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Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education

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Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education

Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education.
The Council of Legal Education (CLE) has added Egerton University to the list of institutions of higher learning that will administer bar examinations in the future.
The examination, which is a statutory requirement for any law graduate seeking to be admitted as an advocate in the legal profession in Kenya, will be held outside Nairobi for the first time in the country’s history, according to CLE Chief Executive Officer Dr Wambua Kituku, on March 31, 2022, at the varsity’s Njoro Main Campus.
Dr. Kituku stated that the move was part of the Council’s effort to devolve administration of the examination, which had previously been held exclusively in Nairobi at the Kenya School of Law (KSL), the Bomas of Kenya, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Karen campus, Cooperative University, and the (Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (Kasneb) Tower, among other locations.
“We are keen to deliver on our mandate. We are decentralizing our functions and will open more bar examination centers outside the capital city,” he said.
The Council for Legal Education is the country’s only state organ tasked with overseeing law education, assessing and authorizing the syllabuses of universities teaching law, and administering exams for law graduates seeking admission to the bar.
When CLE board members paid a courtesy call to Egerton University Vice Chancellor Prof Isaac Kibwage, the CEO stated that the country’s legal education was on the verge of a turnaround following a review and implementation of a new curriculum.
He also revealed that bar examinations, which have consistently had high failure rates, are changing, with the content of the curriculum that prepares candidates to join the ranks of advocates being trimmed, rationalized, and reorganized to meet the needs of the industry.
CLE Director Licensing and Compliance Ms Mary Mutugi, Egerton University Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs Professor Bernard Aduda, Registrar Academic Affairs Professor Mwanarusi Saidi, Dean Faculty of Law Dr Ruth Aura, and Chair Public Law Department Charles Getanda were also in attendance.
In terms of organization, the bar exam is divided into three parts: project, orals, and written. Projects and orals are formative exams completed at KSL but moderated by CLE that account for 40% of the grade. Written exams are summative, given by CLE, and carry 60 points.
Civil Litigation, Criminal Litigation, Probate and Administration, Legal Writing and Drafting, Trial Advocacy, Professional Ethics and Practice, Legal Practice Management, Conveyance and Commercial Transactions are among the courses offered.
A minimum of 50% must be obtained on the total of the project work, oral and written examinations. He or she must also successfully complete a six-month supervised pupilage.
Dr. Kituku revealed that KSL commissioned the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) in 2020, which compiled a revealing report highlighting factors influencing students’ performance in bar examinations.

Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education

Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education
In recent years, the KSL, the trainer, and the Council of Legal Education (CLE), the regulator and examiner, have come under fire due to a high failure rate of students in professional examinations leading to admission to the bar despite having completed university education.
There are several universities in Kenya that offer law degree programs, including the University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Kenyatta University, Moi University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kisii, Embu, and Chuka.
Kabarak University, Riara University, Kenya College of Accountancy University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Mount Kenya University, African Nazarene University, Daystar University, and Strathmore University are also among the others.
Dr. Kituku expressed confidence that the curriculum review and implementation of some of the Kippra study’s recommendations will significantly improve students’ performance in the bar examinations.
“We worked together in revising the curriculum, involving students and all stakeholders, to plug the gaps and ensure proper alignment with the industry requirements,” the CEO pointed out.
Prof Kibwage noted that, despite the many ills that have befallen the legal profession, lawyers in Kenya and other developing countries have managed to maintain a high level of visibility and influence.
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He acknowledged that lawyers in Kenya have played an important role in advocating for change in their society, but he also stated that in order for them to remain relevant in such a dynamic society, they must re-examine how they operate and determine whether there is a need for change.
Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor stated that “In light of this, lawyers need to explore other practice areas that have conventionally not been seen as the forte of lawyers. 
“For instance, whereas in many countries, tax law advice is offered by lawyers, in Kenya, this tends to be the reserve of accounting and audit firms.
With the increasing complexity of legal transactions, it is also time for lawyers to specialize in specific areas of the law rather than remaining "jacks of all trades.”
Prof Aduda advocated for the harmonization of eligibility requirements, such as training for non-Kenyans who practice law in the East African Community before seeking admission to practice in Kenya.

Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education.
“There should be a homogeny in legal training to enable a lawyer who trains in Kenya be subjected to the same curriculum as a lawyer in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi,” he stated.
“Lack of harmonization makes it difficult to admit lawyers from Rwanda and Burundi because the process of them being admitted to the bar is dissimilar with what the Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are subjected to,” he said.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor’s remarks come as Parliament considers amendments to the Kenya School of Law (Amendment) Bill and the Council for Legal Education (Amendment) Bill, which, if passed, would allow Rwandan and Burundian advocates to practice in Kenya.
If approved, the amendments will change Section 12 of the Advocates Act, which currently allows only Ugandan and Tanzanian lawyers to practice in Kenya.
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Rwandan and Burundian advocates were barred from entering Kenya in 2019, a move that Members of Parliament say violates the spirit of the EAC.
Egerton University Named Center For Bar Examination By Council Of Legal Education.

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