Former Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi has advised young and aspiring lawyers to learn stress management skills so as to cope with tensions arising from the demands of the profession.
He said while the legal profession is critical for the advancement of any country, the men and women who pursue this course should not allow themselves to be drowned in work to the point of becoming case studies of how not to pursue a career.
“Despite the many titles that you may get, remember that you are human beings and whatever happens to other human beings also happens to you,” he said.
He was speaking at a Nairobi hotel where the Mount Kenya University (MKU) School of Law hosted its first Alma Mater luncheon for former and current students.
The event also saw the launch of the Online Master of Laws (LLM) programme.
The former governor said lawyers play a crucial role in solving problems, protecting individual rights, promoting social justice and ensuring the smooth functioning of institutions of State.
“Lawyers use law as an instrument of transformation of society and they make a positive difference in the lives of many people,” he said.
He gave a personal experience on how he came to the realization that in much of his life, he had pursued things that may have brought him fortunes but did not augur well for his personal life and had left a vacuum inside.
“We are obsessed with insatiable greed for money, power and prestige. We usually dedicate ourselves to useless and irrelevant pursuits and allow our lives to be stolen by others. You will never get enough money, power and prestige,” he said.
He told the lawyers and students that he has also been trying to do other things that make him happy, including enrolling for a psychology course as well as practising law.
National Assembly Chief Whip Silvanus Osoro stressed the importance of networking in the profession.
“Always know your neighbour, who they are and what they do. Beyond our schooling, there are phases in life where you cannot move alone. You have to network. Your strength as a lawyer is in networking. The practice of law is changing,” he said.
Lady Justice Hellen Omondi, judge of the Court of Appeal, said women lawyers and judges led by the Association of Women Judges are working on a structured mentorship programme for law students in all universities offering law degrees.
MKU Vice Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi said the event offered MKU fraternity the opportunity to engage with its law graduates.
In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administration, Planning and Institutional Advancement Dr Peter Kirira, the VC said the university continues to promote access to higher education by establishing campuses and Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) centres in different parts of Eastern Africa.
“The distance and electronic learning for Master of Laws we are launching today will be convenient to many postgraduate students in the legal profession,” he said.
By James Wakahiu
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