Council of Legal Education Kenya

If you studied in a public Secondary school in Kenya, there are only 2 dream careers that your teachers sold to you. These dream career choices were either medicine or law. However, the teachers only sold this dream to the creme de la creme of the class and not everyone. What the teachers failed to include in this dream is that it would take them a tooth and nail to pass their pupillage exams. If you are more like me, I know you didn’t know about the Council of Legal Education until February this Year. Since I know we are many, today we will talk about the Council of Legal Education Kenya.

What’s the Mission for Council of Legal Education Kenya

Its primary mission is to

  • promote quality training and legal education in Kenya through
  • equation of legal foreign education, accreditation
  • harmonization of all legal programs

Its vision is simply to ensure we have great lawyers for global competitiveness.

Establishment and Purpose

Moreover, the council of legal education was re-established in 2012 under the Legal Education Act. The main responsibility for this council is to:

  1. To provide a system that guarantees quality legal education even if it means 92% of those who take bar education failing.
  2. To maintain the highest possible standards in legal education providers- Licensing comes in here.
  3. Promoting quality legal education and training

What then are the main services that the Council of Legal Education Offers?

  1. Licensing of legal education providers Kenya

Some years back, there were some cases of some private Universities that had not been accredited by the council but were offering legal courses. The case was quite bad because there was a possibility of the students who took this degree being considered obsolete. To avoid all this, the council of legal education licenses any institution that makes an application and meets the required guidelines.

The licensing process is guided by the 2016 Act,  that is Accreditation and Quality Assurance. In order for an institution’s application to be met, it has to meet the following requirements:

  • A strategic plan, highlighting specific strategies applicable to ensure sustainability and growth of the legal education programme
  • A feasibility study of the legal education programme highlighting the justifications for the programme including the programme’s “niche” area
  • A detailed curriculum of the legal programme and
  • Supporting policy documents such as staff recruitment and development policy, research policy, and library policy
  • Any other relevant documents that may be available

Upon making this application, the council will get back to the institution within 30 days of making the application with this information:

  • Whether the application meets the set guidelines
  • When the council will visit the institution for an inspection
  •  Report on quality assurance.

However, if you are studying law in a particular institution it’s important to check the status of your institutions licensing from here.

2.  Recognition and Approval of Foreign Law Qualifications

If you studied for Law from a foreign University and would like to practice in Kenya. one needs to make an application to the council of legal education for your papers to be recognized. This application will cost you a whooping Ksh. 10,000. Other attachments are:

  • Receipt of payment of application fee (Kshs. 10,000/-)
  • The complete application form (CLE/EQ/001)
  • Certified copy of LL.B. Degree certificate 
  • Copy of LL.B. transcripts certified
  • A copy of LL.B. Curriculum/syllabus also certified.
  • Certified copies of ALL High School Certificates and in addition
  •  Letter of recommendation of the applicant from the Institution where the law qualification was obtained;
  • Evidence of accreditation of the law programme where the law qualification was obtained by the relevant accreditation body in the Country of award; and
  •  Any other relevant document (e.g. Diploma in Law or Certificate in Law/legal studies) where applicable.

3. Applications for clearance to join the Advocates Training Programme

This is the application which University Law graduate has to make in order to join Kenya school of law. Just like the foreign application one, there are a few documents that an applicant has to attach. These documents include:

  • Copy of LL.B. Transcripts
  • Certified copy of LL.B. Degree Certificate
  • Copies of ALL High School Qualifications Certificates 

4. Bar Examinations

It is this council that governs all the bar examinations in Kenya. The bar examinations run twice a year that is in July and November. Further to this, the council has the responsibility of managing and developing the examination framework.


I firmly believe that we have some of the best brains when it comes to lawyers and advocates. However, there are a few elements that are not on par with the rest. As a result of this, we have some few individuals whose view of this institution is jaded. All I hope is that you have got some understanding of the council of legal education.

Share on:

Mary is one of the leading writers on Urban Kenyans. She is knowledgable on matters Kenya and has been able to educate many Kenyans on this platform.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.