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Accreditation and licensing are two sides of the same coin. Accreditation of legal education programmes is the formal process by which educational providers offering law degrees or legal education programs undergo evaluation to ensure they meet established standards of quality and rigor set by accrediting bodies. The accreditation process culminates to and confers the status of an education provider being recognized as licensed legal education provider. These standards typically cover various aspects of legal education, including faculty qualifications, curriculum content, student support services, facilities, and resources.  Accreditation serves several purposes:

•    Quality Assurance: It ensures that institutions providing legal education maintain high standards of academic excellence and professionalism, thereby enhancing the quality of legal education.
•    Student Protection: Accreditation provides students with assurance that the program they are enrolling in meets recognized standards and will adequately prepare them for their legal careers.
•    Professional Recognition: Graduating from an accredited law school or program may enhance graduates' credibility and acceptance within the legal profession and by employers.
•    Eligibility for Licensing Exams: In many jurisdictions, graduates of accredited law schools are eligible to sit for the bar exam, a requirement for practicing law.

Council’s accreditation process typically involves self-assessment by the institution, independent peer review by experts in legal education, and site visits to assess compliance with accreditation standards. Currently accreditation of legal education programmes is undertaken jointly by the Council of Legal Education and the Commission for University Education.

The following documents must be attached:
(i)    The curriculum for the proposed legal education programme;
(ii)    A feasibility study of the legal education programme highlighting the justifications for the programme including the programme’s “niche” area
(iii)    A strategic plan, highlighting specific strategies applicable to ensure sustainability and growth of the legal education programme
(iv)    Supporting policy documents such as staff recruitment and development policy, research policy and library policy
(v)    any other relevant documents

The process typically takes approximately one (1) year although various factors may influence the actual duration taken such as time taken by the provider to undertake required corrective actions.

Yes. However, where a provider is seeking accreditation of a post-graduate legal education programme such as Master of Laws and PhD/LLD in Law, the institution shall be assumed to have provided essential documents such as supporting policy documents and strategic plan.

Institutions are required to create an account at the CLE portal and follow the instructions as to the application and supporting documentation as well as payment of application fees.

All information relating to the process of accreditation is outlined in the Legal Education Act [Cap.16B] Laws of Kenya, the Legal Education (Accreditation and Quality Assurance) Regulations which are available for download on the CLE website downloads section Downloads. The Council has also availed Inspection Criteria which is a detailed instructive guide on the requirements and threshold that providers must satisfy in various areas.

Yes. As required by law, Council publishes the list of licensed and recognized legal education providers in Kenya in the official Kenya Gazette as well as in MyGOV supplementary. This is done towards the end of December and June each year.

Yes. Applicants must pay Ksh. 10,000 details provided in the application page/portal . No application is accepted until it is complete and application fee is paid in full.

Yes. The Council accepts detailed course reading lists or syllabi in place of the Curriculum.

Applicants with foreign high school qualifications must obtain statements/certificates of equation from the Kenya National Qualifications Authority and submit the same together with the application documentation.

The Council determines the units that have not been covered and requires the applicant to undertake remediation in those units not covered at the university. The remedial programme is currently only offered by Riara University which is licensed by the Council to offer remedial courses prescribed by Council.

Upon completing the remedial programme, immediately provide Council with the transcripts for the remedial units as well as statement of completion from Riara University. Council shall then recognize your foreign qualifications and issue a clearance letter for admission to the Advocates Training Programme.

Yes. Admission to the Advocates Training Programme is the preserve of the Kenya School of Law guided by the Kenya School of Law Act, 2012 and applicable subsidiary legislation.

The Directorate typically makes determinations within 1-2 days of receipt of complete applications from the applicant. However, other factors may affect the turnaround such as incomplete applications or unavailability of the CEO who is the signatory for all letters.

This is recognition of experiential learning acquired by persons with at least 10 years' experience in the legal sector and in a field of law but who do not have formal academic qualifications in legal education. However, the certificate of experiential learning is not a substitute for academic qualifications.

Yes. Applicants must pay Ksh. 50,000 details provided in the application page/portal <Hyperlink to Portal>. No application is accepted until it is complete and application fee is paid in full.

The Advocates Training Programme is a mandatory training programme for all persons who seek to be admitted to practice law in Kenya as an Advocate of the Supreme (High) Court. As a matter of policy therefore, there are no exemptions from the Advocates Training Programme. Previously, only the Chief Justice has discretionally exempted specific persons who have made significant national contributions in law in Kenya such as Prof Yash Pal Ghai and Prof. Okoth Ogendo.