The Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly has approved the progression of the Legal Education (Amendment) Bill 2023. The bill, presented by Embakasi East Mp Babu Owino, aims to lower the requirements for obtaining a Law Degree in the country.
The proposed changes by Babu Owino intend to remove the rigid standards currently enshrined in the existing legislation that mandate higher grades for students aspiring to pursue a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree.
In these proposed amendments, Owino seeks to eliminate the requirement of a grade B plain in English or Kiswahili, thus allowing more students to enroll in the LLB program.
“This change will enable LLB graduates without a B plain in English or Kiswahili to gain admission to the Kenya School of Law for the advocates’ training program, promoting career growth,” reads the statement in part.
Babu emphasized that a minor adjustment to the Legal Education Act of 2010 would enhance access to legal education and the practice of law for Kenyan citizens.
The MP, who holds Law and Actuarial Science qualifications, added that the current requirements prevented many aspiring legal practitioners from pursuing their ambitions.
The prerequisites for a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in Kenya differ among institutions. However, the general criteria include achieving a mean C+ (Plus) grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or its equivalent.
Candidates interested in enrolling in the program should also have obtained a B (Plain) in English or Kiswahili in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. Alternatively, students may possess at least three Principal Passes in the Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education Examination (KACE).
Moreover, it is feasible for students to commence their legal studies at the Diploma level and subsequently progress to a Degree program upon earning a credit pass in the examination from an accredited institution.
In addition to the qualifications above, certain institutions may also necessitate applicants to undertake the Law Admission Test (LAT), particularly those entering from the diploma level.