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Jul 2, 2019

Graduate Spotlight: Minna Mumma – Strathmore gave me the international experience

Minna Mumma spent her internship in Argentina where she worked as a paralegal at Marval, O'Farell & Mairal.

Minna Mumma was one of two students, out of 113 students, who graduated with a first-class honours Bachelor of Laws degree. She is currently a Legal Intern at the Office of the Attorney General of Kenya in the International Law Division, and while still a student, worked at the Strathmore Dispute Resolution Centre.

The second born of five siblings, she relished having graduated with a first-class honours degree. “It was a relief because I wasn’t very sure my grades would get there. I wasn’t too serious of a student in first-year so my grades then were a bit low. I had to put in more effort in the later years to pull the grades up.”

Her study style consisted of group discussions. “My study method that was helpful to me was group work. I learn better by listening, talking to people, and teaching concepts to others. Law is wide; it can be difficult to get to everything so discussions helped a lot.”

Journey in Strathmore

Her journey in Strathmore began in 2014 when she joined the Certificate in Computer Applications course that ran for three months. While attending the course, she applied for admission to the Law School. “My parents gave us the freedom to choose whatever career we wanted to pursue. In primary I thought I would be a doctor, in high school I leaned towards engineering. Towards the end of high school I started seriously thinking of doing law. Many would suggest that I would make a good lawyer.”

The more she got immersed into the programme, the more she realised that this was the best career choice for her. “It is not an easy course but it is not an impossible either. Law is for someone who has interest in a wide variety of things; if you can handle the variety, you will sail though. Law becomes difficult if you don’t enjoy it and if you do not find a niche in it for you. Having close friends within the University made the experience at Strathmore richer.”

Moot Court Competitions

While at the University, she took part in three moot court competitions: her team came in second in the All Kenya Moot Court Competition. The second moot court competition she participated in took place in France in February 2018. “Though we didn’t make it to the round of 16, it was a good experience as it was the first time we were participating in mediation moot. It was unique in that the team required one lawyer while the other members could consist of students studying other programmes like engineering and theology. What was crucial was one’s mediation skills.”

And in November 2018, she participated in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) International Moot Competition, an arbitration moot in Investment Law. “We were first in the African regional rounds and came 7th out of 54 in the international round held in Sweden.”

International experience

For her internship, as part of the international experience, she worked as a paralegal at Marval, O’Farell & Mairal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the three months she spent there, she assisted with legal research work and revision of contracts especially in Maritime, Aviation and Insurance Law. “Kenya is a common law system while Argentina’s is a civil law system. On my first day at the office, I was warned that the experience might be boring owing to this different but I found it interesting as it was different. And I had the opportunity to deal with aspects of law that I hadn’t come across.”

She is interested in pursuing trade, investment or arbitration law. “I chose to work at the Attorney General’s because there I have a higher chance of dealing with many arbitration cases. I have two years before I specialize: I will go to the Kenya School of Law and preferably work at a Kenyan law firm before deciding on what to focus on.”

 

This article was written by Wambui Gachari.

If you have a story, kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu

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