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Bar Examination

Council of Legal Education is mandated to administer the Advocates Training Programme (ATP) examination, by dint of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) 2014. Section 8 (1) (f) requires the Council to administer such professional examinations as may be prescribed under Section 13 of the Advocates Act, Cap 16, Laws of Kenya. Previously the ATP examination was being administered by the Kenya School of Law.
In furtherance to this mandate, the Council administered the first ATP examination in July 2015.  The function of examination (then a department) was institutionalized in October 2015 and spearheaded preparations for the November 2015 ATP examination series, a responsibility it has been discharging since then and now it is being implemented by the Directorate of Examination.
Council has institutionalized structures, procedures and mechanisms to ensure that its commitment to deliver credible, reliable, verifiable and defensible ATP Examination is not only realized but enhanced.

The Advocates Training Program (ATP) is an 18 months programme where 12 months includes in-house training and six (6) months of pupilage.

Candidates are examined in the following nine (9) units studied under the ATP:

ATP 100        Civil Litigation
ATP 101        Criminal Litigation
ATP 102        Probate and Administration
ATP 103        Legal Writing and Drafting
ATP 104        Trial Advocacy
ATP 105        Professional Ethics
ATP 106        Legal Practice Management
ATP 107        Conveyancing
ATP 108        Commercial Transactions

Each unit comprises of the oral, project and written examination components. Currently, the Kenya School of Law (School) administers the oral and project components on behalf of the Council, and supervises pupilage.

The Council administers the written examination component of the ATP to candidates who have completed training/tuition at the Kenya School Law. The written examination component is administered twice a year, on the second Thursday of April and November in two (2) regions in Kenya, Nairobi and Nakuru.

The following are functions of Test Development Division:
The Division identifies and inducts suitable professionals to set, moderate ATP examinations, induct service providers, coordinates marking, moderation and remarking of candidates' scripts.

Structure of Set ATP Examination

A candidate will have three (3) hours to take an ATP examination paper
A candidate is required to answer five (5) questions from a maximum six (6) questions with exception of ATP 106 - Legal Practice Management. The five (5) questions comprise one (1) compulsory question of twenty (20) marks and four (4) questions of ten (10) marks each form the optional section.
In case of ATP 106 - Legal Practice Management, a candidate is required to answer five (5) questions from a maximum of seven (7) questions. The five (5) questions comprise one (1) compulsory question of twenty (20) marks and four (4) questions of ten (10) marks each from the optional sections. The optional sectional has three (3) sections - Commercial Accounts, Human Resource Management and Office Practice. A candidate is required to attempt at least one (1) question from each section and the fourth question from any of the three (3) sections.
The written ATP Examination is a closed book examination with the exception of ATP 101 - Criminal Litigation, where candidates may bring clean copies of the Penal Code.
A candidate is also allowed to use scientific calculators during ATP 106 - Legal Practice Management paper.

Registration of the ATP Written Examination

Candidates must register for the ATP Examination with the Council, independently from registration at KSL. Candidates can register for the ATP examination as a Regular or Resit candidate.
The ATP examination registration is a multi-step online process. A candidate must complete their details and attach the requisite documents on the candidate portal, select units and pay the examination fees through the E-Citizen payment platform before the registration deadline, which will be announced from time to time. Absolutely no new registration will be accepted after the deadline. All candidates must register for the written examination on the Candidate Portal

Candidates with special needs or special consideration are advised to provide this information during examination registration to enable the Council make the necessary accommodations before examination administration.

Registration for the ATP examination written examination can be done by a Regular (1st Time) candidate, a Resit (subsequent attempt) candidate or a candidate who has failed the examination and  is not satisfied with the released examination results and would want to remark the failed unit.

If a candidate requires assistance or has questions about the registration process, the Directorate of Examination that is in-charge of the examination can be contacted through the email:

Registration Dates and Deadlines

The ATP examination registration is a multi-step process. A candidate must complete the candidate portal portion of the registration process, and pay the test fee by 11:59 p.m. on the registration deadline. No new registrations will be accepted after the deadline.  
Registration Requirements

A candidate registering for the ATP examination for the first time/Regular candidate will be required to have the following information and documentation. Resit and Remark registration candidates will not be required to upload any document on their candidate portal.

1.    Complete candidate’s biodata information
2.    Digital passport sized photo with a plain background
3.    Colored PDF scanned documents (O-Level Certificate, Kenya School of Law Letter, Degree Certificate, University Transcripts, National Identification Document/Biodata page of the Passport)
4.    Selection of unit(s)
5.    Selection of exam administration region/location
6.    Payment of requisite fees

Examination Registration Fees

Payment of the examination fee is a requirement to schedule the ATP examination. The requisite fee is paid through the E-Citizen platform after selection of units and an issued invoice from the Candidate Portal.  The table below outlines the requisite examination fees levied by the Council, as provided for by the Legal Education Act No. 27 of 2012. Fees paid to Council shall not be transferrable from one candidate to another.

