Teaching makes us better
I just concluded my twentieth (I think? Maybe 21?) semester of teaching family law at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. It is so rewarding. While it takes time to prepare and teach (3.5 hours per week of instruction), it feels like I am making a small difference in the students’ lives. Certainly not all of them will practice family law, but my goal has been and continues to be to pass along any skills I have learned that will help them help future clients. But more important than the classroom interaction, is the post law school interaction. I am often contacted by former students with questions about a case. And I see them in courthouses, doing their thing, flourishing.
And for me, the interaction is helpful and rewarding. And it helps my clients. Oftentimes we are discussing an issue, such as Modification of Child Support. I may teach by reviewing a fact pattern of a current case of mine and get their thoughts. I like the students to go through the analysis of a case with me and while I think I am teaching them, they often teach me. The average class size is fifty students so how can I ignore the comments and input of fifty law students? They are often insightful and helpful.
I appreciate the opportunity to teach and appreciate the rewards it gives me. Knowing I am helping young lawyers is an unbelievable reward. Whether we teach law school, present at seminars or simply assist young lawyers (in our own offices or elsewhere), lawyers who give back (and so many do), know these rewards. I am just blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to doing it at least a few more years, because there is much more (for me) to learn.