Where is the harmony of the senior, mid and junior bars in LSK affairs?

My phone has not stopped buzzing, from November last year to date, with various candidates for different seats at the Law Society of Kenya seeking my attention with their manifestos and requests for votes. I exercised my right and duty and voted for my preferred candidates for the LSK on 29th February 2024, but well, the messages kept coming, because there were yet other elections to be held for the various branches. It is exhausting, and perhaps we should have a conversation about consolidating all these elections so that they are all held in one day. That is a conversation for another day. Today, I wish to summarize what I have observed over the five months of the campaign and elections.

I vouched for and supported some of the candidates that made it to the Council. I was particularly thrilled that the President of the LSK is a woman, so many years later after, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo was elected in 2001. I congratulate President Faith Odhiambo and wish her the best. I am confident that she will serve us well.

I could not help but observe though, that out of the seventeen (17) candidates elected in the Council, only three (3) have practised for over fifteen years, whilst the rest are categorized as members of the mid and young bar. It is not a bad thing to have a bar led by young people. One can call it progressive, but the question would be, how inclusive is it?

The Society consists of Advocates from different cadres, including the in-house practitioners. Whereas classification of Advocates into the young, mid and senior bars may have its benefits, we are one Society. No class of Advocates is needed any less, and a representation that does not mirror all these three “bars” cannot be adequate. Any thought that the young bar does not need the senior bar, or vice versa is misinformed and incorrect.

The counsel of the senior bar is still needed and remains necessary. The senior bar cannot afford to stand aside and watch, and I dare say, perhaps hope that the young bar will fail and learn its lesson. They too should seek elective seats in the Council, and get a seat on the table, or in the alternative, prioritize mentorship in their space of influence. The senior bar loses its right to accuse the younger lawyers of declining the Society’s esteem and honour, if it refuses and fails to mentor, counsel and guide the younger bar. If there is to be a rediscovery of a lost glory or sobriety, all hands must be on deck.

This is therefore a humble call for the senior bar to get involved, and not take a pew in the Society’s affairs. The AGMs are coming, and judging from the past, only a few do show up, but I hope by this article, a few more will come in the next general meeting.

She is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and is the Lead Counsel at Mukoma & Associates, currently pursuing her Masters Degree at University of Nairobi in Constitutional Law and Governance.