Residents of Kiamunyi on the outskirts of Nakuru Town became the first beneficiaries of the Egerton University Faculty of Law-sponsored free legal aid services.
The project, which was rolled out on Wednesday, will be available to residents of Nakuru County’s 11 sub counties.
According to Law society of Kenya (LSK) South Rift Valley Branch President Ochang’ Ajigo, Nakuru County has about 300 lawyers who operate in urban areas.
The free legal service which is also sponsored by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Amkeni Wakenya seeks to help poor residents in the cosmopolitan county access legal services.
“Majority of Nakuru residents cannot access legal services and that is why Egerton University Faculty of Law and UNDP and other supporters have joined hands to help them with any legal issues they have,” said Egerton University Head of Public Law Charles Marube Getanda.
During the sessions held at the Seventh Day Adventist Kiamunyi Church, fourth year law students and their lecturers led by Egerton University Dean Faculty of Law Ruth Anyango Aura attended to the residents.
Mr Getanda said most of the questions asked by the residents revolved around succession, land disputes police harassment and child abuse.
“Majority of the residents had no slightest idea on how to apply for the letters of administration of the estate of their dead kin,” said Mr Getanda.
He said the experience will help the law students handle cases well when they qualify to be advocates of the High Court.
“Our teaching of law is not confined to lecture halls, we take our students out in the field and meet the would be clients. This sharpens their skills on legal procedures,” said Mr Getanda.
A fourth year law student Thomas Odinga, said while offering free legal advice to the residents of Kiamunyi, he learnt many practical lessons that are not taught in lecture halls.
“I have got first-hand experience on the problems Kenyans face in the hands of the police and how rogue insurance companies exploit the poor,” said Mr Odinga.
He said lack of awareness on legal matters has prevented the poor from getting justice. Ms Lydia Wambui, another fourth year law student, said most Kenyans had many unresolved issues such as domestic violence, succession matters and child custody.