Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Philomena Mwilu, has offered valuable advice to aspiring lawyers, urging them to prioritize patience, hard work, and integrity over the pursuit of wealth.

Addressing young law students, she emphasized the importance of staying true to one’s principles and not letting success be solely defined by financial gain. According to Mwilu, success should be measured by how faithfully one adheres to their ethical values, rather than by the size of their bank account or their level of popularity.

Mwilu cautioned against adopting a “pop” attitude, advocating for a mindset shift away from seeking quick riches and instant gratification. Instead, she encouraged students to embrace ambition tempered with patience, honesty, diligence, and resilience.

“Hard work and integrity are the cornerstones of a fulfilling and dignified life,” affirmed Mwilu, stressing the enduring value of these qualities.

The DCJ delivered these remarks during a Public Lecture organized by the University of Nairobi Law Students Professional Association. Speaking on the theme “Navigating the Legal Profession: Pathways to Excellence,” she reminded students of their role as champions of justice within their communities, emphasizing that their duty extends beyond serving paying clients.

Mwilu urged aspiring lawyers to consider avenues for enhancing access to justice, such as legal clinics, pro bono services, and litigation in the public interest. She highlighted the importance of ensuring that the legal system is accessible to all members of society, including those who cannot afford legal representation.

Furthermore, Mwilu emphasized the significance of constitutionalism, urging students to uphold the values and principles outlined in Kenya’s Constitution. She underscored the importance of integrity, leadership, and the exercise of judicial authority as essential aspects of their character as future jurists.

Expanding on the Judiciary’s approach to justice, Mwilu emphasized a broad view of justice that extends beyond courtroom proceedings. She encouraged judges and magistrates to see themselves as promoters and facilitators of justice, rather than mere adjudicators.

In concluding her address, Mwilu urged students to remain adaptable and innovative, equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of the legal profession. She emphasized the importance of contextual grounding, enabling students to navigate changing circumstances and contribute meaningfully to the law’s emancipatory purpose.

By offering practical advice and insightful reflections, DCJ Mwilu provided aspiring lawyers with valuable guidance as they embark on their legal careers.