FAQs | On Delivering Electives at NLSIU

Here are some FAQs that will help you gain a better understanding of the electives courses and the process for applying to teach these courses. In addition to the courses taught by our full-time faculty, elective courses at NLSIU are designed to facilitate classroom teaching by visiting faculty, including practitioners with significant experience in the field.

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Who can teach an elective course?

Anyone who is  desirous of teaching an elective course at NLSIU  must invariably possess a graduate and post-graduate degree in law or the Social Sciences. In lieu of a postgraduate degree, one should alternatively have at least 7-10 years of post-qualification experience in practice. Preference will be accorded to individuals who have published widely in their fields of expertise, and possess work experience of 3 years or more after completion of their postgraduate degrees.

We recommend that interested persons should obtain the necessary permission from their employer or the government (wherever applicable) before they submit their application.

What are the next steps once I submit my application?

All applications to teach electives are evaluated by the Academic Review Committee (ARC) at NLSIU for viability, academic merit and professional utility of the proposed course. We try to offer a range of courses in any given term, to give students the choice to further areas of interest. The selection process is competitive and the Committee shortlists a limited number of courses to be offered to students. The ARC may wish to discuss suggestions or comments on your course plan, including the mode of evaluation or curriculum design. In general, we provide faculty teaching elective courses assistance in curriculum design, to tailor their experience to pedagogical methods.

Students are offered this set of shortlisted courses prior to the start of the trimester, and course allocation is completed based on student preference and seat availability. An elective course usually has between 10-30 students. An elective course is confirmed only when a minimum number of students, as determined by the University, subscribe for the course. 

When will I know if my course has been selected? When will the course timetable be finalised?

The Academic Review Committee will approve the Electives courses before the start of the trimester. After this, students will sign up for the course. If your course is part of the final allocation based on student subscriptions, the University will confirm your appointment as visiting faculty in writing. Simultaneously, the team from the Academic Administration Department will reach out to confirm your preferred teaching days and time as they plan the timetable.

What is the course outline that I need to submit?

The ARC evaluates your proposal based on the course outline. The outline should cover your objectives, the course layout (including a session-wise lesson plan and readings list), pedagogical methods and overall approach to the course. The outline has to be submitted in our prescribed template. The course templates for the full term elective and the clinical elective course can be accessed on the form. The template also assists practitioners through the curriculum design and pedagogical methods.

Will I have to be on campus for the classes?

All classes of Full-Term Elective courses shall be conducted in-person on campus and an instructor teaching a full-term elective course shall have to be on campus for the classes.

Is this a paid engagement?

Yes, we pay an honorarium to the visiting faculty. The University will reimburse one-time domestic economy-class airfare, to-and-fro from Bengaluru for the faculty. In case a course is co-taught, then flight tickets of only one faculty member will be reimbursed.

Can I stay on campus while I teach?

Accommodation on campus will be provided by the University for visiting faculty members teaching the course up to 5 days. If the faculty wants to extend the duration of their stay, the accommodation will be provided on a chargeable basis, at the prevailing rates, subject to availability.

The University will not be able to provide accommodation for the visiting faculty members for the entire duration of the trimester.

How much time do I need to commit?

The course requires 40 hours of classroom engagement, and from our experience, preparing for class, informal interaction outside class, oral examinations and evaluations takes approximately 40-50 hours on top of this. This time can vary a fair bit depending on your prior experience, pedagogical methods and evaluation methods. You will have flexibility in scheduling your interactions over the course of the trimester. If your proposal includes fieldwork, this number may increase. Please budget in time for your commute to campus too. Lastly, some new teachers have found that they have underestimated the time it takes to check answer sheets and essays/response papers.

Does an elective course have to be related to the law?

The University seeks to introduce students to law and its intersection with other disciplines – literature, philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, and history, among others. Therefore, based on relevance and potential student-interest, the Academic Review Committee (ARC) does approve inter-disciplinary elective courses beyond the field of law. For example, the ARC has approved in the past courses as diverse as ‘Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century’ and ‘Culture, Ecology and Politics’ to ‘City Making: Negotiating Built Environments’, ‘Violence and Non-Violence’ and ‘An Introduction to the Political Thought of Shri Aurobindo’.


