Instructor Q&A: Virginia Suveiu
Contract Management Instructor
Virginia A. Suveiu, Esq., is Of
Counsel at Volkov Law Group.
She is currently editing a handbook
on Risk Management and the
Law for Routledge and a member
of ComplianceNet at UCI Law.
Virginia also is a mediator and
arbitrator and board member
of OC NCMA. She received the
Distinguished Instructor Award
from DCE in 2016.
“The in-class exercises are a great way for me
to put this lesson into practice and assess the
students’ understanding of the concepts.”
Q. Why did you decide to become
A. Education is a fundamental way to
positively change a person's life. Being
an instructor affords me with the
opportunity to meet students from all
walks of life, learn what they want to get
out of the course, and help them along
their own journey. It is not just about
lecturing and I truly appreciate that DCE
fosters such a welcoming environment
to learn for life. Providing the theory
and legal principles along with real-world
examples gives students the knowledge
they need to succeed. For example, I
recently had one former student tell
me that he used a case we analyzed in
class in a job interview and he was
complimented by the interviewer for his
knowledge. He also got the job! I love
hearing back from my students about
their successes: they got into law school,
they passed a professional certification
exam, etc., that is what I mean when
I state changing someone's life.
Q. What's your favorite lesson to
teach and why?
A. My favorite lesson to teach students is how to analyze a case provided in class and then support their argument. The in-class exercises are a great way for me to put this lesson into practice and assess the students’ understanding of the concepts. For example, there is one case I cover in my Contracts class where the lawsuit hinged on the interpretation of ONE word. I relish in hearing how the students arrive at their conclusions and see what an in-depth review they did of the case. Even some of the students who were timid or hesitant at the beginning of the course often blossom and become the best at argumentation by the end of the course!
Q. What's unique about your
A. I listen. I need to understand the other person's perspective first so that I then know how to adjust my teaching methods accordingly. Some students learn better by examples; others, by reading first, then discussing the course concepts. Whatever the method, I can customize the material so that it makes the most sense for that student. This tailoring goes a long way in the student's overall success, and mine, as an educator.
Q. What do you find most
rewarding about being an
A. It is often the “little things” which, actually are not. For instance, I'll have a student ask a question like “why did the court rule that way?” or “why does intent matter in contracts” and what was at first confusing for the students, after further exploration becomes an “Aha!” moment for them. That then builds up their self-confidence that “yes, although I'm learning complex subjects, I can not only understand but then apply these lessons to real-world problems!” I actually had one student tell me after class that although she fundamentally disagreed with the court's ruling in the case, she learned the importance of careful reading to help with her legal analysis and synthesis, and that lesson would remain with her forever and would definitely help her at work. That is a great illustration of the fundamental impact we are having on our students.