Two top lawyers have challenged law students to consider venturing into new areas that are emerging in the sector.
Immediate former director of Kenya School of Law, Prof P L O Lumumba, and senior counsel Fred Ngatia admitted that the legal sector is changing by the day.
Prof Lumumba urged lawyers to venture into various law fields that are now emerging including the blue economy.
“Law students should also consider venturing into studying East African law with the concept of coming up with a common currency,” said Prof Lumumba.
He went on: "We need to look at these new fields and diversify law as it is no longer what it used to be; where you are a jerk of all trades and a master of none."
Mr Ngatia said lawyers are in a new era which is facing rapid technological evolution and they must move with the times.
Prof Lumumba and Mr Ngatia made the remarks at Laico Regency hotel during a luncheon organised by Mount Kenya University School of Law, following its attainment of full accreditation by the Council of Legal Education (CLE).
All public and private schools of law providing legal training are required to seek licensing pursuant to the provisions of the Legal Education Act and other regulatory agencies.
Mr Ngatia also urged law graduates to help the country overcome the challenges it is facing. “Young lawyers entering this most noble profession do not need god fathers but hard work. Hard work, however, is not enough, you must know your maker — God,” said Mr Ngatia who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in last year’s presidential election petition.
Prof Lumumba spoke on "The role of law school in developing countries in training legal practitioners in support of sustainable development and democracy", while Mr Ngatia spoke on "Navigating the contours of legal profession".
MKU founder Simon Gicharu said the accreditation of the institution is a great milestone and promised that the university will continue to churn out qualified lawyers into the market.
“This journey has not been easy. When I bought a building in Nairobi along Moi Avenue I thought I now had everything for the school to be accredited, I was wrong. CLE insisted that the building was not conducive for law students and we had to move to Parklands,” recalled Mr Gicharu.
He went on: “We are giving students an opportunity to learn in Kenya and therefore no need to go to Uganda and India to study law.”
Law Society of Kenya President Allen Gichuhi said lawyers will continue to defend the Constitution as that is their responsibility and duty.
Rwandan High Commissioner James Kimonyo praised the university for its investment in education, saying its campus in Rwanda is the biggest with 2,000 students in private institutions. "We have 100 students from Rwanda studying at MKU Thika main campus. We laud this partnership and we will continue to work together,” said Mr Kimonyo.
Others who attended the event were Vice-Chancellor Peter Waudo, Prof Yash Pal Ghai among others.
The university has been pursuing full accreditation status for the last seven years since its first application and subsequent issuance of a provisional licence in 2011.
“The Institution’s intake for LLB programme is hereby limited to a maximum of 200 students per intake. The council shall have the sole discretion to review this condition on its own motion or on application by the university,” reads the letter to Prof Waudo, dated July 30, by CLE acting Chief Executive Officer J K Gakeri.
CLE has also give the university three months from July 30 to submit a corrective action plan report for all the areas where the institution is required to ensure compliance as highlighted in the inspection report.
MKU now joins Riara University, Nazarene University, University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Strathmore University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta School of Law and Catholic University of Eastern Africa School of Law which are fully accredited to train lawyers.