Prof. Kiarie Mwaura
The University of Nairobi School of Law was founded in the late 1960s as a department of Commercial Law of in the Faculty of Commerce. It was constituted into a fully-fledged Faculty of law in 1970 and placed under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1985. In 1988, the Faculty was relocated from the Main Campus to its current location – Parklands Campus. It was renamed School of Law in 2006 pursuant to institutional re-organization.
The School is managed by an elected dean who is the academic and administrative head and is assisted and supported by an Associate Dean. The School is organized into three administrative departments: Commercial; Public & Private each under the leadership of a Chair of Department. All staff is hired under these departments. All members of staff are members of Committees established to execute specific mandates such as: Academic programmes; Examinations; Research; Moot Court; Renovation; Refurbishment & Development; Welfare; Alumni; Quality; Health & Safety
The School offers courses leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B); Master of Laws (LL.M) and PhD. Over the years, the 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. It is a center of excellence in research, scholarship and teaching five thematic areas of law: Financial and Commercial Law; Democracy, Governance and Law; Human Rights Law; Environmental Law; and International Law
Although law studies at the University Level are by tradition, of theoretical character, pedagogical efforts have been made to encourage active participation in class and to introduce mock trails and moot court competitions locally and internationally. This is supported by the state-of-the-art Moot Court Room, The Faculty also runs a Clinical Programme under which students are attached to courts in order for them to appreciate the workings of the law and again practical experience.
The training at the Faculty provides students with knowledge of the law required in professional practice, business, industry as well as service in local and central governments. Since its establishment, the Faculty has maintained a distinctive character in contribution to the legal profession and the legal fraternity in Kenya and is the leading source of legal knowledge and skills in the country. It boasts of alumni who comprise luminaries in diverse areas of law serving as senior members of government, judges of superior courts, magistrates, and Senior legal officers in the State Law Office, public corporations, local authorities and private entities. Others are law instructors in many institutions. Indeed the School of Law has played the role of mentoring nascent law schools by providing skills and personnel.
This premier law faculty has evolved steadily from its earlier status as a department of the Faculty of Commerce in the 1960s to one of the largest law faculties in East and Central Africa. Today, the Faculty has staff strength of 4 Full Professors; 10 professors, 15 Senior Lecturers, 29 Lecturers, 2 Tutorial Fellows; 12 Teaching Assistants and a team of administrative and support staff. The student population at the Parklands Campus stands at slightly over 2,000. The School; has therefore become the object of legitimate expectation in terms of academic delivery.
In the last 5 years, the School has established Campuses in Mombasa and Kisumu each under an Associate Dean offering the undergraduate programme. While academic and examination matters are coordinated from the Parklands Campus, these satellite campuses have their contingent of full time and part time staff to execute the programmes in consultation with their colleagues in the Parklands Campus to ensure coherence in the branding of the School’s programme.