Faith Mony Odhiambo's recent victory as the 51st President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) marks a significant milestone in the legal fraternity. Emerging as the second female president of the LSK after Raychelle Omamo, who served from 2001 to 2003, Faith's election is a testament to her unwavering dedication and commitment to the legal profession. With an illustrious academic background, including an LLB (Hons) from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, and an LLM (Hons) in International Commercial Law with European Law from the University of Kent (UK), Faith brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role.

We engaged Faith in an interview to have deeper understanding on what motivates her and her vision for LSK and the University of Nairobi.

As the new President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), what motivated you to pursue this leadership role, and what is your overarching vision for the organization during your tenure?

Service has been a driver for me throughout my career. Selfless service to those I represent has been my primary compass in the various positions of leadership I have held, since my time serving in the Young Lawyer’s Committee, sitting in the Board of FIDA Kenya as the Board Secretary, and even in the two previous terms I have been in the Law Society Council first as Nairobi Representative and later as Vice President. The beauty of being a servant leader is that it gives you an opportunity to have first hand encounters not only with your people but equally with the challenges they face; I am not aloof with the realities of the people I have had the privilege to lead, I live that reality, because before I am their representative, I am one of them. Because of this, I have had the opportunity to listen to and understand the plight of Advocates across the country. All that they are and all that they require are known to me, and it is with that understanding that I believe in the vision of a stable and progressive Law Society as the only means to meet the individual aspirations of my members. I have experienced the structural weaknesses that can expose our society to chaos and retrogression, and I have been a part of concerted effort by members to reestablish unity of purpose and find a common, agreeable path to follow; so I believe I am equipped to deliver this vision of a stable Progressive Bar.


You have emphasized the need to tackle corruption within the legal system. How do you plan to ensure that corrupt practices are addressed effectively within the LSK and foster a culture of integrity among judicial officers and legal practitioners?

Corruption is a scourge in our country. One thing I have taken issue with in the recent past, particularly recently when our Chief Justice met the President reportedly to discuss matters of corruption, is the very concept of discussing corruption. Corruption is not a matter for negotiation or protracted deliberations that bear no fruit. It is a vice against which firm; decisive action must be taken to achieve the desired paradigm shift. We must take instant steps to stem out the systemic corruption within our country, and particularly within our legal justice system. Under the PSP Agenda I ran on, which will form the basis of my service as president, we identified corruption as one of the most prevalent setbacks in legal practice and administration of Justice. In keeping with the spirit of firm decisive action, we will set up an inspectorate of the Law Society to collect and investigate member complaints, audit all Judicial officers and essential legal service providers such as Land and Business Registrars across the country, and follow up with relevant authorities including the JSC and EACC to ensure all matters referred for investigation and administrative action against perpetrators of corruption are prosecuted effectively and justly. It cannot be business as usual, we will rally all members to ensure that we call out all enablers of corruption amongst our membership, and take up the fight against corruption by ourselves as a society, because those with the constitutional responsibility and authority to do so have failed.

Given your background as a law lecturer and your understanding of the challenges faced by young lawyers, particularly those at the University of Nairobi, what specific initiatives do you envision to support and empower aspiring legal professionals? How do you plan to enhance existing mentorship programs, and what additional resources or opportunities do you intend to provide to students at the University of Nairobi pursuing legal careers?

I have previously stated that I am the bridge between the young bar and the senior bar, and that statement was made for good reason. In my time as Vice President, I initiated a mentorship program for young advocates in liaison with the Judiciary and the senior Bar, which will see senior advocates, take junior ones under their tutelage in handling briefs, for which briefs the younger ones are renumerated. This initiative was the tip of the iceberg; we must scale the level of mentorship and opportunities within our profession. Over and above opening up the Kenyan legal practice space to the emerging frontiers of practice in the world and revolutionizing our current Continuous Professional Development Model into an LSK institute of training and accreditation, we have plans in place to directly engage industry leaders such as KEPSA and KNCCI to build working relationships with and for our young members through joint forums of engagement and creation of industry clusters for specialized areas of practice. I believe that such a model of showing young advocates where the opportunities are, how to secure them, and giving them the platform to secure them is more sustainable than dishing out few opportunities among a small demography. As you have rightly put it, I am a teacher, one who keeps in touch with the difficult realities lived by my students, I even serve as the patron of the Law Students Association of Kenya, I understand their plight, and I will be the vehicle through which they will action the ingenious solutions and innovations that they have and share with me throughout our engagements.

