Law students stand to gain after MKU accreditation

Mount Kenya University (MKU) has received full accreditation from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to offer law programmes.

The university, which has joined 11 others with similar credentials in the country, has now set its sights on launching a master’s in law programme.

MKU received the accreditation on July 30. Most local universities still operate using provisional accreditation.

At an event held early August to celebrate the achievement, MKU Parklands Law Campus director Nelly Wamaitha said the full accreditation gave the university a strong platform to start offering the master’s programme.

Ms Wamaitha said the road to accreditation has been challenging, but added that the council has been supportive and offered guidance along the way.

“We appreciate CLE because of their positive criticism and guidance,” she said.

“We also appreciate the support of staff, faculty, management and the board of directors. The board went an extra mile to equip the library and furnish the moot court.”

STUDENTS’ JOURNEY

The Mount Kenya University School of Law started in the Nakuru campus, but due to the inadequacies in physical infrastructure, the students were transferred to the main campus in Thika.The first batch of Bachelor of Law students were admitted to the programme in 2009. They were about 30 and commenced classes at Uniafric Building on Koinange Street in Nairobi.Later, the school was moved to MKU Towers Building on Moi Avenue, Nairobi.In January 2015, the School of Law was transferred to the Parklands campus. This was after the university bought the building from another institution that had ceased operations.The current campus hosts a student population of approximately 1,000.The campus has facilities that support modern legal education and learning, including an up-to-date moot court. QUALITY LEARNING On July 14, 2017, the law school launched the Centre for International and Development Law (CIDLaw).Mr David Ngira, a lecturer and quality assurance coordinator at CIDLaw, said: “The objective of the centre is to define the school’s niche area, being international and development law."The centre is designed to spearhead research, partnership and training in line with the emerging trends in legal practice. The centre also runs a journal, which acts as a […]

Law schools introduce 1Ls to profession’s obligations, responsibilities

The incoming class of 2018 at IU Maurer prepares to take the professionalism oath. (Photo courtesy Indiana University Maurer School of Law) Kaelyne Yumul Wietelman remembers being a bundle of nerves during orientation at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Just arrived from Texas in 2016, Wietelman was following in the footsteps of her grandfather, who had been an attorney in the Philippines, realizing her dream and her father’s dream of studying the law. The final day of orientation, Wietelman put on her professional clothes and joined the other first-year students for the Oath of Professionalism Ceremony.

She was still nervous, having to correct herself as to which was her right hand, but at that event in Baier Hall, she learned the responsibility and honor that comes with being a lawyer.

Everyone in the “whole room felt very excited and proud to be there,” Wietelman said.

As another academic year begins at Indiana’s law schools, 1L students are brought on the campuses a few days before classes begin to learn the practical things they’ll need to know. Setting their schedules, getting their student IDs, finding the library and meeting their classmates are among the tasks they accomplish. 1L students at IU McKinney sort donated food items. (Photo courtesy IU McKinney school of Law) In addition to providing the nuts and bolts of legal studies, the schools also program something extra in the orientation to, as Wietelman found out, emphasize to the students that they are entering a unique profession. IU Maurer has the oath ceremony, while Notre Dame Law School provides an opportunity for the incoming students to volunteer for part of a day at a local charity. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law engages in both a professional oath ceremony and a service activity.

IU McKinney dean Andrew Klein said the extra functions tell the students, even though they are just beginning, that as lawyers, they will be expected to meet a heightened standard of responsibility, ethics and public service.

“It sounds like I’m making a cliché, but really, lawyers uphold the system of law that forms the fabric of society,” Klein […]

What Is a Good College GPA in J.D. Admissions?

Law school admissions experts say it’s important for J.D. hopefuls to realize that highly ranked law schools prefer to admit applicants with stellar college grades. So applicants to elite schools who lack an impressive college transcript need to compensate for that academic weakness in order to get accepted, experts warn.

Erin Goodnow, co-founder and CEO of the Going Ivy admissions consulting firm based in Arizona, says that selective law schools typically have many more applicants than spots available, and these schools are determined to enroll only the most promising aspiring attorneys. Prestigious J.D. programs use undergraduate GPAs as a tool to identify the J.D. applicants who are the "cream of the crop," she says.

