The Kenya School of Law was established in 1963 and a total of 11 students were admitted that year. The School was operating from a 4 acre plot on Valley Road next to University of Nairobi’s Dental School. The premises were formerly a maternity wing of the Nairobi Hospital. The School was a Department of the Attorney General’s Office until July 2001, when it acquired the status of a Semi Autonomous Government Agency. As an effort to boost training activities at the School, the Government through the Ministry of Finance financed the purchase of an ultra modern training facility at Karen. The School took occupation of the new premises in January, 2005 and is doing everything possible to utilize this facility to realize its mandate.
In an effort to address some of the issues linked to education and training for a competent and professional legal profession, both the pre and post-colonial governments have undertaken various initiatives and set up commissions of inquiry to formulate appropriate policy. Some of these include the Denning Committee (1962); the Akiwumi Committee (1995) on the Status and Management of the Kenya School of Law; the Kwach Committee (1998) on the Administration of Justice. The recommendations of these committees still form the bulwark of policy on legal education and training in the Country. The recommendations of the Akiwumi Report in particular culminated in the re-establishment of the Council of Legal Education under the Council of Legal Education Act, Cap 16A of the Laws of Kenya.
The current Council of Legal Education/Kenya School of Law was established as an independent statutory body in 1995 with the specific mandate to: organize and conduct courses for the development of legal professionals; conduct courses for Government personnel on the general understanding of the law and organizing Para-legal courses and programmes. In addition, the Council of Legal Education (CLE)/Kenya School of Law (KSL) is to offer fellowships, scholarships and bursaries and establish, manage and control training institutions for Legal Education in the country.
To further enhance the recommendations of the Akiwumi Report, the Muigai-Ministerial Committee on the Development of a Policy and Legal Framework for Legal Education and Training in Kenya (2005) was appointed. The Muigai Committee undertook a comprehensive re-evaluation of legal education and training in Kenya and made recommendations to re-design and re-establish all legal institutions implementing legal policy in Kenya. The impetus of these recommendations was to institutionalize international best practice and segregate institutions carrying out regulatory cum supervisory functions from those carrying out training functions. The Muigai Report was officially launched by the Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, the Hon. Ms. Martha Karua, EGH, MP on 18th January, 2006.
Under the auspices of the GJLOS and FLSTAP programmes, the School has also been able to set in motion processes towards becoming a centre of excellence in legal education and training locally and in the region.
Other than offering quality legal training, the school offers a spacious modern cafeteria, seminar and conference rooms, modern lecture theatre with public address system, hostel facilities with self-contained single and double rooms with flat screen television sets among others. These facilities may be hired by the general public when they are not in use by students.