Meet our new faculty member | Shreya Shree
October 24, 2020
We extend a warm welcome to NLS alum Shreya Shree who has returned to the University as a faculty member for the Academic Year 2020-21. Shreya Shree, ‘LLB 2015, was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance (CLPG) at National Law University, Delhi where she worked extensively in the areas of reproductive justice, laws relating to sexual offences, medical jurisprudence, and intersections between constitutional law and criminal justice.
Shreya has keen interest in empirical legal research, particularly the ethnographic study of law. Prior to her research at the CLPG, Shreya also served as an Associate with the Corporate and Commercial Laws team at the law firm Khaitan & Co. She now begins her teaching career with NLS as Assistant Professor, where she will be teaching Legal Methods to B.A. LL.B. students.
We asked her to share more about herself, her academic interests and her recent work.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
I’m from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. After graduating from NLS in 2015, I worked for a law firm in Delhi before pursuing the LLM Programme at NLU, Delhi. This was a turning point in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed my return to the academic environment and the opportunity to explore my research interests in depth.
Documenting the ground realities of law is what excites me the most. This is something I was able to do during my work with the CLPG at NLU Delhi.
I was part of the research team leading the study on ‘Legal Barriers to Accessing Safe and Comprehensive Abortion Care in India’ (in collaboration with Center for Reproductive Rights, New York). We spent roughly six months on the field and interacted with different stakeholders to understand the impact of the laws and policies concerning abortion – on women seeking abortion services as well as on the service providers.
What made you transition into teaching? What are your areas of interest?
Teaching seemed like the next logical step from research and a way to continue learning and broadening my knowledge and understanding of the law.
My areas of interest are constitutional and criminal law, empirical legal research, and medical jurisprudence. I have also worked extensively on reproductive justice.
Since you are an alum, could you briefly share something about your NLS experience?
I sometimes still feel like I’m stuck midway between being a student and a teacher! Even now, there are many times where I intuitively feel like going to Annapurna Hostel on campus where I used to reside during my student years.
When I look back, my fondest memories of NLS is the time spent having discussions on the library ramp or the quad lawns, and working with a team for various events and fests. I have missed the sense of belonging and community that I experienced here.
My stay at the law school, the experiences inside and outside of the classroom, and interactions I had with my peers from different backgrounds has shaped my way of thinking. It helped me learn and unlearn a lot of things, break away from stereotypes/ biases that I held, and also instilled a strong work ethic and a sense of ownership over whatever I do.
Any advice for the new incoming batch of students?
The incoming batch is joining at a time where the circumstances may be strange and the programmes are not on campus due to the pandemic. I would just like to pass on the advice of some very helpful seniors which I received at the end of my second year: “You have nothing to lose.”
When I first came to law school, I remember feeling intimidated and perhaps feared failure. But I realised that the only way to know whether you are good or bad at anything, is to try! If you never go down that path, you’ll never know. I also realised that if you need something, you should never hesitate to ask. Don’t judge yourself too much if you aren’t able to be on top of everything. You’ll eventually find your place here. You just need to be open to learning new things and exploring these opportunities. The Academic Support Programme (ASP) run by the student body was helpful to students during my time on campus and I would encourage new students to try out if they need mentoring and support.
Your thoughts on beginning your teaching journey at NLS? What are your plans ahead?
Since this is my foray into the teaching world, I’m partly excited and nervous at the same time. I’m excited to teach Legal Methods to the first years as it is the foundational course in law. At the same time, I am slightly nervous because in some ways, I almost feel as good as a first year student at law school!
I am looking forward to the co-learning experience with students where I can impart and imbibe knowledge at the same time. My future plans involve continuing my research work on legal barriers to accessing abortion care, and undertaking new projects aimed at generating empirical evidence on the functioning of the criminal justice system & the constitutional guarantees.