Although top law schools will occasionally admit students who lack high GPAs if they have other qualities that compensate for that deficit such as an outstanding admissions essay or LSAT score, this is rare, Goodnow says. These institutions usually err on the side of admitting applicants with high GPAs, she notes, and she urges J.D. applicants with low GPAs to be realistic about their admissions chances at exclusive J.D. programs.

Goodnow says the extraordinary selectivity of top law schools puts significant academic pressure on college students who hope to become lawyers. She advises college students who dream of attending a top law school to earn grades as high as possible, because grades are a major factor in the law school admissions process.

"College is not particularly a time to find yourself anymore," she says. "It’s a time to prove who you are and prove that you are material for these top schools."

Goodnow argues that GPA is the No. 1 most important factor in law school admissions, but some other law school admissions experts suggest that standardized test scores are the most important factor and that GPA is the second-most important factor. However, regardless of whether they believe GPAs or test scores are more influential in the J.D. admissions process, experts emphasize that these two statistics matter.

GPA figures that 193 ranked law schools submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey clarify what GPAs were typical among entering law school […]

Revolutionizing the Legal Industry — From the Bottom Up

Bill Henderson’s Institute for the Future of Law Practice trains a new breed of lawyers

Bill Henderson has long been a highly influential agent of change in the legal industry — as an educator, researcher, academic and writer. In addition to his role as the Stephen F. Burns Chair of the Legal Profession at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, Henderson is the founder and primary editor of Legal Evolution and co-founder of Lawyer Metrics (now LawyerMetrix ), an applied research company that helps lawyers use data to make better operational and strategic decisions.

His work, which concerns the transformation of the legal industry, legal operations and legal education, has culminated in the founding of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice (IFLP), a nonprofit organization that seeks to build a talent pipeline that better suits the interests of law students, law schools and legal employers as they prepare for a rapidly advancing future focused on the delivery of efficient, transparent and economical service.

Kimberly Leach Johnson, Quarles & Brady LLP’s Chair, had the chance to speak with Henderson about the Institute, the evolution of the legal industry, and innovations in legal education.

Kimberly Johnson: Can you tell us a little about the origin of the IFLP? How have changes in the business of law driven changes in law school curricula?

Bill Henderson: The program grew out of the needs of corporate clients who, time and time again, told us they not only need talent with deep substantive legal expertise, but also with the operational skills to put that expertise into action more efficiently, including a working understanding of finances, billing and technology.

Bill Mooz was one of these guys, and he told the Dean at the University of Colorado’s law school that we just aren’t training our students to practice law at the cutting edge. So the dean told him to come back and teach. Bill created a program called the Tech Lawyer Accelerator (TLA), which involved a three-week boot camp for teaching business principles, process technology, data, and things like that. I helped Colorado obtain some grant funding […]

Tales From An Unsuspecting T14 1L: Gearing Up For Law School

Ed. note : Please welcome Earl Grey (not his real name) to our pages. He’s a first-year student of color at a T14 law school, and he’ll be sharing his experiences with us.

The first year of law school can be a transformational time, or so I’ve heard . Since the day I was accepted to law school, all I have heard from actual lawyers and law students is the importance and rigor of my first year. But, conversations exploring life as a 1L tend to stop there. Perhaps this period becomes a blur to most. Or, stating that 1L is hard is just a component of that “small talk” thing lawyers are apparently bad at. Nonetheless, if the 1L experience is so transformative to one’s life and determinative of one’s early career path, it would help to know what some 1Ls think and experience in real time.

Meet your friendly entering 1L.

My background will inform how I will navigate 1L. I am a man of color attending what pretentious people revere as a “top 14 law school,” which should already narrow my secret identity down given current diversity in the legal profession. And, although I have not been out of college for long, I do have jobs to compare my law school experience to. Lastly, I was the first to go to a highly selective undergraduate college in my family and none of my close family members are lawyers. Yes, my relatives have all made the “help for future legal trouble” joke. And no, it will probably not end up being just a joke.

I am remaining anonymous not only to keep an internship once the “Tales from a T14 Summer Associate” series comes out, but to also receive unfiltered experiences from fellow colleagues in legal academia.

This series should not be taken as advice.

Though this series will be among the many ATL articles that help others figure out if they should go to law school , I will not be another millennial attempting to give advice on something I read about on the internet. I will […]

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