Law Student of the Week – Jennifer Githu
Kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Jennifer Githu. I am a third year law student at the University of Nairobi School of Law, Kenya.
Did you set out to study law? If yes, what inspired your decision?
No, law was not my initial first choice. I wanted to study medicine but everyone around me thought I would be a lawyer. As soon as I was in law school, I knew this was it, this is what I was meant to do.
Walk us through your experience so far as the editor-in-chief of the law journal at your law faculty.
I took over as the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal in February this year. Our main focus at the law journal is to promote a culture of research and development of legal knowledge among young lawyers in Kenya. We also focus on promoting intellectual discourse through panel discussions and consultative forums that feature various stakeholders in the country and beyond.
How have you been able to balance your duties and responsibilities with with your academics?
This is usually a question of multitasking abilities and managing oneself to fit within their time effectively.
In what aspect of law do you intend practicing and why?
At the moment my interests lie in international legal practice and public interest litigation. My research interest include inter-displinary areas around human rights, International trade law, international economics law and law and development
Kindly give an insight on some of your achievements since you kicked off your study of the law.
In my first year, I had the chance of representing my country in the East African Regional Leadership Institute (Uongozi). This set out the pace and foundation for most of time in law school. I have also had the opportunity to hold various leadership positions including being the Secretary General of the Students Association of Legal Aid and Research (SALAR). At SALAR, I coordinated and initiated various legal aid initiatives that saw great student’s involvement in legal advice and more so in support of the new legal Act. Recently under the auspices of the University of Nairobi Law Journal, we successfully launched Inter-collegiate Legal Cultural week at the University of Nairobi. The legal week brought together various actors in the legal professions to a week of mentorship, debates, public forums, panel discussions and presenting various opportunities for students. I have also volunteered for the United Nations and various international organizations duing my long holidays.
Any role model and why?
I have many role models including professors, legal practitioners and various world leaders. Each of them have admirable values and teach me various skills.
What other interests do you have asides law?
I am also interested in technology and innovation. New technologies such as Blockchain are going to usher us into the future and I believe any prudent law student should keep abreast of such developments and think of how the innovations can help solve societal problems.
What are your thoughts on the recent passage of the Computer & Cybercrime Bill? Any effect on the right to the freedom of speech?
There is a thin line between the protecting the freedom of speech and protecting citizens from the vices that out of internet and computer use such as Technologically Assisted Violence Against Women (TAVAW). I believe the question that Kenyans, Legal professionals and the courts must answer is where do we draw this line?
Where do you see yourself in 6 years?
I see myself having established my brand in my area of choice in the legal profession.
Any final words?
Law students in Africa need to wake up to the reality that we have a greater responsibility beyond the lens of the profession itself. One must look outward on the impact of what we do and the impact of our omissions, only then can we give life and completion to the true purpose of the law.