University of Nairobi School of Law:
The Law School
As the oldest School of Law in Kenya, the University of Nairobi, School of Law has distinguished itself as a hub of legal scholarship with a strong foundation for training on basic legal concepts, legal advocacy and legal research. The School of Law has distinguished itself as a center of excellence in research, scholarship and teaching in the following five thematic areas of law:
- Financial and Commercial Law;
- Democracy, Governance and Law;
- Human Rights Law;
- Environmental Law; and
- International Law
Through its revamped Curriculum, the School of Law is consolidating, harnessing and nurturing its research, scholarship and teaching. The School is intent on:
- Making the five thematic areas the embryonic foundation for centres of excellence to facilitate research, enhance pedagogy, and contribute to national and international discourses.
- Ensuring that throughout their course of study, students are exposed to the various social, political, and economic dynamics that impact on the nature and operation of the discipline of law.
- Offering students a unique learning experience in their fourth year of study by giving them an opportunity to specialize in one of the five thematic areas.
We seek to train and nurture lawyers who not only understand black letter laws, but even more importantly, are able to think “beyond the law box” in order to contribute to the social, economic and political development in Kenya, East Africa and beyond. To achieve these objectives, the School will be banking on its excellence which is evident in its urivalled academic staff contingent comprising 3 Full Professors, 6 Associate Professors, 13 Senior Lecturers, and 48 Lecturers (34 PhD holders and 42 Master of Laws (LL.M) holders) trained locally and internationally. Many of the scholars are internationally renowned and recognized as experts in varied genres of law. It is this strong team of legal scholars that will steer the School as it continues to play a key role in the development of law and legal education nationally, regionally and internationally. Indeed, current and former scholars of the School have made significant contributions in pioneering and setting the agenda and trajectory for legal issues in the public and private sectors. They have nurtured legal researchers and practitioners who have contributed to the development and growth of endogenous jurisprudence by harnessing the capacity of individual academic staff and students in the focus areas. This has been aided by the fact that the study of law at the University of Nairobi is grounded within and nurtures exemplary legal research and scholarship.
On account of its human resource and infrastructural strength and aware of its trail blazing role and contribution to the development of legal education, the School of Law is the only Law School in Kenya that offers graduate law studies at Master’s and Doctoral levels. Through these programmes, the School has contributed towards nurturing and developing a legal academy and legal academics in Kenya to meet the growing demand for highly trained and qualified law teachers in the country and beyond. It is noteworthy that staff from the School has contributed and continues to contribute to the development of law programmes for public and private universities nationally and internationally. Some staff members also serve in leadership, advisory and management roles of such universities as Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors and council members.
The University of Nairobi is undoubtedly the training ground for senior university academic staff in public and private universities. In this role, the School of Law and other units of the University have lent support to such universities by granting leave of absence to staff to assist other universities and institutions on the understanding that the staff return after their tour of duty.
The school’s programmes have also equipped other highly trained cadre of legal practitioners nationally, regionally and internationally in crucial spheres in the private and public sectors. Notably, a sizeable part of the Kenyan Bench, members of the Bar engaged in public and private sectors; civil society organizations; and legal academics comprise alumni of the School of Law, University of Nairobi.
In achieving its objectives, the School employs the following methods of delivery: Socratic and Interactive lectures; Seminar discussions; Tutorials; Case studies; Case method; library research; clinical teaching and simulations; presentations; moot courts; externships and role plays. Top Management of the School The School is run by a strong team of legal academics organized around the office of the Dean, the Associate Dean and 3 Departments (Department of Public Law, Department of Private Law and Department of Commercial Law).
The offices of the Dean, Associate Dean and Chairs of Department are backed by strong committees in charge of Academic Programmes; Research, Publications and Library; Post graduate Studies; Examinations; Alumni; Staff and Student Welfare among others. These are headed by senior academic staff. Aware of the growing demand for its services and the quickly expanding population of staff and students, the School has also put in place a Renovation, Refurbishment and Development Committee to work on a Master-plan for University of Nairobi School of Law.
In response, to the growing demand for legal training across the country, the University of Nairobi has established satellite campuses in Mombasa and Kisumu to accommodate students who live and work in and around there. The Mombasa campus is located within the UniPlaza Building on Moi Avenue and the Kisumu campus is located at the Nakumatt Mega Building.
Beyond the Classroom
Beyond the classroom experience, the School is also establishing a Career Advice and Placement Office; a University of Nairobi School of Law Alumni Association; and a Mentorship and Peer learning/Counseling Programme. These will work closely with stakeholders and students’ organizations under the Kenya Law Students’ Society (KLSS) and include the Students Association for Legal Aid and Research (SALAR); Students of Law and Diplomacy (SOLAD); Kenya Model United Nations (KMUN) and Moot Court Club.
