News 27 June 2023

Bridging the Gap Between Lawyers and Society: A Professional Perspective

Writen by Research

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“As laid down by my senior counsel…may it please the court….according to Article 34 of the constitution.” Lawyers and Advocates of the High Court are known for their decorated words, mind-pondering statements, flamboyant lifestyles, and informative and thought-provoking speeches. Still, “What on earth are Lawyers Known for?”

Above: Students and Staff Keenly Listening to a Brown Bag Presentation

Sussie Mutahi, an Advocate of the High Court and Teaching Fellow at Strathmore Law School, delivered an insightful session on the 23rd of June during our monthly brown bag sessions. With a focus on the perceptions surrounding lawyers and the legal profession, communal ownership of legal expertise, and strategies to bridge the divide between lawyers and society, Mutahi sparked an intriguing discussion.

When asked to describe a lawyer in one word, the audience responded with a range of words like “know-it-all,” “tricksters,” “liars,” and “heartless hired guns.” These perceptions reflect a prevalent view of lawyers in today’s world. However, it is crucial to recognize the significant role lawyers play in safeguarding and promoting individual rights within democratic societies.

In today’s world, fulfillment of this role requires an understanding and appreciation of lawyers to society and the legal system. The Lawyer has only one tool of trade, The Law. The law, by and of itself consists of nothing more than words on paper as it is an Inert abstraction activated only by its application to the stuff of the living. “The Law is activated by the staff of the Living. If People didn’t create companies, then there wouldn’t be a company act. This is what makes the Law Active.” Sussie emphasized. 

In bridging the Lawyer-Society divide, Sussie Opined on the importance of lawyers understanding that the law exists for the benefit of society and that lawyers themselves are an essential part of the legal system. Additionally, she advocated for crafting legal language in plain English to minimize the communication gap between lawyers and clients, particularly within the context of court proceedings. Underestimating the significance of legal literacy training would be a mistake, as it is a fundamental factor contributing to the divide between lawyers and society.

This Article was Written by Mwangi Kevin.

Do you have a Story? Share it with us at research@strathmore.edu.

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