ND Law creates new exchange program with Strathmore Law School in Kenya

Author: Amanda Gray


Notre Dame Law School has added another exchange program opportunity for students and faculty — its first in Africa — with a recent agreement with Strathmore Law School in Nairobi, Kenya.

Strathmore Law School was founded in 2012 and is part of the larger Strathmore University system. The school offers LL.B. and LL.M. degrees, will soon add LL.D. degree-seeking students, and hosts a faculty of local and foreign legal scholars, advocates, and experts.

Notre Dame Law School has continued to expand its international relationships through its Global Lawyering Initiative. The new agreement with Strathmore complements ND Law’s other exchange programs in Chile, China, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as the long-standing Notre Dame London Law Program.

Like Notre Dame Law School’s other student exchange programs, the Strathmore program is designed to enhance students’ mutual understanding of different cultures, legal traditions, and scholarly approaches to law.

“This is a historic development for Notre Dame Law School — our first exchange program in Africa,” said G. Marcus Cole, Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law. “It is high time that Notre Dame Law School had an exchange partner in Africa. I am elated that Strathmore Law School is the partner.”

Strathmore Law School Dean Peter Kwenjera said he is equally elated to have a partner in Notre Dame.

“We are not at all strangers, since our alumni and former staff members have gone through the hands of Notre Dame in their LL.M. and Ph.D. studies,” Kwenjera said. “We believe this partnership will go a long way in creating avenues for our students and staff members to interact and since we need to innovate in the legal education sphere, such collaborations will go a long way in that regard.”

The agreement allows for an exchange of two students from each school per semester. Notre Dame students will study at the Strathmore Law School campus in Nairobi. Strathmore students will have the choice of studying at the main campus in South Bend or at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway.

An exchange of faculty members between the two law schools is also part of the agreement. Faculty from each school will visit the other for short courses of one to three weeks as well as semester or yearlong teaching engagements. The agreement also encourages faculty from each school to collaborate on research projects.

Finally, the agreement between Notre Dame and Strathmore establishes an annual conference on human rights, to be held online. As part of the conference, an essay prize will also be established.

“Our J.D. and Human Rights LL.M. students will have unique opportunities to learn from, and with, Strathmore law students under the student exchange and student conference components of this agreement,” Associate Dean for International & Graduate Programs Paul B. Miller said.

Dean Cole said Notre Dame Law School graduate Hon. Ann Claire Williams ’75 J.D., a retired judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was instrumental in forging the relationship with Strathmore. After retiring from the Seventh Circuit in 2018, Williams joined Jones Day to head the law firm’s pro bono efforts in advancing the rule of law in Africa.

“Judge Williams’ connections across Africa have opened up opportunities for us and our students,” Cole said.

Several alumni of Strathmore Law School have gone on to graduate from Notre Dame Law School’s LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law. Recent graduates include Raphael Ng'etich ’19 LL.M., Jemima Nimma Kolo ’21 LL.M., and Eva Maina ’22 LL.M.

Learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s exchange programs.

Photo credit: Victor Anyura, Strathmore University