Financial Support

The Council of Legal Education established the Bar Examination Loan (BEL) in June 2019 and it partnered with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to administer and recover the allocated funds.  BEL is a low interest loan to cater for candidates sitting for the ATP examination for first sitting/Regular candidate.

A candidate who seeks financial support should apply for the loan, two (2) weeks before the examination registration deadline. More information concerning the loan application can be found from the HELB website

Registration of Examination Procedure


A candidate must have a CLE Candidate Account to begin the registration process.

Step 1

Create a CLE Candidate Account if you do not have one.

Step 2
•    Complete the online registration form
•    Upload your passport and requisite documents
•    Select the unit(s) you want to register for on the Registration tab
•    Select the desired examination region/location

Step 3
Proceed to pay with the invoice generated. You will be directed to the E-Citizen platform to make payment.

Step 4
Submit your application

Step 1
Log into your CLE Candidate Account

Step 2
•    Go to Registration tab and select the unit(s) you want to register for
•    Select the desired examination region/location
•    Indicate whether you need any special accommodation

Step 3
Proceed to pay with the invoice generated. You will be directed to the E-Citizen platform to make payment.

Step 4
Submit your application

Step 1
Log into your CLE Candidate Account

Step 2
Go to Remark tab and select the unit(s) you want to register for

Step 3
Proceed to pay with the invoice generated. You will be directed to the E-Citizen platform to make payment.

Step 4
Submit your application

Approval and List of Registered Candidates

The Directorate of Examination shall approve candidates who have submitted the applications after the end of the registration period. The Directorate will then publish the list of registered candidates prior to the examination administration period.

Examination Cards

Candidates will be notified of the specific dates of the ATP Examination and examination venues at least fourteen (14) days before commencement of the examination.
The registered candidates will be assigned examination venue and CLE does not allow candidates to choose their preferred centres. However, candidates with special needs may make specific requests for facilitation. A Candidate may only present him/herself at the allocated center.
A Candidate must bring a printed Examination Card and a photo identification document (National ID, Passport or KSL card).  
A Candidates must sit only on the seat allocated to them by the invigilator.
Any candidate who is found to be in possession of unauthorized material commits an examination irregularity.

After the list of registered candidates is published, a registered candidate may apply to defer the registered unit(s) in a particular examination series in the Candidate Portal . Below is the procedure for deferral:

Step 1
Log into your CLE Candidate Account

Step 2
•    Go to Deferral tab, New Requisition and select the unit(s) you want to defer

Step 3
•    Give the reason to defer

Step 4
Submit the Deferral Request

The pass mark for each unit of the ATP Examination is 50%.
Results for the ATP Examination are graded as pass (P) or Fail (F).
The results for units registered as Regular are computed by adding the marks attained in the Project, Oral and the written examinations. The weight of three (3) components of the ATP Examination is as follows:
i)    Oral Examination        20%
ii)    Project work            20%
iii)    Written Examination        60%

If for any reason CLE has not received the Oral and/or Project marks results shall be released indicating incomplete (I).

The results for Resit are obtained by converting the mark obtained in the written examination to percentage. The Project and Oral components of the ATP Examination do not count in the case of a Resit.

A registered candidate who is absent from the examination and has not successfully deferred a particular examination unit(s) shall be deemed to be a No- Show and results will be indicated as “X”.
After results have been released, a candidate will be able to access a digital provisional transcript from the Candidate Portal showing the mark attained in the respective unit(s) taken in the examination. The system generated provisional transcript can be printed for official use. The results in the provisional transcript are tentative and final transcripts shall be issued upon verification.

A candidate who fails to attain the pass mark may apply for remark of the unit(s) failed.

Remark is a process that takes place after the release of the ATP examination results. It is an opportunity for unsuccessful candidates in the just released examination results to challenge marks awarded to them and accords them an opportunity for their script to be remarked.

Application for remark and payment for the same is done through the Candidate Portal.

On completion of Pupilage, the Kenya School of Law furnishes Council with a Certificate of Completion of Pupilage in the prescribed form for verification and approval for gazettement. Council shall verify the status of the candidate by checking whether the candidate has passed all the nine (9) examination units and has complied with pupillage requirement.

On successful completion of the ATP, Council issues a Certificate of Compliance and Final Transcript, and causes the names of all candidates who have complied with the law to be published in the Kenya Gazette, thereby rendering them eligible to petition the Honorable Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya for admission to the Roll of Advocates.

A Candidate may petition Council for certification of documents issued by Council by making a written request to the Council. The candidate shall furnish Council with copies of the document to be certified. It is the responsibility of the candidate to collect the certified documents and forward them to the respective requesting institutions.