Training lawyers for the sub-Saharan African market: what role for academics? Perspectives from Kenya
Kibugi, Robert Machatha
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Skilled professionals such as lawyers are imperative for any society. Their training is even more critical, as it shapes their eventual role in transforming society. They play an important role since the law influences literally all aspects of our lives. My thesis here is that the “market” for lawyers in sub-Saharan Africa is dictated by the stage of societal development. Thus their training must be focused on the present and projected needs of the particular society. So, what role do academics play in realising this long-term goal? Academics must wear many hats as thinkers and scholars, teachers and mentors. They must influence philosophical paradigms of teaching for local relevance. They must deconstruct the “market” to decipher its meaning – are they training professionals for local service or for emigration? Thus, examining the place of the university academic in the training process, this paper investigates the situation, and makes policy-level remedial proposals.