LEAD and Kenya School of Law explore potential synergies

February 1st, 2012

By Barbara Whittle

A meeting between the Law Society of South Africa’s Legal Education and Development (LEAD) division and the Kenya School of Law in December 2011 will lead to closer cooperation and sharing of information and resources between the educational bodies for the legal profession in the two countries. Margaret Muigai, deputy director of the Kenya School of Law, met with LEAD director, Nic Swart, and key LEAD staff in Pretoria to discuss possible synergies between the two institutions.

Potential areas of cooperation include moot courts between South African and Kenyan candidate practitioners, as well as exchange programmes for instructors and students. The possibility of peer review of assignments and other documentation will also be explored. Mr Swart indicated that LEAD was happy to share its experiences in the e-learning field, which it gained in 2011 when e-learning was launched as one of the LEAD learning methods.

Ms Muigai indicated that the Kenya Law School was considering introducing e-learning since currently all legal practitioners in Kenya are compelled to attend 18 months of post-qualification legal education training at the law school in Nairobi before entering practice. This has both theoretical and practical components as candidates are placed in pupillage with law firms as part of the training. The school also provides continuing professional development for practitioners already in practice, as well as training for paralegals or law executives. Ms Muigai said the Council of Legal Education in Kenya was of the view that e-learning could reach practitioners throughout the vast country without requiring them to travel to Nairobi for training.

Further discussions will take place between the two professional legal education institutions in South Africa and Kenya with a view to setting up a memorandum of understanding for collaboration.

The Kenya School of Law falls under the Council of Legal Education in Kenya. The Council of Legal Education and the law school are independent statutory bodies with the specific mandate to organise and conduct courses for the development of legal professionals in private practice, government personnel and for legal executives (paralegals). Professional examinations are run by the council and the law school, which also accredit and monitor institutions that provide academic and other legal training.

Compiled by Barbara Whittle, Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa, barbara@lssa.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (Jan/Feb) DR 16.