Who will I be teaching?

The class for an elective course would comprise 10-30 students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of the 5-year-BA LLB (Hons) programme, 2nd and 3rd year students of the 3-year-LL.B (Hons.) programme and from the one-year LLM programme. Selected courses are cross-listed for the Master’s Programme in Public Policy (MPP), in which case the class will also include MPP  students.

I plan to offer a specialised course which requires prior knowledge of the law. Can I restrict my course to final year/ LLM students?

We appreciate that certain courses will develop on a prior course and prerequisites may be relevant for the student to meaningfully participate in your course. We are happy to discuss this while evaluating your proposal. Please indicate your preferences and reasons for restricting the course offer in the ‘Any other information’ section of your course outline.

Can I offer the course to students of the Master’s Programme in Public Policy?

Owing to the smaller class size and specialist nature, elective courses typically are offered to the senior BA LLB (Hons), LLB (Hons), and LLM students. On a case-by-case basis, we may find your proposal a good fit with the MPP programme as well. In that case, we will reach out to you to confirm if you would like to offer the course to students of the Master’s Programme in Public Policy as part of the same class.


I will be teaching alongside my full-time job; is there any flexibility on class timings?

A majority of our visiting faculty teach in conjunction with their full-time work commitments, whether court-based practice or otherwise. Classes are held between 8.50 hours and 19.10 hours on weekdays. Our morning and evening class slots typically allow faculty to fit in other commitments.

Can more than one faculty member co-teach the course?

Yes. We recommend that the course is co-taught by no more than 2 faculty members. In exceptional cases, we may allow up to 3 faculty members (visiting or full-time) to co-teach. Each faculty member must independently fulfill the eligibility criteria to teach. Where the course has one or more co-teachers, one identified faculty member has to teach at least 50% of class hours and anchor the course.

Are guest lectures permitted?

Not more than 10% of the classes should be taught through guest lecturers.


Do I have to follow a standard evaluation pattern?

A course is evaluated for a total of 100 marks. The following components may be considered in arriving at the evaluation pattern:

(1) Class Participation: Consider not assigning more than 10 marks

(2) Term Paper Submission: This is a research paper of around 5000 words. Since students will be writing the paper over a period of 8-10 weeks, it is ideal that there are identified submissions during this process, such as

  • An abstract
  • An Outline of the paper
  • A Preliminary Draft
  • Final Draft

(3) Viva/Presentation of the Research/Term Paper

(4) Response Paper: Response papers require students to reflect on readings assigned to them for class/reflect on class discussions or questions posed by the instructor.

(5) End Term examination: It is always useful to test the student’s understanding of breadth of the course. This can be done through a written examination at the end of the term. Response papers, Moot Court exercises, or any other method of evaluation of breadth of the course is also acceptable.

An instructor may choose to adopt multiple methods of evaluation, such as having both a term paper and an examination. In elective courses, it is ideal that the examination is not the only matrix for evaluation.

The evaluation scheme proposed by the instructor will be reviewed by the Academic Review Committee. The scheme approved by the Academic Review Committee shall be final.

For evaluation pattern for clinical elective courses, see the section below on Clinical Electives.

By when do I have to complete evaluations?

You will have to complete your evaluations on the same schedule as the full-time faculty, in order that the results can be prepared in time. Typically, this means you will have 10 days to complete evaluations after the final exam, to allow for timely computation of year-end results.

Will I receive feedback from students upon completion of the course?

Yes, we open a detailed anonymous feedback form to all students with structured responses to help you evaluate how the course went and improve upon it for the next iteration. You will receive this feedback after the results of all courses of that trimester are released.


Why is there a separate category for clinical electives?

Clinical electives play a significant role in exposing students to the practice of law and policy as opposed to courses that are more academic in nature. These courses are traditionally taught by practitioners who lend real life experience in a classroom setting thereby bridging the gap between academics and practice. Therefore, these courses are highly coveted by students and are recognized as a separate category of elective teaching on account of the difference in both content and pedagogy.

