The process of becoming a lawyer in Kenya is challenging but fruitful in the end. This is because law is among the hotcake courses In Kenya with guaranteed employment. If you plan to pursue legal studies in college, you should know the correct procedure.
Today, we’ll discuss the right procedure for becoming a legal lawyer in Kenya
Moreover, you will discover the stages to cover before becoming a practicing lawyer or an advocate of the High Court. Keep reading!
How to Join Legal Studies in Kenya
Qualified lawyers you see representing clients in courts have been to various schools. Their schooling process entails the following four stages:
1. Pursuing the Bachelors of Laws (LLB) Degree Course
The road to becoming a lawyer in Kenya begins in high school. You should excel in your KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) exam and score a high grade in one language subject.
Therefore, you should have a minimum grade of C+ in your KCSE exam and a B plain in English or Kiswahili. With these grades, you can enroll in the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree course.
This undergraduate course ends in four years, and a student must actively participate in it. The program helps the students understand constitutional frameworks, case law, and legal principles.
After completing the LLB degree, students do not become recognized lawyers yet. All they can do is become legal researchers in Kenyan law firms.
2. Joining the Kenya School of Law (KSL)
The KSL enrolls LLB students in the Advocates Training Program. The comprehensive postgraduate course ends in 12 months.
Unlike the LLB degree, which introduces students to the principles of law and other theories, the postgraduate program gives them practical legal training. Students learn various legal research skills while sharpening their knowledge of several legal fields.
The Advocates Training Program emphasizes the physical application of knowledge and prepares students for the crucial Bar Examination. This examination tests the candidate’s understanding of legal statutes and principles.
It also evaluates their comprehension of case law and ethical standards. If you pass the Bar Examination, you will be ready to apply Kenyan legal practices and concepts to real-world court cases. You can plead with the Chief Justice of Kenya for permission to practice law.
Becoming a lawyer in Kenya is a daunting task, as you can see so far. You must dedicate yourself to the challenging training process, even if it means missing some fun activities.
Also Read: The Highly Demanding Courses In Kenya
3. Undertaking the Pupillage Stage
Upon scoring good grades in your Bar Examination, you will be close to the finishing line. As an aspiring advocate of the High Court, you must enter the pupillage stage. In this stage, you will practice law under the guidance and supervision of expert practicing lawyers.
Pupillage is a practical training phase that exposes you to live courtroom proceedings. The Kenya School of Law program and the pupillage stage last 18 months.
Upon successful completion of the Advocates Training Program and pupillage phase, your process of becoming a lawyer in Kenya is almost over.
4. Admission to the Law Society of Kenya
The last phase of becoming an advocate of the high court in Kenya entails gaining admission to the LSK’s Roll of Advocates. Once you do, you will get a practicing certificate that allows you to advise and represent clients in a court of law.
Becoming a part of LSK is crucial because it shows that you are knowledgeable, ethical, and genuine.
The Best Universities Offering Legal Training in Kenya
If you want to study law at a public university in Kenya, try the following options:
- University of Nairobi
- Kenyatta University
- JKUAT University
- Egerton University.
You can also study law as a self-sponsored student in a private or public university. Top private universities offering law education in Kenya include:
- Strathmore University
- Mount Kenya University
- Daystar University
- Catholic University of Eastern Africa
- Kabarak University.
If you did not score top grades in high school and want to pursue legal education in Kenya, you can start at the diploma level. The schools that offer the Diploma in Law course locally are Kisii University and Mt. Kenya University.
After passing your diploma, you can study the LLB program and complete the rest of the phases.
After finalizing everything, you should now start looking for employment. Licensed Lawyers look for work in private and public offices. You can apply for government jobs or hunt for work in private law firms or NGOs.
Lawyers often land their first jobs in law firms, consultancy firms, banks, government offices, and commercial organizations. If you want to try entrepreneurship, you can start a law consultancy firm.