Nkumba University School of Law (SLAW) was started by the late Professor Joseph M.N Kakooza in the year 2005. It is fully accredited by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) in 2016 and the Law Council in 2007. The School started when a number of Law Schools were mushrooming in the country. At that time many academicians and, indeed, the legal fraternally questioned the wisdom of starting such new Schools as ours since, according to them, Makerere University could solely cater for training of lawyers in the country. Such question has always arisen in all disciplines of knowledge and education when new institutions are started. Of course, educators have always addressed and still continue to address their attention to it the world over.
The kind of law graduate Nkumba Law School has hitherto produced, and is still bent on producing, is one who adheres to the Nkumba University motto of “I OWE YOU”. Like the early Roman lawyer, who would put service to his entire client and society at large first, rather than being merely a money spinner, the School’s law graduates are trained to answer the needs of its immediate environment, i.e. his/her country, the East African Region with the revived and expanding co-operation, aims at producing law graduates capable of meeting the demands of the global village, with all the growing international commercial activities and the issues obtaining in international law and order.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes did, in his address on the topic Path of the Law, at Harvard University Law School, in 1897, say:
For the rational study of the law, the black letter man may be the man of the present, but the man of the future, is the man of statistics and the master of economics.
His prediction is already a reality today. Legal education must cater for this kind of product. Nkumba University School of Law did, in designing the LL.B Syllabus, basing on specific courses and tutorials, bearing in mind the awareness of the intentional dimensions of law and the above reality. The technological developments demand computer use in research; and so courses such as international criminal justice are intended to produce a graduate with a wider outlook and capacity.
The School, bearing in mind the fact that a prospective legal practitioner must be armed with certain basic principles of law through the normally recognized courses, had to plan accordingly. Thus the syllabus is a combination of objectives of a graduate with a wide legal science awareness enriched by other social sciences, with strong foundation for professional legal grooming in the post- LL.B. legal institutions.
The School is positioned to offer the kind of legal education that responds to the needs of the individual student and those of the society that needs legal services of a quality that enhances their efforts directed at diverse human activities. Through well thought out course units, the School sets out to train lawyers of real “world class”. This is done through a deliberate pedagogical approach that conditions our graduates to always frame real life issues whose resolution would be the ultimate solutions to ever-emerging challenges in our society. It ensures that its law graduates are tutored in the English language and its grammar as well as the language of the law.
Besides teaching the core subjects the School offers covering strategic disciplines such as Legal Ethics, Clinical Legal Education, Cyber Law and Oil and Gas Law. It also teaches a variety of optional law subjects which include International Criminal Justice; International Humanitarian Law; International Human Rights Law; Gender and the Elderly Law; Health Law and Policy and Environmental Law. All the course units are taught with the aim of ensuring that the graduate appreciates the content from the point of view of law as well as policy; in other words, the graduate will not merely understand the basics of law, but also place it into a contemporary national, regional and international context. The law is placed and taught in the economic, social and political context from which it emanates.
The School has also successfully taken part in international Inter- University Moot Competitions. There is also a steady increase in the number of our graduates who qualify for admission to the prestigious and highly competitive Post-Graduate Bar Course at the Law Development Centre (LDC), Makerere Hill Road, Kampala, the Nairobi School of Law in Kenya and the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD) in Kigali Rwanda. It does not end at this, but a quick survey by anyone interested will reveal that a commendable number of alumni are widely placed in private legal practice at the Bar, in the judiciary, in the armed forces, in the Legislature and in public services generally.
The School’s Institute of Criminal Justice (ICJ) offers a Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree and a Diploma. These two courses are designed to train the much needed human resource in the country’s criminal justice system with a lot of challenges. The courses offered in the Institute are a timely intervention for the human resource needs of the bodies mentioned above.
It should be noted that proliferation of institutions of higher learning offering legal education in this country has of course, brought with it ethical challenges that the legal profession has to contend with. The School is determined to produce graduates who do not simply regard the law as a piece of “social engineering” designed to keep the community in good order and their accounts credited regardless of issues of integrity. The School seeks to produce professionals who are skilled in the profession and who being ethical, are assets to themselves and to the public that seeks legal services from them. In this regard the Legal Ethics subject is compulsory at the School. We hope that you will choose to study at this School. We look forward to welcoming you into our ever evolving community of legal scholars.
To make Nkumba University School of Law the hub of intellectually prepared and skilled law graduates ground in legal ethics to give better professional services to mankind in future.
To teach our law students the necessary and relevant law courses and inculcate into them the
spirit, ethics and culture of serving their society and mankind generally and not to be mere
money spinners as is the trend among many lawyers in our country today.
- To teach and produce world class law graduates who will constructively give professional legal services to the people of this country, the East African Region and the World at large.
- To intellectually arm prospective legal practitioners with certain fundamental principles of law through teaching the core subjects as well as other subjects newly introduced in the world today.
- To inculcate into the minds of the graduates a wide range of jurisprudence awareness enriched by other sciences with a strong foundation for professional legal grooming in the Post-Graduate Bar Course institutions preparing future law practitioners.