The School has recently completed refurbishment of a State-of-the-art Moot Court facility which is pivotal in facilitating moot court competitions’ preparation and mounting. Our students have historically participated and won in highly rated international and local Moot Court Competitions for example, The University of Nairobi, school of law continued with its stellar performance in moot court competitions by winning for the 2nd year in a row the 24th African Human Right Moot Court Competition held from the 5th to 10th of October 2015 at the University of Zambia. This is a remarkable feet achieved by any university in the 24 year history of the competition. Never before has any University won the competition twice in a row. The success comes barely 5 months after the University of Nairobi was ranked 10th Overall in the world in during the Phillip C Jessup Moot Court Competition held in Washington DC in April 2015.
The Africa Human Right moot Court Competition is an annual gathering on the continent of students and lecturers of Public Lecture by the Italian Prime Minister.
law. Established in 1992, 1071 teams from 146 universities, representing 49 countries, have over the last 23 years participated in this premier event on the university and human right s calendar of the continent. In 2014, the moot Court Competition was held at the University of Nairobi, where 52 Universities attended and the University of Nairobi emerged top overall after beating the University of Pretoria in the finals to emerge as the best Anglo-Phone team on the continent. As fate would have it, the two teams met again for the second time in the finals of the 2015 competition with 61 universities participating, and the school, once again emerging the better team in the Anglo- phone category and the overall winner in the competition.
The Team succeeded in overcoming stiff but worthy competitor from South Africa and Egypt including but not limited to University of Cape Town , The Academic Leader in Africa, The University of Pretoria and from Egypt the American University in Cairo.
In this year’s competition the University and the school was proudly and ably represented by two exceptionally talented students, Ms. Cecilia Isohi and Ms Lelei Cheruto, both third year students. The Team was under tutelage and guidance of Prof Edwin Abuya, Evans Dimba and Sam Alosa. The exemplary performance by the students and the school can be attributed to the student’s personal commitment, enterprise, discipline and hard work couple by the high quality of teaching and values instilled at the School of Law University Of Nairobi. This in its own right confirms the University position as a leader in teaching and Research in the region.
Once again we at the school of law and the University of Nairobi, congratulates and commends Ms Isohi and Ms Cheruto for the impressive performance, remarkable achievement and for making us all very proud. We share in your success and join you in your in the celebration Students also participate in other engagements with several industry stakeholders where they are attached to gain experience in various thematic areas of law. A core part of the curriculum is the Clinical and Externship programmes where our students work on real life issues within various organisations in preparation for launching of their legal careers.
The School of Law is also in partnership with Weidner University, the University of Pretoria, and Gothenburg University Sweden where students from these Universities are able to participate in various programmes offered by the School of Law.
Research at the School
The School of Law has a well – stocked library with a current sitting capacity of 350. This is in the process of being expanded to a capacity of 600. The library has over
Prof. Patricia Kameri-Mbote, SC (Dean) 29,000 textbooks, over 6,700 print journals, over 3,800 law reports and over 4,200 PHD, LL.M and LL.B theses and dissertations. Together with the print resources, students also have access to over 12,000 electronic books and over 3,800 electronic journals and law reports. All students at the School are required to take courses in legal research and writing and to write research papers as part of their training. The School of Law also runs two law journals. The University of Nairobi Law Journal (UNLJ) is a student run and managed journal which is produced annually. The East African Law Journal (EALJ, historically a publication of the East African Community, is a peer reviewed journal managed and edited by senior academic staff of the School of Law and is part of the internationally acclaimed Heinonline collection. Various thematic journals and scholarly books have been published by staff at the School over the years. We expect that more publications will be produced to cover nascent issues of public interest and as the embryonic centres anticipated under the new curriculum develop. Students are able to conduct effective research as all the campuses are hot – spots and they have access to computer laboratories on campus.
Status of Accreditation of the School
The School started running its law programme in 1970, long before the requirement for accreditation by the Council of Legal Education (CLE). When the requirement for accreditation was instituted by CLE, we obtained provisional accreditation. We have since been accreditated by CLE for a period of five years up to 2019. Pursuant to the repeal of the University of Nairobi Act and the enactment of the Universities’ Act No. 42 of 2012, we have as part of the University of Nairobi, obtained a Charter. This was granted on 1st March 2013 after an Institutional Quality Audit by the Commission for University Education (CUE).
The University of Nairobi, School of Law has only one intake in September each year. For further information concerning admission requirements and the application procedure visit our website on www.uonbi.lawschool.ac.ke
School of Law, UoN
P. O. Box 30197 – 00100, Parklands Campus.Nairobi.
Mobile: 0724-922608 / 0734-273568