni Fund Scholarship at the American University Washington College of Law to pursue his Master in Laws (LL.M.) at the American University, Washington College of Law, USA where he was a Dean’s fellow specializing in International Business Law.
After returning from America in 2011, Mr. Tamvada practiced at the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Delhi. His academic interests inspired him to join the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) in 2012. At JGLS, Mr. Tamvada taught Indian Contract Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Legal Negotiations, and founded the Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution with the active support of the Vice-Chancellor of the University. He has organized several guest lectures, conferences, negotiation workshops and has trained students participating in arbitration moots, and negotiation and mediation competitions.
Mr. Tamvada’s experience in the education industry
I have been in the education industry for the past 8 years and it’s been a fantastic journey so far. In fact, it is the best industry to work in. India is in a growth phase at the moment. With Mr. Modi being the PM of India, the education industry is all set to grow to newer heights. UGC has recently allowed more autonomy to Indian Universities. This is set to tighten the competition. Additionally, technology is opening new avenues, especially in the field of analytics and AI (Artificial Intelligence). If speaking from a law school perspective, AI is going to take away the jobs of lawyers across the world only to create more opportunities. It’s a challenge and opportunity to us to bring in new ways to think about legal education. This is what excites me, “Ever Changing Times, New Opportunities Everytime”.
Mr. Tamvada on his leadership style
Everybody has their own style of leadership. A leader is one who ensures that everybody gets a sense of ownership and everyone contributes to the growth of the institution. I believe in teamwork and I am very glad to tell you that my team believes in the same philosophy. I believe in empowering each and every team member of mine. I ensure that I consult my faculty and students before taking decision-related to them. The democratic way of leadership is my philosophy and it’s my style of working.
Significant challenges faced by Mr. Tamvada as the Dean at IFIM Law College
There are a lot of challenges. The role of a Dean is very critical because students look up to you. They take you up as a role model. It is important that you play the role of a leader, teacher, mentor and a friend. It’s quite challenging because the amount of work pressure you have and you have to be the bridge between faculty, students, and management. It is a challenging atmosphere to work in. I think most of the challenges are taken off because I involve my team and people. In this process, I gain their trust and in return, they gain my trust. In the long run, the whole structure becomes smooth.
Curriculum of IFIM Law College
We follow Karnataka State Law University’s syllabus. In addition to that, we innovate and ensure that our course curriculum has great length and breadth. We just don’t teach basics but go into the depth of the subject material. Faculty ensures that they do a lot of research and reading before going to any class. We are highly dependent on technology. All our study material is uploaded on LMS (Learning Management System) and students are informed about the course material being used. They have access to journals, articles and case materials. We have a fantastic library equipped with books and e-resources. Additionally, we offer elective courses for enhanced learning such as Cyber Laws, International Laws, Law and Society and so on. We ensure that whatever is the current trend in the legal industry, we offer them as electives so that students stay up to date with legal knowledge.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at IFIM Law College
At IFIM Law college, students are just brilliant. At the time of admission, we ensure that we don’t compromise on the quality of students. We don’t run behind the mass, we run behind the quality and this has been IFIM standard. The kind of students we take are amongst the best. We have a placement office which ensures students’ interest is matched with their aspirations. Another aspect that is aligned with placement is that we nurture students holistically. We try to align students’ purpose in life, connect them to the right mentor who can guide them and help them attain their career target. We have achieved 100% internship and placement from last three to four cycles. All credit goes to the faculty and the Outreach, Placement, and Internship committee that help students achieve those milestones.
Mr. Tamvada’s relation with the students and availability for them
Being the Dean, I play different roles. I cater to the role of a local guardian and also play the role of an academician. The students rely on me to sort out their problems with respect to their academics and careers. The students bank on us and we live up to their expectation.
Ideal school environment as per Mr. Tamvada
An ideal school environment is a place where a student can thrive. A student should understand what skills he wants to possess, what are is his interests and should be in a position to leverage his skills whenever required. One of our teams has recently won parliament debate, in Gujarat in all India Parliamentary Debate competition organized by Nirma University, Gujarat. Another team was semi-finalists in the Karnataka State Law University International Law Moot. Through moot court, we infuse litigation skills into our students. In order to get an ideal environment, we indulge students in a lot of activities, both co-curricular and extra-curricular to get the best out of them. It is an inclusive society we live in and I believe in it.
Mr. Tamvada on the top qualities that an aspiring Lawyer must possess
A lawyer is a lawyer at the end of the day. The day he gets his degree, he is a lawyer. He doesn’t have to look for his job. He can find a client and defend and fight for him in a court of law. However, a Lawyer should possess certain qualities to excel. A lawyer should have excellent research skills, analytical skills, and communication skills. He/she should be hardworking and have a lot of patience.
Goals in mind for IFIM Law College
Well, it is not only my goal. It is a collective goal of the management and faulty. In few years, we would be in the top 5 Law Schools in India. I am, however, very much certain that we will be No. 1 in India soon.
Suggestions to the current youth
They should always believe in their heart. “Follow your heart and the world will do everything to get you to your path”.