The Kenya School of Law was established as an independent statutory body in 1995 under the Council of Legal Education Act with the specific mandate to organize and conduct courses for the development of legal professionals, Government personnel and paralegal personnel. In practice, the programmes were limited to training of young lawyers for entry into the legal profession.
In 2005, the Ministerial Task Force on Development of a Policy Legal Framework for Legal Education and Training in Kenya was formed. Its mandate was to, among other terms of reference, review the form, structure, role and functions of the Council of Legal Education and the Kenya School of Law.
The Task Force re-designated the School’s functions. One of the proposals was that the School be re-established as the public post-University training institution for professional legal development.
The School’s mandate now includes the following programmes:
• The Advocates Training
• Continuing Professional Legal Development
• Support Services (Para-Legal) Training
• Specialized Professional Legal Training in Public Service
• Projects, Consultancies and Research
Consequently, and as indicted in its Strategic Plan (2007-2010), the School is committed to delivery of services based on the following principles:
• To pursue excellence in the School’s professional development programmes
• To value Continuing Professional Development as a pillar to maintaining and improving legal and ethical standards and practices in society
• To implement customer-focused curricula taking into account emerging trends of the law locally, regionally and internationally
• To strengthen governance structures that promote sustainable development by offering practical and quality professional legal development programmes.
The School is undertaking various institutional and structural reforms in line with the above principles and related strategies to achieve its mission, which is: ‘To offer quality and practical legal training for professionals and other actors in the legal sector.
The School has, in the short-run, established two (2) academic departments as follows:
• Directorate of Advocates Training Programme and Para-Legal Studies
• Directorate of Continuing Professional Development, Projects and Research.