Considering your close ties to the University of Nairobi, what role do you see the institution playing in shaping the future of the legal profession in Kenya? How do you envision strengthening the relationship between the University of Nairobi and the Law Society of Kenya to ensure that academic training aligns with the practical needs of the legal profession?

While I am a very proud member of the University of Nairobi Faculty, the mandate I have now was given to me by members across the board and from all the institutions in our country that offer a degree in law. For good reason, UoN emerges as one among the leading institutions providing legal education, but other institutions who offer equally competitive law curricular and have reputable academicians on their faculties are increasingly occupying the space; I am the result of one such institution, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). My undertaking to members was that we must close the gap between the profession/practitioners and the prospective entrants/students. As part of the remodeling of our CPD Program to a center of excellence offering institutionalized training and accreditation, we will synergize the curriculum in our law faculties with the programs offered by our institute to ensure there is a cross-cutting standard of knowledge acquisition from the entry point into the career to the highest levels of experience in the profession. As an academician, I am ready, able and willing to accommodate the diverse ideas that are bound to emerge from our dynamic legal education community, to ensure we attain the best possible outcomes for our prospective members and budding legal minds.

Your pursuit of a PhD at the University of Nairobi reflects a commitment to academic excellence and research in the field of law. Could you share some insights into your doctoral research and how you believe it will contribute to advancing legal scholarship and addressing contemporary challenges within the Kenyan legal system? Additionally, how do you plan to leverage your academic background to inform policy decisions and initiatives within the LSK?

As you may be aware, I am a practitioner and academician in competition law, banking and financial services law, and telecommunication law. When considering my PhD subject, I saw it crucial to identify a way to consolidate these three areas of law, which in my view form a huge opportunity that has not been effectively exploited in the Kenyan Market. My PhD is therefore on Competition in the Mobile Financial Services Sector. Previously, I have contributed to a lot of work in the development of legal framework on mobile money and advancement of competition law in Kenya; for instance, I was part of the team that conducted a study on buyer power in Kenya leading to the development of the 2022 Buyer Power Guidelines by the Competition Authority. The benefits of this area of study is two-fold: first, the development and regularization of the industry through effective regulation and advisory to the government on policy formulation within these fast-growing areas of the economy will increase new entrants into the Kenyan market while opening Kenyan market-players to opportunities outside Kenya due to compliance with international and regional best practices; secondly it will facilitate the expansion of these areas thus creating a direct new opportunity for many of the Young Advocates we are releasing into the market every year who may not all fit into the ‘traditional’ areas of practice.

As far as leveraging academia goes, I have already touched on my plan to transform our current CPD model into a training institute for niche practice area training and accreditation. It goes without saying that such a transformation calls for as many specialized scholars as possible with expertise in diverse areas of law to effect the trainings. As it stands, the CPD Committee, currently led by one of my supervisors Professor Njaramba Gichuki, is largely constituted by academicians. Evidently, they are best placed to lead this remodeling of our CPD programs to ensure the desired level of growth not just of the society but of individual members and the Kenyan Legal Practice environment. Kenya has historically been a regional leader in legal practice and education. For us to maintain and expand our place, we must harness our best assets and incorporate new emerging trends to find the perfect balance required to meet the demands of legal practice and education in the 21st Century. We cannot be lethargic in this enterprise, we must demonstrate inspired fervency.

As Faith embarks on her tenure as President of the LSK, her leadership serves as an inspiration to all those who aspire to make a meaningful impact in the field of law. Her vision for aligning academic training with the practical needs of the legal field holds immense potential for nurturing future generations of legal professionals. The University of Nairobi can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Kenyan legal landscape by fostering collaborations that will pave the way for a more robust and inclusive legal ecosystem in Kenya.