Who can teach a clinical elective?

Practitioners in any discipline engaging in research, litigation, transactional work, advisory services, or any kind of work that is grounded in practice are well suited to teach clinical electives. For other general perquisites, please read the General FAQs mentioned above on this page.

What are the minimum course requirements for a clinical elective?

As clinical electives are practice oriented, the course must provide real life practical exposure to qualify as a clinical elective. Examples are studying primary case papers (FIRs, evidence, contracts, transactional documents etc.), negotiation exercises, drafting, client interviewing, writing policy briefs, fieldwork, court/tribunal/site visits Past examples of clinical electives that have been offered at NLSIU include “Advocacy in Practice”, “The Principles and Practice of Tech Policy”, “Diligence & Drafting Real Estate, Loan & Security Contracts”, “Litigating Capital Punishment Cases” etc.

What about client confidentiality in case I provide students with actual case documents?

If you are providing students with actual case papers, please specify the same in your course outline and mention confidentiality in the last section on “Guidelines to Students”. We also advise you to cover this in your first class. In the past practitioners have provided students with case documents. In some instances, party names were redacted or the cases had already been adjudicated.

What is the evaluation pattern for clinical electives?

Since these electives provide a greater emphasis on practice, the requirement of an end term exam has been removed so that students can be fairly evaluated in line with the course’s objectives. The evaluation pattern for clinical electives is suggested as follows:
·  Class Participation – 10 marks
·  Exercises, Assignments and Term Paper (if any) – 90 marks
Total – 100 marks

We request that faculty incorporate a mix of both written submissions and oral components in the exercises and assignments.

Who will clinical electives be offered to?

These are traditionally offered to students from the 3rd-5th year BA LLB (Hons) course, LLB, LLM and MPP courses if the course is cross listed. The class will typically comprise 8-20 students.

Can I specify course prerequisites?

Yes, prerequisites can be specified.

I have a course outline that has potential to qualify as a clinical elective. Can I seek assistance to redesign the course?

While the course curriculum is the responsibility of the visiting faculty, we are happy to offer some suggestions and comments before your course is submitted to NLSIU’s Academic Review Committee (ARC) for approval. Please reach out to Ms. Darshana Mitra, Assistant Professor at

If you are offering a course for the first time, do keep in mind that previous visiting elective faculty have taken 2-3 months to develop a robust curriculum and course outline.


Can I request for a teaching assistant?

Visiting Faculty cannot engage teaching assistants for their course. But if you would like to have another person on the course, you may consider having a co-faculty.

If I am a full-time faculty member at another University or employed with a government organisation, are there any additional requirements for my proposal?

We do not impose any additional requirements. However, in our past experience, your home institution/ employer may have their own housekeeping requirements, e.g. prior notice that you propose to teach at NLSIU as visiting elective faculty, no-objection certificates. We recommend you check for any such requirements and complete the requirements in parallel with your application to us. We would not be able to accommodate any requests for a change in the course schedule on this account.

Can I offer the same course every year in the same trimester?

Applications to teach are invited every trimester and the Academic Review Committee evaluates all applications in a highly competitive selection. So we will not be able to confirm that your elective would be selected for any subsequent trimesters. There is no restriction on re-applying, but the University does not ordinarily accept the same course outline in more than one trimester per academic year.  We hope that you use your experience teaching the course to further refine and develop it for later iterations, whether at NLSIU or elsewhere!

Can I get assistance in preparing the curriculum?

Curriculum development is the responsibility of the visiting faculty, but the ARC may offer suggestions and comments on curricular design and pedagogical methods. You are welcome to reach out to faculty members at NLSIU who work in your area to discuss your course and best ways to structure it. If you are offering the course for the first time, do keep in mind that previous visiting elective faculty have taken 2-3 months to develop a robust curriculum and course outline. The time spent in thinking through your curriculum at this stage will help greatly in avoiding difficulties while teaching the course.